As the end of 2022 nears, we hope it has brought a renewed sense of normalcy to your life. At the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, we’ve focused our attention this year on being responsive to the changing needs of our community and the challenges NH families and educators continue to face as we embrace a ‘new normal.’
One of these challenges is the state’s childcare crisis. Due to many factors, an estimated 40% of NH children ages birth – 5 do not have access to affordable, quality childcare. We saw this as an opportunity to make a difference and just launched a series of educational initiatives designed to help early childcare providers, family resource centers, libraries, and families provide enriching, engaging, and developmentally appropriate play-based learning activities to this age group.
The Museum will provide 83 childcare and family centers, who collectively serve 9,160 children throughout the state, with robust kits of play-based learning materials and activity guides throughout the year, sharing new ways to use the items to spur children’s growth. We are hosting two early educator open houses, four virtual workshops and weekly in-person programs like Baby Storytime, Toddler Tinker Time and Wee Ones Wednesdays to support the early childhood workforce, parents and non-traditional childcare providers who are helping to fill the gaps during this unprecedented time.
With inflation straining family budgets, we remain committed to making the Museum accessible to all children and have expanded our free and reduced admission programs to include families with WIC benefits and those with sensory processing challenges, while continuing to serve Title 1 schools, Head Starts, after-school groups and social service agencies. More than ever before, experiences at the Children’s Museum are needed opportunities to spark children’s cognitive development and build social and emotional connections that fuel healthy growth and success in school.
Children are counting on us all to help them rebound from the pandemic and thrive in the new normal. Your support has helped CMNH continue to be nimble and responsive to their needs - thank you! We couldn’t do this work without you, and we appreciate your continued investment in the growth of young children!
In 2020 you helped...
...support families at-home learning! Museum educators created 66 videos of our most popular programs and classes, viewed for free over 33,796 times, and distributed 1,200 arts and science kits to replace in-person summer camps and library programs.
...inspire creativity and support artists and small business! The museum hosted Maker Fest virtually featuring 37 makers and workshops, and donated 150 Maker Kits to families so they could participate safely from home.
...us prepare for the museum's future! We moved forward constructing an outdoor Play Patio, using funds raised prior to the pandemic. The Play Patio will provide 1,800 square feet for messy art & science activities and gatherings.
In 2019 you helped...
...welcome 2,555 guests to the museum who paid only $1 per person admission by showing their EBT cards, all part of our Museum Access for All program.
...welcome 3,778 museum guests who received free or reduced admission thanks to the Blue Star Museum Summer Program and the Museum's Military Appreciation Program for active duty military personnel and their families.
...welcome a record breaking number of children and families into the museum - 110,600!