A new policy initiative announced this week by by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu will allow more moms and dads to bring their infant children to work. The governor’s “Infants in the Workplace” initiative, enacted through executive order on Monday, empowers state employees in more than 20 state agencies and departments to bring infants between the ages of six weeks and six months into their place of work.
As Governor Sununu noted during the announcement, this new initiative will ensure that state government stays competitive in the Granite State’s booming economy, ease the burden of childcare on many new parents, and “provide[s] working families with options to give their kids the healthiest possible start to life while allowing them to remain in the workforce.” Parents will have the opportunity to be with their infant children during their earliest stages in life, some of the most critical times in a child’s development.
Sununu said over 20 state departments and agencies have chosen to participate so far. The program will be based on programs in several other states, including Arizona, Vermont and Washington.
“This initiative can provide working families with options to give their kids the healthiest possible start to life while allowing them to remain in the workforce if they choose to do so,” Sununu said at a news conference.
When asked how many state employees this could affect currently, Sununu said “it’s not that many, to be honest, but part of doing this is we hope it’s more. We’re trying to encourage and attract young people into the workforce.”
“This will alleviate a lot of that anxiety” that comes with the stress of being a new parent, said Sarah Stewart, commissioner of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources who approved the policy. “I look forward to supporting the new moms and dads that work in our department.”