New Jersey

Murphy Announces Child Care Initiative to Support Working Families During Pandemic

The governor’s Child Care Initiative includes supporting children and families, as well as supporting child care reopening.

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What to Know

  • New Jersey will dedicate $250 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund in order to provide additional support to families with school-aged children as well as for resources for thousands of child care providers.
  • The governor’s Child Care Initiative includes supporting children and families, as well as supporting child care reopening.
  • “Now more than ever, working families need access to child care to balance the many demands they are facing during the ongoing pandemic,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday in a statement. “With these investments, we are ensuring that high quality child care is accessible and affordable for families across the state."

New Jersey will dedicate $250 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund in order to provide additional support to families with school-aged children as well as for resources for thousands of child care providers.

“Now more than ever, working families need access to child care to balance the many demands they are facing during the ongoing pandemic,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday in a statement. “With these investments, we are ensuring that high quality child care is accessible and affordable for families across the state."

The governor’s Child Care Initiative includes supporting children and families, as well as supporting child care reopening.

As part of the Supporting Children and Families component:

  • The state's Department of Human Services will provide state child care subsidies for child care during the school day for school-age children age 5 to 13 years old through the end of 2020. The Child Care Subsidy Program is available for families with children and with with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level who meet program criteria. (For example, a family of three with income up to $43,440 is eligible to enroll in the program.) Under the initiative, through the end of 2020, currently enrolled and newly enrolled school-age children will be eligible for state subsidy funding for child care services throughout the school day. This funding is to be used at licensed child care centers or registered family child care providers. The child care providers will be paid the state's subsidy rate for school-age children based on the hours of care.
  • The Department of Human Services will also create a new $150 million program to provide child care support to New Jersey families who are not eligible for the state Child Care Subsidy Program, but who are in need of either full or part-time child care due to their child’s school’s remote learning schedule. This assistance will be available through the end of 2020 for families with children, 5 to 13 years old, with annual incomes below $75,000. Funding for recipients of this program will be provided directly to the family’s selected licensed child care center or registered family child care and providers will be paid the state's subsidy rate for school-age children based on the hours of care needed.

The application process will open in early September. Funding will distributed, until exhausted, among qualified participants who meet the eligibility criteria.

Meanwhile, the other component of the funding will go toward the reopening and sustainability of child care centers:

  • The Department of Human Services will provide supplemental payments of $75 per subsidy-eligible child, per month, including infants, toddlers, and school-age children to providers through the end of the calendar year. 
  • The Department of Human Services will make funding available to all licensed child care centers and all registered family child providers in New Jersey that are open or will open by Oct. 1 to manage added operational costs due to new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

These Supporting Child Care Reopening funds will be available to nearly 6,000 child care providers in New Jersey with increased COVID-related costs, including the purchasing PPE, cleaning and sanitation, and other operational needs and materials related to the pandemic.

“We have long known that quality child care is essential to child development and economic development. Today’s announcement makes clear that, in the face of a pandemic, child care is also essential to helping schools reopen,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said in a statement. “The Governor and the Department of Human Services are taking these actions to address some of the incredible burden working families are facing as work-from-home and remote learning occur at the same time. Families need relief, and we hope today’s actions offer some hope and opportunity for parents to get the support they need.”  

Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer shared similar sentiments.

"The pandemic has reinforced what we already knew -- that access to adequate, affordable and safe childcare is absolutely vital to working parents and New Jersey's families," Beyer said in a statement. 

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