Murphy Administration Announces Additional Investments in Child Care to Support Working Families, Child Care Workers and Providers

The plan will help eligible families with childcare costs, offer bonuses to workers and support service providers with subsidies

TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy and Acting Social Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced plans to invest more than $ 700 million to help parents pay for child care costs, pay premiums to child care workers, distribute subsidies and increase support for child care providers.

“We know that child care is one of the biggest challenges families – especially single mothers – face when they join our workforce,” Governor Murphy said. “Through these investments, we are committed to providing the necessary support so that this challenge does not become an obstacle. “

“As we continue to manage and recover from the challenges of the pandemic, child care continues to be a top priority to strengthen our economy and our workforce. ” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “We know that affordable, reliable and quality child care is especially essential for working mothers who have been disproportionately affected by the impacts of the pandemic. We are committed to doing all we can to strengthen and support every segment of child care in New Jersey. We also thank our Congressional delegation for their hard work and contribution in bringing these dollars to New Jersey families. “

The initiative builds on the Murphy’s administration’s previous efforts to support child care and reflects the contributions of families served by the state’s child care assistance program, service providers childcare and various stakeholders through listening sessions and parent roundtables that the department has organized in recent months.

With the announcement of this new funding, Governor Murphy and Social Services will have invested more than $ 1 billion in child care during the administration, after more than a decade in which the child care industry childcare received no further increases.

The initiative relies primarily on US bailout funding allocated to federal social services for children and families and includes the following key areas:

Support children and families by reducing child care costs and putting money back in the pockets of New Jersey families.

  • Continue to help eligible families by covering any additional amount they may owe for fees or the difference between what the state pays and the provider’s fees. This assistance began in September and is now extended until December 2023. These additional payments provide for up to $ 300 for full-time care, or $ 150 for part-time care, per eligible child, per month in addition the rate of child care assistance paid by the State on behalf of the family.
  • Waiver of co-payments in the state child care subsidy.
  • Implement financial incentives to increase the number of child care providers who offer non-traditional hours in the evenings and on weekends.

Recruit and support child care workers

  • To increase the capacity of child care services, bonuses of $ 1,000 will be paid starting this winter to help providers recruit new child care workers and retain existing child care staff.
  • Funding for an additional bonus will be secured in summer 2022.
  • The bonuses will be partially funded by the Day Care Revitalization Fund signed by Governor Murphy, which provides $ 30 million to social services for child care workforce assistance.

Support child care providers

  • Child care providers will be eligible for two new rounds of pandemic stabilization grants to help stabilize and sustain their operations.
  • For licensed child care centers, the availability of grants will range from $ 20,000 to $ 80,000 in the first round, depending on the number of children they serve. The grants will be $ 2,000 for home child care providers.
  • Suppliers can use these dollars to cover their operating expenses such as salaries and benefits, rent and utilities, cleaning and disinfection, maintenance and improvement of facilities.
  • Grants will also be available again for summer youth camp providers in 2022 and 2023 to help cover costs related to COVID and help families pay for summer camp.

The plan builds on the Murphy’s administration’s efforts to strengthen child care in New Jersey through new investments in child care.

Before the pandemic, the administration worked to make child care affordable and accessible through substantial increases in reimbursement rates, including increasing rates linked to annual increases in the minimum wage. The administration has also made it easier for homeless families to access childcare and reduced the parents’ share of the childcare assistance program by 50%.

During the pandemic, the state spent $ 400 million on pandemic-related child care programs, including:

  • Launch of a temporary emergency child care program for essential workers;
  • Provide various subsidies and enhanced payments to child care providers;
  • Implement a temporary program to help families with school-aged children with unforeseen child care expenses due to distance learning; and
  • Pay full-time rates for school-aged children in the state’s child care assistance program because of distance learning. Funds have also been made available to summer camp providers.

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