Governor Murphy Announces Much-Needed Relief for Families and Child Care Programs
Governor Murphy announced plans today to dedicate $250 million of federal funds to provide assistance to struggling child care programs and families in need of care for their children, and in particular, school-aged children, during virtual periods of the school day.
The announcement, which was made outside of the Edgar Child Care Center in Metuchen, described by the Governor, as well as the Commissioners of Human Services, Carole Johnson and Children and Families, Christine Norbut Beyer, how critical child care was for working families, the economy and for students to return to school.
Included in the Governor’s COVID Child Care Initiative:
The Department of Human Services will provide $20 million for full-day state child care subsidies for eligible school-age children (between the ages of 5 and 13) at child care centers during virtual learning. Normally, child care subsidies for school-age children was only provided for before- and after school care. The funding can be used at licensed child care centers or registered family child care homes, and the payments will be based on the state’s subsidy rate for school-age children per hours of care.
The Department of Human Services will provide $150 million in tuition assistance for families who are not eligible for a child care subsidy but are struggling to pay for full- or part-time care while their school-age children will be learning remotely. Families who have children between the ages of 5 and 13, whose annual income is below $75,000 will be eligible through an application process, beginning in early September. The program will last until the end of the calendar year. Funding will go directly to the families’ child care provider, at a rate based on the state’s school-age subsidy rate.
The Department of Human Services will invest $30 million to help child care centers who provide care for subsidy-eligible children to reopen or remain open, by providing them with an additional $75 per eligible child per month, including infants, toddlers and school-age children. This additional funding will be provided until the end of the year.
The Department of Human Services will provide $50 million in “restart” grants to licensed child care providers and registered family homes that are currently open or will reopen by October 1st to help with additional costs stemming from implementing the emergency COVID licensing standards. The grants, which will range between $2500 and $17,000, will help increase the availability of child care at a critical time for families, the economy and the public schools.