The Legislature and Governor Murphy are working on a new state budget to be passed by June 30th and the first increase in the minimum wage will rise from $8.85 to $10 on July 1st.
This will impact child care programs throughout our state because the current subsidy funds in the proposed budget do not cover the minimum wage increase.
Whether you are a child care provider, a parent or someone who believes in quality child care, we need you to show your support for increased state dollars for child care providers who nurture and educate the children of New Jersey families that depend on subsidies to work. Sign on TODAY! We will share the petition and signatures with Governor Murphy and every member of the Legislature!
Dear Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin:
We are child care directors and supporters who are committed to high quality education and care of New Jersey’s young children, and we urge you to increase investments in the state's child care subsidy program to keep pace with an increasing minimum wage.
Currently the State pays a subsidy to allow working parents to send their children to child care during the day. But this subsidy has never come close to meeting the true costs of providing high-quality care. Even small increases in wages have a big impact on our bottom line, when roughly 60 percent of our costs are labor costs (compared with 30 percent in food service and 20 percent in retail).
Advocates for Children of New Jersey estimates that just increasing the minimum wage from $8.85 to $10 per hour will result in a 6 percent overall cost increase for child care providers, requiring $19 million in state funding simply to hold those providers harmless.
We have long advocated for increased wages for child care workers, and the higher state investment required to pay them. Every day we are responsible for providing nurturing, loving and educational environments for our children. Yet child care teachers and assistants have historically been some of the lowest wage-earners in our state.
But higher wages for child care workers must come with higher state investment. Centers that accept child care subsidy are already pinching every penny we have. One, we cannot raise tuition because our low-income families cannot afford to pay it. Two, we cannot cut staff without violating teacher-to-child ratios. And three, we cannot cut hours or benefits for staff and expect to retain high-quality teachers. Many of us who serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable children will be forced to close our doors.
We strongly urge the Governor and the Legislature to make sure those options remain available for families by providing an additional $19 million in the FY 2020 budget to offset the first increase in the minimum wage. It is the only way we see that our programs and the children and families with whom our members serve will continue to thrive.
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If you haven't already registered, register today to attend Strolling Thunder 2019, ACNJ's rally to tell our State leaders what our babies to thrive. Sign up today.
There will be opportunities to engage and learn, fun activities for kids, snacks, and giveaways. Lunch will be served. Families that register and bring a child under age 3 will be eligible to receive a $50 gift card. Register today!