- What is a family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) provider?
This a provider who does not wish to become State registered and is typically providing child care for a family member, friend, or neighbor who is eligible to receive a State child care subsidy. Most frequently, FFN providers care for the children in the home of the parent rather than their own home (in-home), but could be caring for the children in his/her own home. An FFN provider is an individual who has been evaluated and approved by the NJ Department of Human Services/Division of Family Development (DHS/DFD) or its designee and serves no more than two unrelated children or five related children for fewer than 24 hours of care per day.
- As an FFN provider, can I care for additional children who are not receiving funds from DHS/DFD?
No. In order to qualify as a non-registered FFN provider who receives a reimbursement from the State, FFN providers are limited to serving no more than two unrelated children or five related children.
- How do I become a FFN provider?
A parent who has been determined to be eligible to participate in the State child care subsidy program needs to request the FFN via the Parent/Provider Agreement. The prospective FFN provider will then be contacted and directed to the New Jersey Child Care Information System (NJCCIS) portal to apply.
The potential FFN provider would then go to WWW.NJCCIS.com, register, then submit an application under Applications/FFN New Application. Follow the steps that need to be taken to complete the process.
- What documents do I need to provide as part of the application process?
All providers must submit the following: a health care provider’s statement and proof of a TB test for the applicant and any household members who are present during the care of enrolled children.
- Do I need to have a background check?
Each FFN provider applicant and any household members who are at least 14 years of age, except for the subsidy-eligible parent, and any other persons who are or will be working at the home on a regular basis must have a Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check to determine whether an incident of child abuse or neglect has been substantiated against any such person.
Each FFN provider applicant and any household members who are at least 18 years of age, except for the subsidy-eligible parent, and any other persons who are or will be working at the home on a regular basis must have a fingerprint-based Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) background check.
A criminal conviction disclosure is required for all children age 14 and older who reside in the home.
- Must I participate in pre-service training?
Yes. In order to be approved as an FFN provider applicants must attend pre-service training provided by Child Care Connection. This training includes the Child Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and orientation training, which can be obtained in-person or on-line. All providers must be Pediatric and Adult CPR and first aid certified.
- Does it cost anything to apply?
There is no fee.
- Can FFN providers offer 24-hour care?
A provider can not work more than 16 hours straight. If the FFN provider is caring for children overnight, the FFN provider must be present and awake during the entire shift.
- Will my home be inspected?
Yes, in order to be approved as an FFN provider, the home where the care will occur must be inspected and evaluated for compliance with all applicable requirements established by DHS/DFD. At renewal, there would be an annual home inspection and during the year, at least one unannounced inspection would occur.
- As an approved home/FFN provider, will I be employed by Child Care Connection or the State of NJ?
No. All providers are self-employed small business owners. Although FFN providers must adhere to all regulations established by the New Jersey DHS/DFD, they operate as a sole proprietorship. As small business owners, FFN providers operate according to the schedule and needs of the parent. Sole proprietors are required to file a Schedule C with their annual tax return and report earnings and losses.
- Why might I receive a 1099 from the State of New Jersey or Child Care Connection?
Since the State of New Jersey and the County of Mercer both offer eligible families a child care subsidy, a 1099 form documenting payments to the provider on the parent’s behalf is mailed to providers who have received reimbursement through the State’s subsidy program. FFN providers are selected by the parent and, should a parent decide to switch care, the subsidy payment would switch to the new child care provider.
- Why is Child Care Connection encouraging me to become a registered FCC Provider?
In order to care for additional non-related children (up to five) who receive a subsidy from either the State of New Jersey or Mercer County, the provider must be State-registered. The payment rate for State-registered providers is significantly higher than the subsidy paid to FFN providers. State-registered family child care providers can get referrals from their Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency, which in Mercer County is Child Care Connection. Registered providers can also participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
- Where can I obtain a copy of the Manual of Requirements for Family Child Care?
FFN providers must maintain compliance with the key regulations listed in the Manual of Requirements for Family Child Care. FFN providers should familiarize themselves with the Manual. A copy can be found at www.nj.gov/dcf/providers/licensing/laws/FCCmanual.pdf.