New Jersey Supports Child Care Programs and Families with Differential Payments
The New Jersey Department of Human Services/Division of Family Development has extended Differential Payments for licensed child care centers and family child care providers from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2023. The Differential Payments will continue to provide up to $300 for full-time care, or $150 for part-time care, per eligible child, per month above the baseline reimbursement rate. The Differential Payment extension is intended to support the stability and sustainability of these child care providers, and to provide relief to families who use the State child care assistance program. The Differential Payments are designed to help pay the tuition difference and reduce any other costs or fees paid by families that are not covered by the baseline reimbursement payments. This means that if a provider’s rate is greater than the baseline reimbursement rate, the provider must reduce the family’s cost of care, any difference owed, or credit issued (if monies are owed), by the additional amount received through the Differential Payment. Families will only pay the tuition difference if the total subsidy payment (reimbursement rate plus Differential Payment) does not cover the provider rate.
New Jersey Waives Parent Co-Pay
New Jersey’s Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development Child Care Assistance Program has announced that as of November 1, 2021 to October 2023, parent child care co-payments will be waived. For eligible families receiving State child care reimbursement, the co-payment you have been assessed will be paid for by the State of New Jersey until October 2023.
All Programs Accepting State Child Care Reimbursement Funds Must Comply with CCDBG Regulations
New Jersey must comply with federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) regulations. The federal Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization (CCDBG) Act of 2014 had two overall goals: give working parents access to affordable, easy to get child care, and improve the health, safety and quality of child care and early learning programs through more rigorous requirements.
In New Jersey, all child care and early learning programs that accept, or wish to accept, child care subsidies must comply with the requirements set forth by CCDBG.
These requirements, among other things, clearly define who must be fingerprinted, what kinds of child care programs must be inspected and monitored, and requires that all child care programs complete health and safety training. In addition, specific information about the status of a child care program’s and whether any complaints have been filed are made public online.
The Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development (DHS/DFD) is committed to increasing access to high-quality programs across the state. Providers who are interested in participating in the Child Care Assistance Program are required to be licensed, regulated, registered or approved, meet DHS/DFD requirements to qualify for funding and are required to comply with the requirements under the federal law. For more information, click here.
New Health and Safety Requirements for All Child Care Programs Accepting State Subsidy Funds
On November 9, 2021, the federal Child Care Development Grant Act regulations were updated to include new health and safety requirements that pertain to all child care providers that receive State child care subsidy funds, this includes licensed centers, registered family child care providers, approved homes, and youth camps. The new requirements cover the following topics: 1) the disposal of bio-contaminants; 2) food and allergic reactions; 3) pediatric first aid and CPR; and 4) the immunization grace period. For the detailed instruction Click Here.
New Jersey Increases Rates for Grow NJ Kids-Rated Family Child Care Providers
Beginning on March 1, 2022, New Jersey increased its child care reimbursement rate for State Registered family child care providers who are Grow NJ Kids-rated. Please see the new Rate Chart, which includes the temporary COVID-19 family differential payment to providers that is in effect through December 2023.
NJ Mandates Enrollment Study
The Department of Human Services/Division of Family Development is conducting a study that compares the cost of basing child care assistance program payments on attendance to the cost of enrollment. All programs that have children enrolled who receive child care subsidy are expected to participate. For more information Click Here.
NJ Announces Stabilization Grants for Summer Youth Camps and Extends Enrollment-based Child Care Subsidy Payments Through August 2022!
Governor Murphy announced the availability of grants for summer youth camps, similar to those offered earlier in the year to licensed and State-registered family child care providers. He also extended enrollment-based child care subsidy reimbursement payments through August 2022. Grants range between $7,500 and $25,000 depending on the number of children enrolled and the number of weeks the camp is open. For more information regarding the summer camp grants, Click Here.
NJ Economic Development Authority Approves the Creation of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Pilot!
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved the creation of the $54.5 million Child Care Facilities Improvement Pilot Program for child care centers and family child care homes. Through Phase 1 of the program, the NJEDA will provide nearly $15 million in grants of up to $200,000 to licensed child care centers in New Jersey to cover the costs of facility improvements. The Child Care Facilities Improvement Program provides grants to New Jersey child care providers for facilities improvements that will contribute to high quality early childhood learning environments.
Applicants may own or lease the space that will be improved and they must currently enroll, or have enrolled in the 12 months prior to the date of application, at least one child receiving support through the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS) Child Care Assistance Program. That program provides subsidies to offset the cost of child care for families at 200 percent or below the federal poverty line. Child care providers must also commit to enroll in NJDHS’ quality rating improvement system, Grow NJ Kids. While the NJEDA plans to expand the Child Care Facilities Improvement Pilot Program to home-based child care providers registered with NJDHS in subsequent program phases, this inaugural phase will only be open to child care centers licensed by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF). Full eligibility criteria can be found at https://www.njeda.com/child-care-improvement-program/.
To see the governor’s press release, Click here.
Important News from the Federal Administration for Children and Families
Head Start and Child Care Research Dissertation Grant
Two new 2022 funding opportunities for early childhood dissertation research are now open! The Early Care and Education Research Scholars grants support doctoral dissertations researching issues related to Head Start and child care. Both grant programs support work that informs policy and practice decisions and solutions, particularly for underserved/understudied populations, and that uses the most rigorous research methodology.
The full announcements for Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Dissertation Grants and for Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Child Care Dissertation Grants are hyperlinked.
We recommend that potential applicants subscribe on Grants.gov to these Notices of Funding Opportunity to receive notifications of updates. These grant programs are funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.