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NJEDA – Phase One of the Program has Approved Over $27 Million in Funding for 134 Child Care Centers to Date  

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board on Wednesday approved Phase Two of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program. The $5 million program will provide grants between $10,000 and $20,000 to registered Family Child Care homes (FCCs) to purchase furniture, fixtures, and equipment, supporting the improvement of health, safety, accessibility, and quality in the child care environment. New Jersey is home to over 1,300 registered FCCs, serving 6,500 children across all 21 counties.

“When working parents have access to safe, high-quality child care, families thrive,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Enabling providers to make upgrades and improve their quality of care through phase two of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program will not only give parents peace of mind, it will also grow our state’s number of high quality child care providers and get us closer to Nurture NJ’s goal of becoming the safest and most equitable state to deliver and raise a child.”

“A thriving child care sector is essential to Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger and more inclusive economy. So many working families depend on Family Child Care homes for the safety and enrichment of their children,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Phase Two of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program expands eligibility to include these vital home-based operations, ensuring that registered FCCs all over New Jersey have access to the resources needed to provide quality child care services.”

Phase Two of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program builds on the success of Phase One, which has already provided over $27 million in funding to 134 child care centers to date. Child care centers approved through the first phase of the program are located in 21 counties, serve more than 15,000 children, and employ over 3,000 teachers and administrators. Approvals under phase one of the program will continue in the coming months.

“The pandemic put a heavy strain on our already struggling, but vitally important, child care sector. That’s why I fought so hard to pass the American Rescue Plan to bring federal funding back to our state. It was heartening to see NJEDA create the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program with this funding—an effort that recognizes child care is the linchpin of our state’s economic potential.” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11).  “Over the past two years, Phase 1 has allowed child care centers throughout New Jersey to improve their facilities and care capabilities without having to worry about the overhead costs to do it. I applaud Wednesday’s announcement of Phase 2 to expand this great program to Family Child Care homes and look forward to seeing the immense impact it will have for our state and our economy. I will keep fighting to bring more resources back to New Jersey to ensure the stabilization of our child care sector.”

“This second round of funding is critical as it allows children in Family Child Care (FCC) homes to also benefit from enhanced learning environments that are healthy and safe,” said Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), who co-sponsored the Child Care Revitalization Fund, providing funding for the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program. “This next infusion of funds prioritizes 40 percent of grant funding to child care homes located in Opportunity Zones, underscoring our dedication to enhancing quality and accessibility across the state.”

Eligibility for Phase Two of the program is limited to registered Family Child Care homes that have enrolled at least one child receiving support from the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Care Assistance Program. Up to 40 percent of grant funding will be reserved for eligible applicants in Opportunity Zones. For more information, including eligibility requirements and qualified funding uses, click here.

“A thriving, high quality and affordable child care industry is critical for family and economic security, and the NJEDA’s Child Care Facilities Improvement Program is a key component of how our Administration is prioritizing families and child care providers,” said Sarah Adelman, Commissioner of New Jersey Human Services. “We applaud the Phase II expansion of access to capital for quality family child care providers, often in the very neighborhoods where families live and during hours when center-based care is harder to find. The families supported through our Child Care Assistance Program rely on stable, trusted child care providers in order to maintain employment or continue education, and this program will create a supportive ripple effect throughout communities.”

“ACNJ commends the NJEDA for ensuring FCC providers have access to funding through the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program grant. FCC providers are an integral part of the child care community and provide an invaluable service. Centering their unique needs to ensure equitable access is important to their sustainability and demonstrates a collective commitment to their success,” said Dr. Winifred Smith-Jenkins, Director of Early Learning Policy and Advocacy at Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

Article Courtesy of the NJEDA