Feds sending $694 million to help New Jersey child care providers

(The Center Square) – Federal officials will allocate nearly $700 million to New Jersey to help child care providers reopen safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The more than $694.3 million is part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the latest influx in federal tax dollars to the Garden State.

“The struggle for families to find safe and affordable child care during the pandemic has forced many parents, disproportionately moms, to stay home to care for their kids,” U.S. Sen. Menendez, D-N.J., said in a news release. “For those who can’t work from home, many have had to leave jobs and put their careers on hold.

“By giving child care providers the support they need to reopen safely, pay their staff and stay open, and help families afford quality child care, we can get more parents back to work,” Menendez added. “The American Rescue Plan put families first and continues to deliver for New Jersey. This is another step in fully reopening our state and jumpstarting our economy.”

The funding includes more than $427.5 million in Child Care Stabilization funding. The money will help child care providers reopen, keep workers employed and provide mental health services for educators and children.

In addition to the stabilization funding, a Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) of more than $266.7 million for the state to fund child care for low-income families, families receiving subsidies and essential workers. It also raises wages for early childhood workers.

The American Rescue Plan includes $24 billion for Child Care Stabilization funds and $15 billion for CCDBGs.

“The pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, forcing many families to make difficult decisions regarding child care and impacting providers across our state,” U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said in a news release.

The money is just the latest federal handout for the Garden State.

Last week, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A-5445 into law, allocating $10 million from the federal government to child care providers. Separately, some state lawmakers want Murphy to set aside at least a portion of the billions of dollars the state stands to receive under ARP to reduce the state’s debt.

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