(The Center Square) – Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation to appropriate $100 million to support child care in New Jersey.
Senate Bill 3990 establishes the Child Care Revitalization Fund to provide financial support to licensed or registered child care providers. The $100 million is part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds and goes to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
The agency will make more than half of the funding, $54.5 million, available to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). NJEDA will use the money to provide technical assistance and grants to help child care providers improve their facilities.
An additional $30 million goes to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for grants for child care providers or their employees to support workforce retention. The remaining $15.5 million goes to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for workforce development and to conduct a child care landscape study.
In a news release, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who serves as the commissioner of the DCA, said the legislation will “provide direct funding for our valued childcare providers whose operations were financially impacted by COVID-19.” The money will “help ensure that working families will have access to high-quality and affordable childcare as they reenter the workforce and beyond.”
The federal government sent New Jersey roughly $6.3 billion in ARP “relief funds.” The state previously said it would use $600 million in ARP money for a one-year extension of public education and related services for New Jersey students with disabilities.