New Jersey Set to Allocate $100 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Child Care Workforce

By: Kaitlyn Kudriavetz, Follow South Jersey Child Welfare Intern

Photo: Jon Bradley | Follow South Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. — Last week, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to allocate $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds to the Department of Community Affairs, which will use the money to provide support to the child care workforce through several initiatives.

These initiatives include grants for facility improvements, business technical assistance, workforce development, and a study of New Jersey’s child care landscape.

“Safe, affordable and reliable child care in New Jersey is vital to our economy and for working families throughout our state, especially working moms who have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic,” Department of Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said in a release. “New Jersey’s child care providers were on the front lines during the pandemic, and the Murphy Administration has been committed to supporting them even before the pandemic.”

The Department of Community Affairs will give $15.5 million to the Department of Children and Families for workforce developments and to conduct a New Jersey childcare landscape study.

Additionally, $54.5 million will be made available to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to provide technical assistance to licensed/registered child care providers and to provide facility improvements.

Another $30 million will be allocated to the Department of Human Services to provide grants to licensed/registered child care providers or their employees, as well as workforce retention and hiring.

“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the inequities created by the lack of access to affordable child care that many working families face,” Gov. Murphy said in a release. “This funding, made possible by the Biden Administration, will assist our child care providers and child care workforce that have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and beyond in our state… This aid will be meaningful help for the many providers and child care employees that stepped up during the pandemic to take care of the children of essential workers and many others.”

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.