TRENTON – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee released legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Vitale that will bolster New Jersey’s child care infrastructure by permitting certain family child care providers that participate in the State’s subsidized child care assistance program and in the Grow NJ Kids program to receive enhanced payments under the tiered, quality-based reimbursement system set up under Grow NJ Kids.
Under the bill, the Commissioner of Human Services will be required to increase State subsidies paid to registered family child care providers that participate in the Grow NJ Kids program, based upon the quality rating of the provider, by the same percentage as the subsidy increase paid to center-based child care providers with the same Grow NJ Kids quality rating.
“Family child care represents a critical component of our child care infrastructure, as it meets a modern family’s diverse needs including a home-based setting, flexible schedules for families (evenings, weekends, and nontraditional hours), mixed-aged children in a smaller group, and culturally and linguistically supportive settings,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex), Chair of the Senate Health Committee. “We must do all we can to bolster what can and should remain a viable, affordable child care option for New Jersey families.”
The number of registered family child care homes in New Jersey has decreased significantly in recent years. In 2017, the Advocates for Children of New Jersey reported that registered family child care homes had declined by 59 percent over a 15-year timespan. This decline continues and in November 2020, there were only 1,308 registered family child care homes reported statewide, representing an additional 31 percent decrease.
The bill, S-2465, advanced out of committee by a vote of 8-0.