MORRIS COUNTY — Administration officials with the New Jersey Departments of Children and Families (DCF) and Human Services (DHS) yesterday issued guidance for the Emergency Child Care Assistance Program for children of workers designated as ‘essential’ under Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 110.
Through this program, the state will help support child care costs for essential workers. In order to participate, essential employees who wish to utilize emergency care services must complete an online registration form available by clicking here. The State-supported, county-based Child Care Resource and Referral agencies will reach out to those who register to assist with enrollment and placement.
Executive Order 110 directed the closure of all childcare centers except for those on federal property or military bases, family-based centers caring for five or fewer children, and any centers that register to exclusively provide emergency child care services to essential personnel. Following a registration process last week, nearly 600 childcare agencies statewide have been certified by DCF to provide emergency child care services.
“Our essential workers are keeping our state running every day and every night,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We are establishing this new Emergency Child Care Program to support them and their families as they continue to serve the residents of New Jersey.”
“Safe, dependable and affordable childcare is vital to working families, particularly now, as so many parents are being called to serve their state in critical roles during a pandemic,” said DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “These childcare centers are fulfilling a necessary function and giving parents across the state the peace of mind to go to work knowing their child is with licensed, reliable and skilled professionals.”
“Child care providers and staff who care for the children of essential workers are vitally important to our children and to the state’s response during this ongoing emergency,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “We thank child care workers for their hard work and commitment, especially during this difficult time. We urge essential workers who need child care click here. ”
For the month of April, under this program, the state will pay the following rates per week. Once final details are available on federal funds available through the CARES Act, this information will be updated for future months.
State Rate for Emergency Care (Full-time weekly rate for one child)
INFANT – $450.35
TODDLER – $415.70
PRESCHOOL – $415.70
SCHOOL-AGE – $336.00
Families choosing a childcare center with higher rates will need to pay the balance directly to the provider, but such rates cannot exceed up to a limit of 110 percent of the rate the center charged in February 2020.
Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 110 defines ‘essential’ workers as:
Health care workers, including staff working in health care facilities and in community-based services including home health and behavioral health; Law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency services personnel, and correctional facility staff; Individuals employed at emergency child care centers operating on or after April 1, 2020; Staff working for entities that provide essential social services, including, but not limited to, group home and shelter staff; Essential government employees who are unable to work from home, including child protection services workers, child welfare workers, foster care workers, unemployment compensation processing staff, and public health employees; and,
Certain critical workers, as defined by the Commissioner of DCF, at essential retail businesses, as defined in Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders, which includes, for example, grocery store and gas station employees.
More information can be found on the ChildcareNJ website.