Murphy Administration Announces $83 Million Additional Investment in Child Care & Support for Working Families
Investment Increases Reimbursement Rates by Average 25 Percent for Those in State’s Child Care Assistance Program
Oct. 27, 2021
(TRENTON) – Governor Phil Murphy and Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the state is investing $83 million to increase reimbursement rates for child care providers serving children in the state’s child care assistance program by an average of 25 percent.
The rate increase will be effective Nov. 1, and it includes the $6.4 million rate increase that would have gone into effect on Jan. 1 to help child care providers implement the January minimum wage increase.
“We know that accessing affordable, reliable and quality child care is a top priority for New Jersey families, and it’s critical to our state’s economic health,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “This new investment is another critical step forward to help families and build a stronger future for our state.”
Human Services’ child care assistance program helps families with lower incomes who are working, in school or in training programs.
The rate increases build on the Murphy Administration’s efforts to improve access to affordable child care and support child care providers and workers, both before and during the pandemic.
Governor Murphy and Acting Commissioner Adelman recently announced plans to invest more than $700 million to help parents pay for child care, provide bonus pay to child care workers, and distribute grants and increase support for child care providers. This was the latest in a series of investments that included $400 million in other child care initiatives during the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the Murphy Administration had already invested nearly $100 million into New Jersey’s child care assistance program – after child care reimbursement rates had remained relatively flat for a decade.
“The Murphy Administration continues making significant investments in child care because child care is crucial to a strong economy and strong childhood development,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “With this latest investment, we are giving families and child care providers even more vital support.”
After this increase, monthly infant care rates for licensed centers will have increased by nearly 70 percent under the Murphy Administration – from about $724 per month to $1,224 and close to 50 percent on average for all other age groups.
For parents who select a provider with a rating from the state’s Grow NJ Kids quality improvement program, that rate jumps even further. For instance, infant care at a Grow NJ Kids program will now be at least $1,326 per month.
“We urge anyone seeking assistance with child care to learn more by visiting childcarenj.gov and contacting your local county Child Care Resource and Referral Agency,” said Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs Human Services’ Division of Family Development, which oversees the child care program. “We are here to support families with information about applying for assistance and finding quality child care.”