Senators Applaud $700M in Aid to Expand Child Care, Increase Worker Pay and Assist Parents
Sweeney, Ruiz, Vitale, Addiego, Gopal: New Jersey parents will benefit from allocation of federal funds to improve child care
Trenton – Senators Steve Sweeney, M. Teresa Ruiz, Joe Vitale, Dawn Addiego and Vin Gopal today applauded the announcement that $700 million in federal aid from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will be used to support and expand child care, improve worker pay and recruitment, and provide financial assistance to parents.
“The availability of quality child care that is affordable and reliable is one of the most vital needs of working families,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “It is critical for the health and safety of young children, their educational preparation for schools, and the ability of parents to remain in the workforce knowing that their children are well cared for. This federal support comes at a critical time as child care providers contend with near-crisis conditions caused by the coronavirus. The aid will be put to use in meaningful and productive ways. I applaud New Jersey’s Congressional delegation for delivering this aid in a timely way.”
“Our child care infrastructure has always been a critical component to the development of a child’s academic and social skills and as a resource to every working family in New Jersey. Nothing more has been true, as we saw during the pandemic. This funding can ensure that centers remain open, that they are supported and resourced and that they have the tools they need to hire individuals,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Senate Education Committee. “I am grateful to President Biden and our federal representatives for recognizing the importance of this issue.”
“Child care providers have experienced some of the most traumatic consequences of the coronavirus crisis,” said Senator Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Senate Health Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “This funding will help provide the resources they so desperately need to operate, to pay fair wages and provide services that are needed by working families. Quality child care is a lynchpin of our recovery from the pandemic as well as a basic need for families.”
“Like all small businesses, our child care providers have struggled over the last 18 months due to reduced enrollment and capacity limits,” said Senator Dawn Addiego (D-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden). “This funding will go a long way towards ensuring parents have the support they need to return to the office while also allowing providers to regain their footing and recoup some of their losses.”
“No one has felt quite the level of pandemic-related stress in the same way as working parents with young children, and the child care providers who have tried, under often difficult circumstances to meet the needs of those families,” said Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth). “The resources called for in this allocation by the governor will bring immediate and day-to-day practical relief for parents, workers and child care providers, and offer a certain stability in an area of our social safety net that has been severely frayed over the past 18 months.”