Gov. Phil Murphy announced today that New Jersey will invest $700 million in new funding from the American Rescue Plan into the childcare sector, which he said will be used primarily on families and providers.
Specifically, the funding will be used to provide recruitment and retention bonus payments to childcare workers, assistance to parents to pay for childcare, and to distribute additional grants to support providers.
“We know that childcare is one of the key challenges facing families, especially single moms as they rejoin our workforce,” Murphy said. “Through these investments, we are committing New Jersey to providing the support necessary to ensure that this challenge does not become an obstacle.”
Murphy, who described the sector a “game changer,” emphasized the importance of a “multi-pronged approach” when providing support – both to families who need care as well as to the providers themselves.
“It is money to help families afford it, and it is money to make sure the centers are up and running,” the governor said.
Prior to the pandemic, the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) invested $100 million towards childcare affordability, and, during the pandemic, invested $400 million in COVID-19 relief to help stabilize providers facing closure.
“With the announcement of this new funding, the governor and [DHS] will have invested more than $1 billion in childcare over the course of our administration,” said Sarah Adelman, acting commissioner of DHS.
Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Montclair State University, where she sat down with Murphy to further discuss the role of federal funding for childcare, which is a part of President Joe Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill.
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