Childcare service providers will be paid subsidies based on enrollment, not attendance, under a bill that passed the Assembly last week.
The bill (A4746/S3947), sponsored by Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, would allow licensed child care and family day care providers to receive subsidies determined by the Division of Family Development, based on the number of eligible students enrolled. Currently, those subsidies are determined by eligible students’ attendance during two-week increments.
Dunn called the bill a “historic shift as we…give the priority childcare deserves.” She praised the legislation for being essential to the economy, caretakers, and business owners.
“I am proud of what this legislation does. Most childcare centers are operated by women of color, and those who depend on them the most are women and children,” Dunn (R-Morris) said. “This ensures that the doors stay open, benefitting everyone.”
The state defines childcare centers as places that provide care for six or more children ages 13 and younger for less than 24 hours per day. Family day care providers are those who watch five or fewer children ages 13 and younger in their private residences.
Any provider that accepts state or federal subsidies must comply with regulations, including comprehensive criminal background checks, and health and safety codes.
“The government-imposed COVID lockdowns ravaged the day care industry in this state. The full fall-out from the governor’s policies probably won’t be known for years,” Dunn added. “This bill changes the way subsidies are paid out, offering much-needed, consistent economic relief not only to providers, but ensures their doors stay opened for the families who depend on this care.”