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Child Care in NJ  

Which type of child care program is right for you?

Home Based Settings:

Family Child Care
This type of care is provided in someone's home. In New Jersey, a provider can care for no more than five children, plus a maximum of three of their own children. In-home providers can choose to be registered, which means they meet the basic safety and programs requirements established by state law. This registration also allows these in-home providers to accept payments from families participating in government-subsidized child care assistance programs.

Approved Homes
Approved Homes are private residences approved by the Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Agency and that meet minimum health and safety standards. These homes serves 1-2 paid/subsidy children or up to five children who are all siblings.

In-Home Care
In this type of care, a person comes to your home to care for your child. This provider might offer other services such as light housekeeping, starting or making dinner or driving your child to lessons or play dates. Although you may use an agency to find such a provider, they are neither regulated nor licensed by the state and cannot participate in Grow NJ Kids

Center/School Based:

Child Care Centers
Licensed by the state of New Jersey, these facilities are inspected every two years and must meet basic health, safety, program and staffing requirements. They can care for six or more children from the age of six weeks to 13. There are many types of licensed child care centers, including but not limited to infant/toddler programs, early care and education programs and school-age programs.  Licensed centers also may choose to meet more rigorous, research based or accreditation standards. (There also are license-exempt centers, such as programs that are part of a public school district or private school.)

State Subsidies for Child Care

The Child Care Subsidy Program for low- to moderate income working families and for Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) recipients is administered locally through contracts with community-based Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies.  They also offer parent education regarding child care options, as well as, training, technical assistance and resource development services for child care providers.  New Jersey's Child Care Subsidy Program is supported through an automated system - e-Child Care - that requires parents or their designee to use either a swipe card or the phone to check their children in and out of child care. These transactions will then generate a direct deposit into the account of the child care provider on a bi-weekly basis.

In addition to all-day care, state subsidies can be used for preschool instruction, after-school programs for children up to age 13, and care for children and teens with special needs. 

Work First New Jersey
Children whose families receive cash assistance under the state welfare program, WFNJ, are entitled to free child care. Former WFNJ participants receive subsidized child care for up to two years after moving from welfare to work. Those clients make a small co-payment, which varies based on family size and income.

To learn more about state subsidies, or for help in finding quality child care, call the Child Care Helpline at 1-800-332-9227 or contact your county's CCR&R .

Child Care Eligibility

Child Care Eligibility Chart - PDF

In addition to meeting the financial criteria, you must also be a US citizen and be working.


Apply Here!

To screen for NJ SNAP as well as more than 25 other social services -
click here

To be eligible for NJ SNAP, a single person can have a gross monthly income of $1,815
Two people can have a gross monthly income of $2,456.

Licensing Information

The Department of Children and Families Office of Licensing inspects every licensed child care center annually to enforce health, safety and educational program requirements.  For inspection records or other information on a specific child care center, call the Office of Licensing toll-free: 1-877-667-9845 or their website.

Registered family day care homes are monitored by the Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs), which are community-based organizations contracted by the state in each county.  To find out if your family day care home is registered, contact your local CCR&R.

 For additional child care resources in your area call the
NJ Child Care Help Line at 1-800-332-9227



 Updated: 11/5/15

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