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Families and facilities benefit from Social Services Block Grant funding
Trenton – The Christie Administration today announced that 43 child care facilities and 122 children in child care are benefitting from more than $300,000 in Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funding in Sandy-impacted counties.The grants, administered through the Department of Human Services’ Division of Family Development, cover subsidies to families whose child care was disrupted as a result of damage or displacement; storm-related building renovation and repair, and replacement of supplies and materials.

“After the storm, so much was uncertain for families who were displaced or who needed immediate home repairs,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Maintaining or securing safe child care was an essential element in their recovery. It allowed parents to get back to work faster, manage meetings with insurance companies and contractors and know that their child was restarting a stable routine.”

The child care initiatives were made available for Sandy-impacted families and child care programs in the nine most heavily affected counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties. Applications were accepted through May 16, 2014.

“Nearly 50 child care centers experienced damage as a result of Superstorm Sandy – some had to close temporarily to make repairs and restock supplies that were destroyed. This funding helped get them back in business, providing continuity for their employees and the children they serve,” Velez added. 

To date, grants totaling $199,500 have been awarded to 43 child care centers in eight counties - 30 of the centers were located in the hardest hit Ocean, Monmouth and Union counties. Vouchers totaling $122,386were given to 78 families for children whose child care was interrupted due to relocation after the storm or the temporary or permanent closure of a facility because of the storm.

SSBG is a funder of last resort, which means that the requested repair or renovation costs for child care centers were provided only if the expenses were not reimbursed through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance, a Small Business Loan, under a contract for insurance, self-insurance or any other disaster relief funding.

SSBG funding is crucial to preserving the social services safety net in the areas most impacted by Superstorm Sandy. In the months and years to come, these services will have been essential to rebuilding and restoring residents' very basic needs in storm recovery.

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