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Officials tout Grow NJ Kids child care rating initiative

TRENTON – Christie Administration officials today announced rate increases to certain child care providers. An increase - ranging from one to four percent - for child care centers receiving payment through the Child Care Subsidy Program is being phased in over the first half of calendar year 2018.  

It also includes an incentive rate of four-percent up to 24 percent for child care centers that are rated at a three or above in Grow NJ Kids, New Jersey’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), designed to raise the quality of child care and early learning across the state, administered through the Departments of Education, Children and Families, and Human Services.


In total, an estimated $15 million was appropriated in the state fiscal year 2018 budget for the rate increases.


“Safe, accessible, affordable and quality child care is a critical social service component for so many low and middle income families with working parents,” said Elizabeth Connolly, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, which manages the subsidy program through local Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.  “New Jersey values these providers and their continued commitment to improving and advancing early child development.”


There are about 5,000 child care providers in New Jersey that receive just over $300 million in funding for child care subsidies that serve a monthly average of approximately 65,000 children. The Child Care Subsidy Program – funded with federal and state dollars - helps pay child care expenses for families that meet an income standard, are working, in training or school, or in a combination of these activities. About 880 centers currently participate in Grow NJ Kids.


Research shows children who are in quality child care and early learning programs when they are young are better prepared for kindergarten with better reading skills, more math skills and larger vocabularies.


Grow NJ Kids’ participating child care and early learning programs can receive resources to help their programs improve, including technical assistance, coaching, training, and scholarships. They are assigned a star rating based on an extensive review using a research-based tool.


More than 40 states including New Jersey have a statewide Quality Rating Improvement System.  New Jersey began implementing its system in April 2013.





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