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Here is our monthly dose of “5-Bullet-Point Friday” a list of NJAEYC public policy stuff we think you might be interested in.

Anything that is BLUE, just click on it for more details

What’s going on in the US – On February 3, 2021, the Administration for children and Families (ACF) announced the next round of federal relief funds for child care, in the amount of nearly $10 billion has been officially awarded to states. With this availability of federal relief funds, states have a critical opportunity to think about what policies are most effective in supporting providers, children and families. Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) stated that as states consider which policies to introduce or extend, they must consider two things: how can they best support the stability of the sector now during the pandemic and which policies will allow for sustainability after COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

To read more click here Federal Relief Funds: Policy Considerations for States in 2021 (childcareaware.org)

ACF Releases Nearly $10 Billion in COVID-19 Relief Funds to State, Territory, and Tribal CCDF Programs | The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov)

 

What’s going on in NJ – Great News for Families and Child Care Programs! – On February 17th, the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) announced state plans to use additional federal dollars to extend several important COVID-19-related child care assistance programs through the end of June. This is good news for child care programs and families who have been hit hard by the pandemic. The program extensions include:

  1. State child care subsidy during the school day for children, ages 5 to 13 years and not just for before and after school care
  2. Child care tuition assistance for children in families earning up to $150,000 and in remote learning. These families were not eligible for the state Child Care Subsidy Program but needed assistance for either full-or part-time child care because their child’s school was on some form of remote schedule
  3. Supporting child care centers: Child care providers will continue to receive a supplemental payment of $300 for every subsidy-eligible child, regardless of the child’s age.

Child care providers will continue to receive subsidy payments based on the number of enrolled children who receive state assistance in their program, rather than attendance. Effective January 3rd, a DHS investment of $12.6 million will help providers pay for increased salary costs due to the minimum wage increase on January 1st to $12 per hour.

To read more click DHS Extends COVID-19 Child Care Assistance Programs Through the End of the School Year | Advocates for Children of New Jersey (acnj.org)

Child Care In New Jersey – Home (childcarenj.gov)

More Good News In NJ: Following Governor Murphy’s budget address, Commissioner of Department of Children and Families (DCF), Christine Norbut Beyer gave positive and supportive remarks during a budget briefing call with DCF contracted service providers. Commissioner Beyer outlined what this budget proposal means to DCF and stated that the budget proposal represents an historic investment in making NJ a stronger and fairer place to grow up and raise a family. Commissioner Beyer noted that the budget proposal “increases the State investment in our child-and family-serving system by nearly $40 million, and increases DCF’s overall budget – the combination of state and federal dollars that are leveraged for children’s welfare and well-being, beyond $2 billion for the first time in the State’s history, or in DCF’s short history”.

To read more click here: DCF | February 23, 2021 – Commissioner Beyer Statement on Governor Murphy’s Proposed FY 2022 Budget (nj.gov)

 

What’s coming up– NJAEYC is looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child beginning on April 10th through April 16th. This is a special year so start planning your creative ways to celebrate your children and families, your community and educators.

To read more click here: Week of the Young Child | NAEYC

 

Something you might like – Zero to Three recently announced the launching of #KidsAreEssential. In partnership with Caring Across Generations, Center for Community Change, Children’s Defense Fund, Council for a Strong America, Education, Trust, Food Research and Action Center, MomsRising, National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers, National Women’s Law Center, UnidosUS, and over 120 other organizations. Zero to Three is calling our leaders to invest in children and families as early as possible and address the economic, health and racial disparities exacerbated by the pandemic. Zero to Three states that our country is at a tipping point and our children’s futures are at stake. As the nation attempts to recover, we must address the needs of our children and families.

To read more click here #KidsAreEssential

 

Quote we’re pondering – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Nelson Mandela

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

NJAEYC Public Policy Team