TRENTON, NJ -- New Jersey State Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson recently announced the immediate availability of up to $20 million in grants to assist child care centers and youth camps in meeting health and safety guidelines in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Child care centers were ordered to close on April 1.

On Friday Murphy declared they can reopen on June 15.

Child care centers can receive up to $5,000, while youth camps can receive up to $2,000. The funding can be used to purchase additional cleaning products, personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and thermometers, and other products and services to assist centers in complying with appropriate guidelines.

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"The health and safety of the children served in child care settings and the dedicated staff who nurture and support them is paramount," Commissioner Johnson said. "We encourage eligible child care centers and youth camps to apply for these grants to help comply with new public health guidelines. We look forward to continuing to work with child care providers to support the educational development of the children served and the needs of the critical staff who make quality child care possible."

The grants are available to licensed child care providers and youth camps that comply with updated state health and safety guidance. The providers must be registered with the NJ Workforce Registry and must apply through the New Jersey Child Care Information System (NJCCIS).

Providers who have received funding for these same services from other sources such as the federal government, school districts or private grants are not eligible for this funding.

Additionally, the Department announced that the state Emergency Child Care Assistance Program, which is paying for child care services for essential employees identified in Governor Murphy's Executive Order 110, will continue through the end of June, when the program will end. Human Services also will continue to pay child care centers throughout the month of June for the child care slots for children enrolled through the State's child care subsidy program for families with lower incomes. Payments will continue to be made based on the centers' March subsidy enrollment.

Human Services expects to have provided approximately $125 million in funding to centers for both emergency child care and state subsidy program child care slots. Funding is intended to support families' needs as well as the viability of the child care network.

"We are committed to doing all that we can to support child care during this challenging time," Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. "With these grants, child care centers and youth camps can be better prepared and ready to protect the all-important health and safety of both children and staff."

More information is available at regarding the New Jersey Child Care Subsidy Program.

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