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State and Territory Profile

STATE/TERRITORY PROFILE - NEW JERSEY

This profile highlights a current innovative effort to promote a subsidy system that is child-focused, family friendly, and fair to providers. It also provides demographic information, Early Care and Education (ECE) program participation and funding, subsidy innovation and program integrity information, program quality improvement activities, and professional development and workforce initiatives. Sources and links are provided at the end of the document

Demographics

Total Population 12 and Under
Total Population 12 and Under. Under 3-Years Old: Total 319713, Percentage 22; 3 and 4-Years Old: Total 221307 Percentage 15; 5 through 12-Years Old: Total 914734 Percentage 63
Source(s): U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). In American Community Survey, 2010. QT-P2 Single Years of Age and Sex. Retrieved from American FactFinder: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_SF1_QTP2&prodType=table
Children Living in Working Families
Children Living in Working Families: Children under 6-Years-Old Living in Working Families with one working parent 0.245744510608192 and with two working parents 0.460168956194359; Children Ages 6 to 17-Years Old Living in Working Families with one working parent 0.258265550295616 and with two working parents 0.477544790224788
Source(s): U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). In American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2019. B17024: Age By Ratio Of Income To Poverty Level In The Past 12 Months - Universe: Population for whom poverty status is determined. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=B17024&g=0100000US.04000.001&hidePreview=true&table=B17024&tid=ACSDT1Y2019.B17024&lastDisplayedRow=17&vintage=2019&mode=&y=2019
Poverty Statistics
Poverty Statistics: 0.284218143042121 are Under 6-Years Old and living Below 185% of Poverty; 0.134171945941113 are Under 6-Years Old and living Below 100% of Poverty; 0.256614089853141 are 6 to 17-Years Old and living Below 185% of Poverty; 0.117901996575293 are 6 to 17-Years Old and living Below 100% of Poverty
  Below 100% of Poverty Below 185% of Poverty
Under 6-Years Old 13.42% 28.42%
6 to 17-Years Old 11.79% 25.66%
Source(s): U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). In American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2019. C23008 Age of own Children under 18 Years in Families and Subfamilies by Living Arrangements by Employment Status of Parents: Universe: Own children under 18 years in families and subfamilies.
https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=C23008&g=&hidePreview=false&table=C23008&tid=ACSDT1Y2019.C23008&lastDisplayedRow=17&vintage=2019

ECE Program Participation and Funding

Percentage and Number of Children/Families Served
CCDF Average Monthly Percentage
of Children in Care By Age Group
CCDF Average Monthly Percentage<br>of Children in Care By Age Group. Under 3-Years Old: 30%; 3 and 4-Years Old: 26%; 5 through 12-Years Old: 43%
CCDF Average Monthly Number
of Children and Families Served
Average Monthly number of Children and Families Served: Children 45300 and Families 30200
Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Care. (2020). FFY 2019 CCDF data tables [Preliminary estimates]. Table 9 Average Monthly Percentages of Children In Care By Age Group https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/data/fy-2019-preliminary-data-table-9
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Care. (2020). FFY 2019 CCDF data tables [Preliminary estimates].Table 1 Average Monthly Adjusted Number of Families and Children Served.
    https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/data/fy-2019-preliminary-data-table-1
  • Average Monthly Percentages of Children Served in All Types of Care
    Licensed Providers
    Average Monthly Percentages of Children Served in All Types of Care - Licensed or Regulated Providers: Center 91%, Group Home 0%, Family Home 6%, Child's Home 6%
    Non-Licensed Providers
    Average Monthly Percentages of Children Served in All Types of Care - Legally Operating Without Regulations: Center 1%, Group Home 0%, Family Home 0%, Child's Home 0%
    Note: Unregulated provider data includes relative and non-relative care.
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Care. (2020). FFY 2019 CCDF data tables [Preliminary estimates]. Table 6 Average Monthly
    https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/data/fy-2019-preliminary-data-table-6
    Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)
    • Total CCDF Expenditure (Including Quality):
    $276,468,453
    • CCDF Federal Expenditure:
    $203,737,883
    • CCDF State/Territory Expenditure:
    $72,730,570
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2020). CCDF Expenditures for FY 2018 (all appropriation years). Table 4a: All expenditures by State- Categorical Summary. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/fy-2018-ccdf-table-4a

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2020). CCDF Expenditures for FY 2018 (all appropriation years). Table 3a - All Expenditures by State – Detailed Summary. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/fy-2018-ccdf-table-3a
    CCDF Quality Expenditures
    • Total Quality Expenditure:
    $19,941,451
    • Quality Activities (Set Aside Funds):
    $19,941,451
    • Infant and Toddler (Targeted Funds):
    Not available
    • Quality Expansion Funds (Targeted Funds):
    Not available
    • School-Age/Resource and Referral (Targeted Funds):
    Not available
    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for Child Care
    • TANF – Total Child Care Expenditure:
    $95,250,625
    Bullet icon TANF – Direct Expenditure on Child Care: $23,250,625
    Bullet icon TANF – Transfer to CCDF: $72,000,000
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. (2020). Fiscal Year 2019 TANF Financial Data. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/resource/tanf-financial-data-fy-2019
    ChildCare Tax Credits
    • Tax Credit Federal Total Amount Claimed:
    $2,442,978
    • Tax Credit Federal Number of Claims:
    1,166,860
    • State/Territory Tax Credit Available - 2015:
    Yes
    • State/Territory Tax Credit Refundable:
    No
    Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
    • CACFP Funding:
    $87,643,601
    • Number of Family Child Care Homes Participating:
    359
    • Number of Child Care Centers (includes Head Start Programs) Participating:
    1,193
    Source(s): Food Research and Action Center. (2020). State of the States: Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in FY 2019. http://www.frac.org/maps/sos/tables/sos_tab_cacfp.html
    Head Start
    • Head Start Federal Allocation:
    $126,903,633
    • Head Start State/Territory Allocation:
    Not available
    • Number of Children Participating:
    11,940
    Source(s): National Institute for Early Education Research. (2020). The 2019 state of preschool yearbook. http://nieer.org/state-preschool-yearbooks/2019-2
    IDEA Part B, Section 619
    • IDEA Part B Funding:
    $11,745,805
    • Number of Children Served (Ages 3- through 5-Years-Old):
    14,851
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Education. (2021). Fiscal Years 2019-2021 State Tables for the U.S. Department of Education. https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/index.html
    IDEA Part C
    • IDEA Part C Funding:
    $11,826,579
    • Number of Children Served (Ages Birth through 2-Years-Old):
    15,132
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Education. (2021). Fiscal Years 2019-2021 State Tables for the U.S. Department of Education. https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/statetables/index.html
    Pre-kindergarten
    • Pre-kindergarten Total Expenditure:
    $781,471,254
    • Enrollment (4-year-olds and under):
    55,413
    Note: Total Expenditure includes all State/Territory, Local, and Federal dollars. In addition to 3 and 4-year-olds, some Pre-kindergarten programs enroll children of other ages.
    Source(s): National Institute for Early Education Research. (2021). The 2020 state of preschool yearbook. https://nieer.org/state-preschool-yearbooks/yearbook2020

    CCDF Subsidy Program Administration

    Family Percentile Recent MRS
    Income Eligibility at Determination
    (a) (b) (c) (d)
    Family Size100 % of SMI ($/Month) 85% of SMI($/Month)
    [Multiply(a) by 0.85]
    (IF APPLICABLE) ($/Month) Maximum Initial or First Tier Income Limit (or Threshold) if Lower Than 85% of Current SMI IF APPLICABLE) (% of SMI) [Divide(c) by (a), multiply by 100] Income Level if Lower Than 85% of Current SMI
    3 $93,656.00 $79,607.60 $41,560.00 44.4%
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 3.1.3 Family Size of 3: Eligible Children and Families - Income Eligibility at Determination. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Approaches Used for Promoting Continuity of Care
    • Coordinating with Head Start, prekindergarten, or other early learning programs to create a package of arrangements that accommodates parents’ work schedules
    Yes
    • Inquiring about whether the child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP)
    Yes
    • Establishing minimum eligibility periods greater than 12 months
    Yes
    • Using cross-enrollment or referrals to other public benefits
    Yes
    • Working with IDEA Part B, Section 619 and Part C staff to explore how services included in a child’s IEP or IFSP can be supported and/or provided onsite and in collaboration with child care services
    Yes
    • Providing more intensive case management for families with children with multiple risk factors;
    Yes
    • Implementing policies and procedures that promote universal design to ensure that activities and environments are accessible to all children, including children with sensory, physical, or other disabilities
    Yes
    • Other:
    Described Below
    DHS/DFD authorizes before and after care and pays an enhanced rate for children with a disability. Until recently this enhanced rate only applied to family child care. The special rate now also applies to licensed centers. CCR&R agency staff work with the parent to find a child care provider that meets the parent’s and the child’s specific needs. Through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative, CCDF eligible families’ subsidy is utilized to help provide comprehensive and continuous services to low-income infants, toddlers, and their families. CCDF eligible children that are dually eligible for EHS are identified at the local CCR&R agencies enrolled in this partnership program. The EHS grantees track the number of children and communicate enrollment with the local CCR&Rs.
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Reports 3.1.6 and 3.1.6-2: Eligible Children and Families - Approaches Used for Promoting Continuity of Care. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Increasing Access for Vulnerable Children and Families
    Children with Special Needs
    • Prioritize for enrollment
    Yes
    • Serve without placing these populations on waiting lists
    Yes
    • Waive co-payments
    Not available
    • Pay higher rates for access to higher quality care
    Yes
    • Use grants or contracts to reserve slots for priority populations
    Not available
    • Other:
    Described Below
    Until recently this enhanced rate only applied to family child care. The special rate now also applies to licensed centers.
    Families with Very Low Incomes
    • Prioritize for enrollment
    Yes
    • Serve without placing these populations on waiting lists
    Yes
    • Waive co-payments
    Yes
    • Pay higher rates for access to higher quality care
    Not available
    • Use grants or contracts to reserve slots for priority populations
    Not available
    • Other:
    Not available
    Not available
    Children Experiencing Homelessness
    • Prioritize for enrollment
    Yes
    • Serve without placing these populations on waiting lists
    Yes
    • Waive co-payments
    Not available
    • Pay higher rates for access to higher quality care
    Not available
    • Use grants or contracts to reserve slots for priority populations
    Not available
    • Other:
    Not available
    Not available
    Families Receiving TANF*
    • Prioritize for enrollment
    Yes
    • Serve without placing these populations on waiting lists
    Yes
    • Waive co-payments
    Not available
    • Pay higher rates for access to higher quality care
    Not available
    • Use grants or contracts to reserve slots for priority populations
    Not available
    • Other:
    Not available
    Not available
    * Includes families receiving TANF program funds, those transitioning off TANF through work activities, or those at risk of becoming dependent on TANF.
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Reports 3.2.2a, 3.2.2b, 3.2.2c, 3.2.2d, 3.2.2a-2, 3.2.2b-2, 3.2.2c-2, and 3.2.2d-2: Increasing Access for Vulnerable Children and Families. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Use of Grants or Contracts to Increase the Supply of Specific Types of Child Care
    • Programs to serve children with disabilities
    Yes
    • Programs to serve infants and toddlers
    Yes
    • Programs to serve school-age children
    Yes
    • Programs to serve children needing non-traditional hour care
    Yes
    • Programs to serve children experiencing homelessness
    Yes
    • Programs to serve children in underserved areas
    Yes
    • Programs that serve children with diverse linguistic or cultural backgrounds
    Yes
    • Programs that serve specific geographic areas (urban)
    Yes
    • Programs that serve specific geographic areas (rural)
    Yes
    • Other:
    Not available
    Not available
    Use of Grants or Contracts to Increase the Quality of Specific Types of Child Care
    • Programs to serve children with disabilities
    Yes
    • Programs to serve infants and toddlers
    Yes
    • Programs to serve school-age children
    Not available
    • Programs to serve children needing non-traditional hour care
    Not available
    • Programs to serve children experiencing homelessness
    Not available
    • Programs to serve children in underserved areas
    Not available
    • Programs that serve children with diverse linguistic or cultural backgrounds
    Not available
    • Programs that serve specific geographic areas (urban)
    Not available
    • Programs that serve specific geographic areas (rural)
    Not available
    • Other:
    Not available
    Not available
    Base payment rates and percentiles
    Age Center Percentile of most recent MRS Family Child Care Percentile of most recent MRS
    Infant $ 723.98/ month N/A $ 670.28/ month N/A
    Toddler $ 717.04/ month N/A $ 670.28/ month N/A
    Preschool $ 585.42/ month N/A $ 526.52/ month N/A
    School Age $ 579.36/ month N/A $ 526.52/ month N/A
    Effective date of payment rates: 5/7/2018


    Market rate survey (MRS) date: 7/1/2018
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 4.3.1: Setting Payment Rates. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 4.2.5a: Setting Payment Rates. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Tiered Reimbursement or Differential Rates
    • Differential rate for non-traditional hours. Describe
    Not available
    • Differential rate for children with special needs, as defined by the state/territory.
    Yes
    • Differential rate for infants and toddlers. Note: Do not check if the Lead Agency has a different base rate for infants/toddlers with no separate bonus or add-on
    Yes
    • Differential rate for school-age programs. Note: Do not check if the Lead Agency has a different base rate for school-age children with no separate bonus or add-on.
    Not available
    • Differential rate for higher quality, as defined by the state/territory.
    Yes
    • Other differential rates or tiered rates.
    Not available
    • Tiered or differential rates are not implemented.
    Not available
    CCDF Co-Payemts by Family Size
    CCDF Co-Payments by Family Size
    (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f)
    Family Size Lowest “Entry” Income Level Where Family Is First Charged Co-Pay (Greater Than $0) What Is the Monthly Co-Payment for a Family of This Size Based on the Income Level in (a)? The Co-Payment in Column (b) is What Percentage of the Income in Column (a)? Highest “Entry” Income Level Before a Family Is No Longer Eligible What Is the Monthly Co-Payment for a Family of This Size Based on the Income Level in (d)? The Co-Payment in Column (e) is What Percentage of the Income in Column (d)?
    3 $20,780.00 $133.89 0.64 $41,560.00 $286.13 0.69
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 3.4.1a Family Size of 3: Family Contribution to Payment - CCDF Co-Payments by Family Size. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Family Contribution to Payment
    • No, the Lead Agency does not waive family contributions/co-payments.
    Not available
    • Yes, the Lead Agency waives family contributions/co-payments for families with an income at or below the Federal poverty level for families of the same size.
    Yes
    • Yes, the Lead Agency waives family contributions/co-payments for families who are receiving or needing to receive protective services, as determined by the Lead Agency for purposes of CCDF eligibility. Describe the policy and provide the policy citation..
    Yes
    • Describe contributions/co-payments for families who are receiving or needing to receive protective services
    Children who are under DCP&P supervision are eligible to receive subsidized assistance or services whenever child care is required as part of a case treatment plan. If family income exceeds the income eligibility level, services may be provided without regard to income and the co-payment is assessed based upon the highest amount indicated in the appropriate child care co-payment scale for the size of the family. For children who are in paid foster placement, the co-payment is assessed based on the income of the child. Since in most cases, the child has no income, the assessed child care co-payment is almost always $0. For children under the supervision of DCP&P who are residing with a related caregiver, para-foster care provider or in their own home with their parents, the co-payment is assessed on the basis of family size and income. If it has been determined that payment of the full co-payment amount will cause undue hardship to the family or place the child, the siblings or the protective service case plan in jeopardy, the DCP&P Case Manager may reduce or waive the co-payment on a case-by-case basis. (DFDI 16-07-02).  This rule is based on administrative regulations at NJAC 10:15-9.1(f) which can be assessed online at https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/providers/rulefees/regs/
    The Rule Name is entitled “10:15 Child Care Services” on the list provided.
    • Yes, the Lead Agency waives family contributions/co-payments for other criteria established by the Lead Agency. Describe the policy and provide the policy citation
    Not available
    • Describe contributions/co-payments for other criteria (See table below)
    Not available
    Not available
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 3.4.4: Family Contribution to Payment - Family Contribution to Payment. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.

    Health and Safety

    Child-Staff Ratios by Group Size by Age of Children for Licensed Child Care Centers
    Age of Children Child-Staff Ratio Group Size
    Infant (11 months) 4:1 12
    Toddler (35 months) 10:1 20
    Preschool (59months) 10:1 20
    School-age (6 years) 15:1 30
    School-age (10 years and older) 15:1 30
    If any of the responses above are different for exempt child care centers, describe which requirements apply: Described Below
    N/A
    Source(s): National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance. (2021). 2020 Child Care Licensing Study: Analysis of child care licensing regulations. [Unpublished data].

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 5.2.1a-5_6_7: Standards on ratios, group sizes, and qualifications for CCDF providers.– exempt child care centers. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.

    Quality Improvement

    Use of Quality Funds
    Yes/No CCDF Funds Other Funds Other (describe)
    Supporting the training and professional development of the child care workforce Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Developing, maintaining, or implementing early learning and developmental guidelines Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Developing, implementing, or enhancing a tiered quality rating and improvement system Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Improving the supply and quality of child care services for infants and toddlers Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Establishing or expanding a statewide system of CCR&R services Yes Yes Yes Using a combination of State of Race to the Top Funding, NJ has developed a system that will house all licensing and workforce registry activities. The new NJ Workforce Registry will allow early care and education professionals to track their education and professional development activities. TCC Software Solutions and DFD entered into an Agreement in October 2016 to create a data system that supports facility and staff licensing, child care facility quality rating, professional development, and the ongoing monitoring of child care and early learning programs. With this new system in development, the role of the CCR&Rs has been expanded (from a mostly manual process to a systemically driven one). CCR&Rs will now be charged with managing systemic components of the licensing process for certain providers as well as the systemic components of the professional development process.
    Facilitating compliance with state/territory requirements for inspection, monitoring, training, and health and safety standards Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Evaluating and assessing the quality and effectiveness of child care services within the state/territorys Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Supporting accreditation Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Supporting state/territory or local efforts to develop high-quality program standards relating to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Other activities determined by the state/territory to improve the quality of child care services and which measurement of outcomes related to improved provider preparedness, child safety, child well-being, or kindergarten entry is possible Yes Yes Yes Described Below
    Use of Quality Funds - Continued
    Other (describe)
    Supporting the training and professional development of the child care workforce DHS/DFD and DOE entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Rutgers University. The purpose of the MOU is to continue a study of classroom quality in Kindergarten through Third Grade classrooms, and to continue work supporting materials and trainings for First through Third Grade Guidelines.

    In addition, DFD has entered into an agreement with Rutgers University, School of Social Work, and Institute for Families to handle all logistical aspects of training related to Grow NJ Kids. The agreement took effect April of 2016. Ongoing supports for the Environment Rating Scale (ERS) sustainability have been instituted in 2017 along with reliability training for the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS- 3). In late 2017, NJ hosted reliability training for the Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS-3) and began using the tool for rating infant and toddler programs in July of 2018.

    In July 2015, four regional technical assistance centers were created. These centers are charged with providing intensive training and technical assistance based on the needs of the program. Training and technical assistance topics includes social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children, training on behavior management, family engagement, developmentally and culturally appropriate curriculum, providing access to comprehensive services to support learning and development, caring for children with disabilities. This has allowed NJ to move to a multi-tiered approach to assist programs through the process more efficiently and effectively.
    Developing, maintaining, or implementing early learning and developmental guidelines Through a memorandum of understanding, William Paterson University created Preschool Classroom Implementation guidelines based on the latest research, and developed corresponding videos to support implementation with funding provided by the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Grant. The three videos support the implementation of the new guidelines by highlighting best practices in regards to:
    • Environment;
    • Intentional Teaching/Interactions (focus on literacy);
    • Infusing math.
    Existing NJDOE guidelines ( NJ’s Birth to Three Early Learning Standards and NJ Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards) were reviewed to ensure they align and complement the NJ Kindergarten standards. Input was gathered from Pre-k teachers, master teachers, early childhood supervisors and preschool directors.
    The New Jersey Kindergarten standards were also updated to include a revised schedule, assessment map, chronic absenteeism resources, new section on homework, new guidance on out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, retention, the new Approaches to Learning for K-3, NGSS, World Languages standards and a new design (to coordinate with the new Grades 1-3 Guidelines) .
    Developing, implementing, or enhancing a tiered quality rating and improvement system Over the course of the Race to the Top grant, January 1, 2017-December 31, 2017, Grow NJ Kids rated 70 programs and 26 providers. Our rating partner, William Paterson University, participates in the Grow NJ Kids curriculum review process and all outcomes are provided to programs that submit documentation for review. The rating process is both a portfolio review and onsite observation. A point system was developed for each level of the TQRIS and provides an opportunity for programs to implement systematic and systemic change. It also includes specific threshold scores for the Environmental Rating Scales (ERS) for each star rating and curriculum training requirements.
    Improving the supply and quality of child care services for infants and toddlers Enrollment in the QRIS is ongoing, also ongoing is attrition of program. As of December 31, 2017, a total of 1,373 center-based programs and family child care providers had enrolled in Grow NJ Kids. Increasing the number of Grow NJ Kids enrolled programs improves the supply and quality of child care services for infants and toddlers in NJ. There are approximately 1,154 programs and family child care providers that are activity participating in Grow NJ Kids. Over the course of this past year, the Grow NJ Kids team has developed a continuous quality improvement protocol for programs that have gone through ratings to clearly articulate post rating guidance and support quality improvements.
    Furthermore, the Grow NJ Kids administrative team continues to encourage programs to move through the rating process. A rating incentive is available for programs and providers who complete the rating process.
    With Race to the Top Funding, the Grow NJ Kids website has been updated to include a Provider Search for parents looking for quality early education programs. The website is inclusive of all programs and providers enrolled in Grow NJ Kids and as the pool of rated programs and providers increase the ability to filter by rated programs and providers will exist. The website also includes information for families, which includes a checklist for parents to be used while choosing an early education program for their child/children.
    In addition, $1.2 million will be made available to create a new $100-per-infant-per-month incentive for new infant care slots - available for 12 months on top of the base rate and any Grow NJ Kids incentive payment increases - to provide a further incentive for child care centers to expand infant care.

    This initiative was created to address the demand and unmet need for infant care slots in subsidized child care programs and the importance of increasing rates for these services. This new investment is intended to start to close that gap.
    Facilitating compliance with state/territory requirements for inspection, monitoring, training, and health and safety standards DFD is making $6.8 million available for grants to fund child care centers’ acquisition of classroom curricula to enhance the quality of the child care experience as well as physical plant improvements to support healthy and safe environments. Grants will also be used to help programs participate in Grow NJ Kids and support staff training.
    Evaluating and assessing the quality and effectiveness of child care services within the state/territorys Race to the Top Funding was used to develop a memorandum of understanding with William Paterson University to create Preschool Classroom Implementation guidelines based on the latest research, and developed corresponding videos to support implementation. Existing NJDOE guidelines were reviewed to ensure alignment. Input was gathered from Pre-k teachers, master teachers, early childhood supervisors and preschool directors.

    Based on new research, changes were made  to the following sections: Assessment, English Language Learners, School, Family and Community Connections and the Pre-intervention and Inclusion.
    Supporting accreditation
    The State of NJ implemented a subsidy rate increase for child care centers providing care to infants, toddlers, and preschool age children ranging from one to four percent. An estimated $15 million was appropriated in the state fiscal year 2018 budget for the rate increase. The rate increase was implemented in two phases during the first half of calendar year 2018. On June 1, 2018, New Jersey introduced a tiered reimbursement system of payments that paid quality based differential payments to providers in center-based settings that have a Grow NJ Kids Quality Rating level of 3, 4, or 5.
    Grow NJ Kids QRIS is the New Jersey Child Care Subsidy Program’s quality benchmark and accreditation system for infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
    Payment rates will increase further for programs that are rated by Grow NJ Kids in January 2019. Funding for this rate increase is a combination of federal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program funds, and state appropriations. This new funding is a result of increases in the CCDF.
    Supporting state/territory or local efforts to develop high-quality program standards relating to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development New Jersey continues to promote health standards across all five levels of the Tiered Grow NJ Kids QRIS  (Race to the Top funded). Health standards are organized in the following categories:  Category 1: Safe, Healthy Learning Environments) that are adapted from Stepping Stones: Caring for Our Children. Grow NJ Kids is aligned with nationally accepted practices that promote high quality learning within a safe and healthy environment. Participating sites  must meet standards for the physical environment, i.e., furnishings and classroom conditions; and offer age-appropriate activities/services that promote healthy eating, physical activity and oral health, based on the developmental abilities and capacities of the children. Grow NJ Kids establishes a common set of health standards for developmental, behavioral, and sensory screening, referral, and follow up; and health literacy is also addressed in the levels and categories.

    Routine screening for child development and linkage to pediatric primary care/medical home is an important focus of NJ's work with young children. Screening is also a priority for several major federal initiatives that are currently in place in the state. These include Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS), MIECHV, Help Me Grow (HMG), Project LAUNCH, and Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Grants. NJ has a strong alignment of health service components with the Medicaid/NJ Family Care (CHIP) Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment requirements. In fact, NJ licensing standards for early learning programs require children to have a medical exam upon entry that includes immunizations, and lead testing, thus providing a basis for the Medicaid/NJ FamilyCare (CHIP) Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) program requirements.
    Other activities determined by the state/territory to improve the quality of child care services and which measurement of outcomes related to improved provider preparedness, child safety, child well-being, or kindergarten entry is possible DFD monitored and updated the NJ Enterprise Analysis System for Early Learning (NJ-EASEL) data system Project Schedule through ongoing planning sessions, to continue to streamline activities and keep the project within scope, on time and within budget, for the initial NJ-EASEL implementation. This NJ-EASEL Phase 1 implementation is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018, as a result of receiving approval of the No-Cost Extension. We also completed the NJ-EASEL Sustainability Plan, following vetting by the NJ-EASEL Policy & Data Governance Council, and review and approval by the NJ-EASEL Steering Committee. The NJ-EASEL Sustainability Plan was then incorporated into the overall RTT-ELC NJ Sustainability plan (Race to the Top has been the main source of funding for this initiative).
    Source(s):
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Reports 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-1: Use of Quality Funds - Supporting the training and professional development of the child care workforce. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-2: Use of Quality Funds - Developing, maintaining, or implementing early learning and developmental guidelines. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-3: Use of Quality Funds - Developing, implementing, or enhancing a tiered quality rating and improvement system. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-4: Use of Quality Funds - Improving the supply and quality of child care services for infants and toddlers. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-5: Use of Quality Funds - Establishing or expanding a statewide system of CCR&R services. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-6: Use of Quality Funds - Facilitating compliance with state/territory requirements for inspection, monitoring, training, and health and safety standards. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-7: Use of Quality Funds - Evaluating and assessing the quality and effectiveness of child care services within the state/territory. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-8: Use of Quality Funds - Supporting accreditation. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-9: Use of Quality Funds - Supporting state/territory or local efforts to develop high-quality program standards relating to health, mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and physical development. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 7.2.1 and 7.2.1-10: Use of Quality Funds - Other activities determined by the state/territory to improve the quality of child care services and which measurement of outcomes related to improved provider preparedness, child safety, child well-being, or kindergarten entry is possible. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Outreach to Families with Limited English Proficiency
    Application in other languages (application document, brochures, provider notices) Yes
    Informational materials in non-English languages Yes
    Website in non-English languages Yes
    Lead Agency accepts applications at local community-based locations Yes
    Bilingual caseworkers or translators available Yes
    Bilingual outreach workers Yes
    Partnerships with community-based organizations Yes
    Other Not available
    Describe Other Not available
    Not available
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 2.1.1-1 and 2.1.1-2: Outreach to Families with Limited English Proficiency - Strategies the Lead Agency or partners utilize to provide outreach and services to eligible families for whom English is not their first language. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Outreach to Families with a Person(s) with Disabilities
    Applications and public informational materials available in Braille and other communication formats for access by individuals with disabilities Not available
    Websites that are accessible (e.g., Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act) Not available
    Caseworkers with specialized training/experience in working with individuals with disabilities Yes
    Ensuring accessibility of environments and activities for all children Yes
    Partnerships with state and local programs and associations focused on disability-related topics and issues Yes
    Partnerships with parent associations, support groups, and parent-to-parent support groups, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers Yes
    Partnerships with state and local IDEA Part B, Section 619 and Part C providers and agencies Yes
    Availability and/or access to specialized services (e.g., mental health, behavioral specialists, therapists) to address the needs of all children Yes
    Other Yes
    Describe Other Described Below
    DHS/DFD and the CCR&Rs comply with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure the removal of barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing services. Based on the needs of parents, reasonable accommodations are made, such as using Interpreter Services and the Language Lines, having flexible office hours, and granting extensions to submit and complete applications or documentation. Additionally, information is distributed by mail, phone, and internet and through alternate means if a person is unable to physically come to the agency. Additionally, the DHS/Division of Disability Services (DDS), the DHS/Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) and the DHS/Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH) are all sister agencies in this Department. Executive staff for all of the divisions meet regularly.
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 2.1.2-1 and 2.1.2-2: Outreach to Families with Limited English Proficiency - Strategies the Lead Agency or partners utilize to provide outreach and services to eligible families with a person(s) with a disability. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.
    Consumer Education Website
    How the Lead Agency ensures that its website is consumer-friendly and easily accessible DFD responds to feedback from CCR&Rs, parents, and providers, and other stakeholders in the on-going development of the www.ChildCareNJ.gov website. Over a 2-year period, the website underwent structural changes to improve the interface, usability, and accessibility to users.
    How the website ensures the widest possible access to services for families that speak languages other than English Individual web pages on the www.ChildCareNJ.com website can be translated in over 100 languages.
    How the website ensures the widest possible access to services for persons with disabilities The State’s Web Accessibility Policy 07-12-NJOIT is attached to all state websites, web-based applications, and online services including the www.ChildCareNJ.gov website. The purpose of the policy is to improve the ease with which all users, including those with disabilities, can access and benefit from web-based government services and information. While developing the website, special attention was put into the development of “easy-to-read” and “frequently asked questions” documents with clear, user-friendly language. Some of the information on the website is available in alternative formats other than plain text such as audio recordings (including recorded webinars) and videos.
    In addition, users who are deaf or hard of hearing may call TTY (877) 294-4356 to access any of the hotlines listed on the “Resources” page of the website (voice calls use 7-1-1 NJ Relay).
    Source(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care. (2019). Report 2.3.1, 2.3.1, and 2.3.3: Consumer Education Website. ACF-118 Data Submission Center.

    Footnotes

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