One of the important changes made by the Murphy administration during the pandemic was basing state subsidy payments for childcare services on enrollment, rather than attendance.
Now NJBIA and Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) are requesting Gov. Phil Murphy make that critical decision permanent.
Bill A-4746 (Mosquera, D-4) would do just that. It sits on the governor’s desk, having passed unanimously through the Senate and the Assembly in June.
In a letter to the governor this week, ACNJ President and CEO Cecilia Zalkind and NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said there was great appreciation for the Murphy administration’s plan to provide American Rescue Plan Act funds to childcare centers and the recent announcement of a 25% increase in reimbursement rates for providers.
But they also said continuing to base subsidy payments for childcare services on enrollment would maintain improved conditions for a fragile industry.
“(It) remains imperative to provide widespread stability to childcare centers across the state,” Siekerka and Zalkind wrote. “Childcare providers continue to make it clear to the Legislature and to your staff that a return to the previous payment structure of attendance will be nothing short of catastrophic for their small businesses, the working families who rely on them to educate and care for their children and the state economy.”
Murphy will likely need to make a decision on the bill within the next week.
“While the state has committed to continue this payment practice until the end of this year, the current fragile state of the childcare industry, as well as this industry-supported bill remaining unsigned, has caused considerable anxiety and concern to these small businesses, the vast majority of which are owned, operated, and staffed by women or people of color,” they wrote.
To read the full letter, click here.