Today Cecilia Zalkind, President and CEO of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), released the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s conditional veto to the A4746 / S3947, legislation to make the policy permanent. payment of a subsidy for childcare based on children’s enrollment, rather than attendance.
âDespite strong support from child care providers, parents and lawmakers, Governor Murphy has conditional vetoed A4746 / S3947, which would require the state to provide child care subsidies in depending on the registration of children rather than their presence. Advocates for Children of New Jersey is very disappointed with the decision. For child care providers, enrollment-based payment provides an essential source of reliable funding to help stabilize programs accepting children from eligible low-income families. During COVID, this temporary measure proved to be the most important political action to support and stabilize New Jersey’s child care system. The public health crisis only amplified the instability inherent in the attendance payment structure and making this policy permanent would have solved this long-standing problem.
âWe recognize that New Jersey has made significant investments in our state’s child care system, but increasing operating costs, such as cleaning and staff costs to keep children and children safe. employees, and a growing personnel crisis, caused by programs’ inability to pay competitive wages, puts this vulnerable industry at risk.
âThe veto message recommends extending this payment policy for an additional six months, continuing this temporary support to child care providers, but a long-term payment solution is needed. The conditional veto forces the Department of Social Services (DHS) to conduct a year-long study to compare the costs of attendance-based payments versus enrollment and make recommendations for a more stable approach. ACNJ urges DHS to complete the study as soon as possible and include potential alternatives to ensure the long-term stability of the child care system.
âChild care is essential, not only for working families, but also for the recovery and growth of the New Jersey economy. This bill has taken an important step forward in ensuring the stability of this essential system, by treating child care as the public good that it is.
âACNJ commends the sponsors of this legislation, Senator Vitale, MP Mosquera and MP Lopez, for their leadership in supporting child care and the children and families it cares for and educates.
Advocates for Children of New Jersey is a statewide nonprofit children’s research and action organization committed to giving every child the chance to grow up safe, healthy and educated.
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