NJ to spend $ 700 million to reduce child care costs and provide $ 1,000 bonuses for educators

New Jersey will spend more than $ 700 million in federal funds for the coronavirus pandemic to try to reduce the cost of child care in the state, Governor Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday.

The money will be used to help parents pay for childcare costs, give bonuses to childminders and distribute subsidies to daycare centers, he said. The money comes from the US bailout.

“We know that child care is one of the biggest challenges facing families – especially single mothers,” Murphy said during his regular COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

“With these investments, we commit New Jersey to provide the support necessary to ensure this challenge does not become a hindrance,” he said. “High quality child care is good for our children and their parents. “

Eligible families could have the amount they may owe for fees or the difference between what the state pays and the provider’s fees covered up to $ 300 for full-time care, or $ 150 for care at home. part-time and co-payments in the state child care subsidy could be waived.

In addition, bonuses of $ 1,000 will be paid starting this winter to help providers recruit new child care workers and retain existing child care staff. The availability of licensed child care grants will range from $ 20,000 to $ 80,000 in the first round, depending on the number of children they serve, depending on the administration.

More information is available at www.childcarenj.gov.

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Late last month, Murphy announced that the state was offering back-to-work bonuses of $ 500 to unemployed residents on their first paycheck after hiring and that employers are entitled to up to 10 $ 000 in wage subsidies to hire and train new workers. Companies must have 100 or fewer employees and the positions they seek to fill must pay at least $ 15 an hour to be eligible for grants, he said. Its administration calls it the Return and Earn program.

New Jersey’s employment rate was 7.2% in August, up from 7.8% at the start of the year.

The money will come from federal aid and the state caps the program at $ 10 million, Murphy said, adding that at the time, if there was a strong demand, he would consider spending more on the program. finance.

Grants of up to $ 10,000 for businesses are intended to cover the cost of a new worker for up to six months on the job, Murphy said.

According to the administration, Return & Earn will reimburse employers for half of the wages paid for regular hours worked. Total reimbursement will be capped at $ 10,000 per new employee and $ 40,000 per employer. The reimbursement will be valid whether the training takes place in person on the job site or virtually.

Additional information on this program is available at: https://nj.gov/labor/returnandearn.

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Matt Arco can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @MatthewArco.

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