As New Jersey continues its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care sector remains a hurdle in getting parents back to work. Dozens of former centers remain closed and those that were able to survive are in need of upgrades and improvements.
Anna Hareza, the owner of ABC Academy Daycare in Bloomfield, says the improvements to her facility are anything but cheap. But in order to complete those improvements and buy needed supplies she says she would need about $100,000. Like so many other owners of childcare centers in the state, it’s a price tag that she just can’t afford. That’s why the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and first lady Tammy Murphy joined lawmakers Wednesday to announce that help is on the way.
“Building on our administration’s comprehensive strategy to help support the state’s vital childcare sector, phase 1 of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program will provide nearly $15 million in grants ranging between $50,000 and $200,000 to licensed childcare centers here in New Jersey to cover the costs of facility improvements,” Murphy said.
The EDA will begin accepting applications for grants for 55 licensed childcare centers on Nov.15.