Word of new state aid for child care costs comes not a moment too soon. As a recent poll showed, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed many New Jerseyans out of the workforce, not alone because of the pandemic’s direct economic effects but also because of the difficulty of finding affordable child care. The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that more than one in 10 (14%) of parents of young children had quit their jobs to deal with child care.
New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson has announced that as of Oct. 1, families with incomes up to $150,000 — and children aged 5 to 13 years — are now eligible for a new COVID-19 school-age tuition assistance program; the initial income limit for the $150 million program was $75,000. Families with children in remote schooling could be eligible for up to $1,900 in full-time child care assistance through Dec. 30. Part-time assistance is also available.
Families can apply for the assistance by completing the online application at childcarenj.gov/COVID19. Those applying need proof of income and a notice or announcement from their child’s school of a remote learning schedule including hours. The assistance is paid directly to the family’s selected licensed child care centers or registered family child care provider.