The Murphy administration’s recent announcement regarding the expansion of funding for childcare by $38 million is great news for New Jersey and advocates for children in the state. As one of the largest providers of early education, the YMCA provides high-quality affordable childcare for more than 400 school-age childcare sites and offers 90 early education programs across the state.
The Y is a community-anchored institution that offers quality care and services to over 650,000 New Jersey children. Each year, the Y provides state-subsidized childcare and financial assistance to families that need and frankly deserve a responsive, safe and developmentally stimulating environment to send their children.
The state’s lack of investment in childcare has long been a growing concern. For too long, childcare facilities and early care centers have been underfunded, especially for infants, putting New Jersey’s infant subsidy rate among the lowest in the nation.
The growing disparity between the state childcare subsidy and the true cost of providing care has taken a financial toll and jeopardizes quality. Add on rising staffing costs, which — coupled with increased hiring and training criteria required without comparable financial support — are putting programs on the brink of closure and placing working families at risk of losing the childcare services they rely upon.
The latest $38 million investment in childcare through increased funding to the Childcare Development Fund is an important step in ensuring working families in New Jersey continue to have access to high-quality childcare.
We applaud Gov. Murphy and the Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Murphy for their leadership on this critical issue. We at the Y, along with other advocates for children, look forward to working with them to strengthen New Jersey’s childcare system. A brighter future begins with investing in the future!