NEW JERSEY — NJ Department of Human Services Commissioner, Carole Johnson, explains to Steve Adubato on State of Affairs how $54 million allocated by the state will be used to raise subsidy rates for child care, allowing more families to afford better child care options.
Commissioner Johnson explained that by securing these funds, it’s the state’s hope that child care can be found that is both affordable and high-quality. “Good, quality child care is what’s going to help families feel safe and comfortable, and be in the workforce,” she said. In fact, one-third of highly educated American women drop out of the workforce every year, and 74 percent say the lack of decent child care is the primary reason why. “Too many women are not in the workforce because they don’t have confidence in quality, affordable childcare,” Johnson added.
To promote high-quality child care, the state is investing in a rating system. “Child care is a very expensive endeavor and we want families to be able to shop for and get the best and highest quality care,” Johnson said. “So not only have we invested in raising the rates, but we’ll pay more if you choose a high-quality child care center,” she explained.
One particular focus of the Murphy Administration has been infant care, which is often the most difficult and costly type of child care for families to secure. “We will have increased the child care subsidy rate for infants by about 40% in this state,” Johnson said, “to make it more affordable and accessible for families to get that high-quality care.”