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UPDATE (6/10/20): NJ Rules for Operating Child Care Centers and Available Assistance

Child care centers will be allowed to reopen their doors to all clients effective Monday, June 15, 2020. The Department of Children and Families' safety guidelines specify rules which centers must abide by as a condition of reopening, and each child care center must submit an attestation to the Department of Children and Families no later than 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date, or in the case of currently operating emergency child care centers, within fourteen days of the effective date of Executive Order No. 149, attesting that it will follow all applicable health and safety standards.

The Department of Human Services, Division of Family (DHS/DFD) is making grants immediately available to support New Jersey child care centers and summer youth camps. The grant is intended to assist providers in obtaining items they may need to meet the new health and safety guidelines. Items can include, but are not limited to, personal protection equipment (masks and gloves), thermometers, cleaning products and deep cleaning services. Learn more about the Child Care Provider Health and Safety Preparedness Grants at the DHS/DFD website.

All child care centers, including school-operated programs, drop-in programs, day camps, religious education programs, and licensed centers, have been limited to serving solely the children of essential workers since certifying by Friday, March 27, 2020. Child care centers that did not certify that they will exclusively care for children of essential workers have been closed since Wednesday, April 1.

This Order does not apply to “at-home” family day care serving five children or fewer. These Family Child Care providers, registered or unregistered, can also remain open.

Child care centers may access a form at the Department of Children and Families to get certified. If those criteria are satisfied, the Commissioner of Children and Families shall authorize the child care center to remain open or resume operations.

"Essential persons" who child care centers may serve include, but are not limited to:

  • Health care workers;

  • Law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency services personnel, and staff at correctional facilities;

  • Individuals employed at operating child care centers as of April 1, 2020;

  • Staff working for entities that provide essential social services;

  • Essential government employees who are unable to work from home; and

  • Certain critical workers at essential retail businesses.

Updated: June 5, 2020 Source: Executive Orders No. 110 and 149


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