BREAKING NEWS: Grants available soon to help improve child care facilities!

On Wednesday, a new $54.5 million grant opportunity was announced by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) that will allow eligible child care programs to apply for grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 to cover the full cost of programs’ facilities issues. These welcomed funds will help to greatly improve the quality of early childhood learning facilities!

The Child Care Facilities Improvement Pilot Program will use federal American Rescue Plan dollars and $4.45 million of state dollars for interior and exterior facility improvement of both center-based and registered family homes. The funding can be used for things such as the purchase of energy-efficient windows, additional classroom space, playground equipment and child-size toilets and sinks. It can also be used for remediating existing environmental hazards. A complete list of eligible uses can be found here.

The first phase of the program will begin this summer when the EDA will provide nearly $15 million in grants to licensed child care centers to cover the full cost of facility improvements. Grant applications will become available later this spring. In order to ensure that underserved communities are benefiting from the funding, approximately 40% of the Phase One dollars will be used to support child care providers located in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts. Funding availability to registered family homes is scheduled to begin during future program phases. 

In order for a child care program to be eligible, applicants:

· May own or lease the space that will be improved;

· Must currently enroll, or have enrolled in the 12 months prior to the date of application, at least one child receiving support through the New Jersey Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program; and

· Must commit to enrolling in New Jersey Department of Human Services’s quality rating improvement system, Grow NJ Kids.

ACNJ will continue to provide updates on the grant process as additional information becomes available.