Federal program will provide funds to bring more home child care to New Jersey

Working parents in Morris County may soon find it easier to get affordable child care once a new program expands in-home child care offerings using federal funds.

New Jersey parents say reliable childcare can be essential.

Nelson Montoya of Rockaway sends his daughter to Parsippany Child Day Care Center.

“I can say that this place makes a difference in our life. And we’re really grateful,” says Montoya. “[My daughter’s] grown a lot. She is ready for kindergarten in terms of curriculum. They follow the program, she knows the spelling, she knows her numbers.

Parents like Montoya are among the lucky ones. But a new federal program promises millions for home child care and they’re hiring.

“The program is working. I see positive results every day,” says Twyla Bennet, a home-based day care provider.

Just over $1 million in federal funds will be used to hire 10 new home child care providers, anchored at Parsippany Day Care Center, to help provide child care to poorest working families in the state.

“This pilot program is going to show that we can truly transform the entire child care system across the country,” said New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.

Murphy and Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill said the idea originated in the depths of the pandemic, but will continue. They say it can make a difference for working mothers.

“So when we can support working mothers, when we can support families, we’re really supporting our children’s future,” Sherrill says.

Officials also say they want to expand childcare services available in areas of the state that are hard to find. They call these areas “babysitting deserts”.

United Way of Northern New Jersey says 37% of Sherrill District’s 22,000 families with children live paycheck to paycheck.

Ryan H. Bowman