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Child Care Block Grant Overview

On November 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 into law.  This reauthorizes the child care program for the first time since 1996 and represents an historic re-envisioning of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program. The new law makes significant advancements by defining health and safety requirements for child care providers, outlining family-friendly eligibility policies, and ensuring parents and the general public have transparent information about the child care choices available to them.

Click here to learn more about the Child Care Block Grant (PDF).

The CCDBG Act of 2014 included several provisions related to health and safety, training, and monitoring that states will have to implement for all providers receiving payments from the CCDF program. The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center) has developed nine new briefs addressing the health and safety topics specified in the law.

Click on the pdf links below to view and print:

Professional Development Opportunities

Because the education and experience of child care providers directly affects the quality of a child care program, the Department of Children’s Services offers a variety of professional development and support services to our provider community as well as links to other community resources.

  • Trainings and Workshops: The Department’s Training Calendar offers a wide range of workshops in child development, curriculum planning, developmentally appropriate practices, administrative procedure, health and safety and inclusion. 
  • Spring Child Care Conference: Our annual Spring Conference gives providers the opportunity to have a more in depth training experience and to network with colleagues.
  • Professional Impact New Jersey: The Department of Children’s Services works collaboratively with Professional Impact New Jersey (PINJ) to enhance professional development opportunities for providers in the southern region.  We encourage all child care providers to join the Professional Development Registry in order to track their training and professional development hours.  PINJ’s Accreditation Facilitation Project offers financial support and guidance for providers who wish to achieve a nationally recognized standard of excellence for early care and education programs. For more information or to register, please visit www.pinjregistry.org.
  • Director’s Meetings: The Camden County Child Care Directors Meetings take place bi-monthly from October to June. All child care center-based programs are welcome to attend. These forums offer a perfect venue to learn about new initiatives, receive program updates and also to dialogue and network with colleagues. Meeting notices are e-mailed with agendas.  
  • E-Blasts: Are you an E-Blast Recipient? The Department communicates regularly with the provider community by e-mail to ensure that important information about new initiatives, health and safety and professional development opportunities is shared in a timely manner. In order to receive the latest updates, please make sure that the Department has your most recent and reliable e-mail address. Update your information by calling (856) 374-6027 or by email at Lily.Lim@camdencounty.com.

Family Child Care Registration

In New Jersey, family child care is defined as caring for a maximum of five children at one time who do not live in the home of the provider. The Department of Children’s Services encourages anyone wishing to become a family child care provider to complete the orientation and registration process. Registered providers benefit from the following services:

  • Training, technical assistance and monitoring visits from the Department of Children’s Services Family Child Care Unit which helps to support the provider and enhance the quality of care for children and families.
  • Inclusion in the Department’s child care referral database which assists families seeking child care in Camden County.
  • Eligibility to participate as a provider for families receiving child care subsidies

Prior to registration, and after completion of the Pre-Service training, each prospective provider’s home is inspected to assure that it complies with the Manual of Requirements for Family Child Care Registration (N.J.A.C. 10:126), after which a $25.00 fee is due. All prospective providers must be certified in Infant/Child/Adult CPR and First Aid.

If you have any additional questions regarding family child care registration or would like to become a registered family child care provider, please contact the Family Child Care Unit of the Department of Children’s Services at (856) 374-6317 or Ada.Ortolaza@camdencounty.com.

Click here for our Family Child Care Orientation Schedule (pdf).

Child Care Centers

Opening a child care center is no small undertaking.  It requires a number of skills to operate a successful program including the following:

  • The desire and the knowledge base to provide the highest quality experience for the children entrusted to your care.
  • Strong management and leadership skills to recruit and retain a qualified and committed staff.
  • Sound business practices to operate a program which provides quality care for children, fair wages for staff and equitable fees for families.

For those interested in undertaking this challenging yet rewarding career, here are next steps:

  • Download the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers which can be found at www.state.nj.us/dcf/providers/licensing/laws/CCCmanual.pdf. The manual explains in detail the regulations which govern the operation of child care center programs. 
  • Do your homework, including a needs assessment of what child care currently exist in locations that are of interest to you.  The Department of Children’s Services will be happy to assist you with this information. 
  • When you decide on a location, check with the zoning or planning board in that community to see if the property is zoned for child care center use.
  • You may also want to request a courtesy inspection from the Office of Licensing if you are looking at an existing facility. The inspector will be helpful in assessing the renovations necessary to meet licensing requirements.

As you move forward, the Department of Children’s Services is available to offer technical assistance with curriculum, staff development and training, and other resources related to professional development, financing, and business development. Once licensed, please notify the Department of Children’s Services at (856) 374-6027 or at lily.lim@camdencounty.com so we can add you to our referral database, our mailing and e-mail blast lists. You will then be eligible to participate in the child care subsidy voucher programs. 

New Initiatives

Strengthening Families:

In 2001, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) began studying the role of early care and education programs play in strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect.  Out of this research, CSSP developed the Strengthening Families approach to working with families which has since been implemented in child care programs nationwide.  This approach is designed to build Five Protective Factors in families, particularly parents of young children, which will help them to parent effectively, even under stress.  These Five Factors include:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Concrete support in times of need
  • Understanding children’s social and emotional development

Participating centers receive training, technical assistance and a $400 grant to assist them in their efforts.  In turn, they are required to do develop a leadership team, complete a program assessment on the Strengthening Families website which focuses on seven strategic program areas and receive feedback from parents through Parent Surveys.  By implementing Strengthening Families, child care centers are addressing Goals 1, 2 and 7 of the NAEYC accreditation process

If you are interested in participating as a Strengthening Families Pilot center, please contact the Department of Children’s Services at (856) 401-6430, You can also visit www.strengtheningfamilies.net for additional information.

Grow New Jersey Kids:

Grow NJ Kids is a state-sponsored initiative to raise the quality of child care and early learning throughout New Jersey.  Grow NJ Kids gives child care and early learning programs resources to assess and improve their programs, while providing parents with information that allows them to evaluate the quality of programs and make the best choices for their child. The goal is to create a system that encourages ongoing improvement.

All types of programs can participate in Grow NJ Kids – a child care center, a school- or center-based preschool program, a Head Start program, as well as a registered family child care provider, who cares for children in his/her home.

For more information, please visit the Grow NJ Kids website at www.grownjkids.com.

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