We’ve been keeping our eyes open for any developments in the unfolding process, and there are some recent developments. As we first announced back in October and followed up on last week, childcare providers and their employees can now take some steps to get closer to receiving those grants soon to be made available by the state.
As I’ve already noted in past posts, this will not be without some effort from providers and their employees. As I’ve also noted, this information is being released by the state in drips and drabs, but it does appear to be forthcoming.
This week, I will share the most recent information the state has provided and where you can go to get at it.
NJ Has Opened The Grant Application Process for Childcare Providers
Childcare providers can now apply for the two $1,000 bonuses on behalf of their recent hires or long-term employees. This requires logging on to the NJCCIS portal and filling out the necessary applications.
If there’s any confusion about the application process, we released a post on this topic last week. You can also continue reading below to find the video resources the state has recently made available.
NJ State Provided Informational Videos
Before getting into any sort of editorial details, here is the link to the various videos the state has provided.
Before anything else, including watching these instructional videos, again, both providers and employees should or should have already created and updated their accounts on the NJCCIS website, which can be done here.
I cannot stress this point strongly enough, as all parties trying to collect their grants will hit a wall if their profile/account is not updated and accurate. I understand the modern world, particularly the post-COVID world, has felt like a never-ending stream of “sign up for our app” for everything from healthcare down to ordering a cup of coffee, but this is an account you’re going to want to have signed up for, I assure you.
Employee Training Requirements
The state has made it abundantly clear that in order to qualify for the grants, there are several certifications that employees will need to first obtain. To be even more specific, these are just outright requirements. Even if, for some peculiar reason, you don’t want the $2,000 the state is offering, the state is still requiring childcare workers to get certified.
Some of these certification programs will be provided free of charge and require only time and effort on the part of those signing up. One of the programs that focuses on pediatric CPR training has a cost, although the specific price has not been detailed yet.
All information about these programs can be found on the providers’ page of the Childcare NJ website.
Home-Based Childcare Providers
For those who operate childcare services out of their homes, the state requires you to complete a mandatory training course. Again, all information can be found on the same page as linked to above.
Additional Technical Assistance For Grant Process
Beyond the resources that have already been provided, the state is hosting online seminars in the coming weeks. Links to these seminars are available here, and you’re strongly encouraged to check the site as soon as possible as the state has noted that they are on a first-come-first-served basis.
Fortunately, for anything that isn’t clarified by the seminars themselves, there will be question and answer sessions in what NJ is referring to as “Virtual Office Hours.”
It appears the state has been very thorough in ensuring that all possible uncertainties will be eliminated by the number of informational channels and resources they have set up.
The Takeaway About the NJ Childcare Grants
The biggest portion of the grants ($20,000-$80,000) that have been promised for licensed childcare providers have yet to materialize; it appears that the state is releasing the funds in a very piecemeal fashion.
While that might cause some frustration to those who see the assistance as forever promised and never arriving, I implore you to simply do what you can with what you have with where you are.
Based on nothing other than my understanding of how government resources are usually distributed, it’s often that those that were first to sign up for any portion of the grant will be first in line to receive the largest portion of it later on.
With that in mind, get yourself and employees prepared to receive their $1,000 bonuses. Get signed up for the seminars. Review the links provided above and leave no stone unturned, so when the moment checks are mailed (or direct deposited), you’ll be first in line.