EDA looking for enter on strengthen baby care sector

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority, in coordination with Human Services and Children and Families, published a request for information on Friday seeking insights and ideas on building the business capacity and sustainability of childcare facilities in New Jersey.

The EDA said the RFI aims to identify business challenges vendors face when operating on COVID-19. It also aims to identify barriers and potential differences that childcare workers of all types have encountered in running their businesses, accessing capital, and building partnerships.

The answers are due no later than January 8, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

(Read the RFI here.)

EDA officials said they are also trying to better understand the short- and long-term challenges childcare workers face in their business operations, including challenges in accessing public resources – like the paycheck protection program, NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants, DHS COVID-19 provider grants – and private capital.

NJEDA is also soliciting ideas for solutions to these challenges, including training and technical assistance programs for in-business childcare workers. expanded partnerships between providers; and sources of funding to support childcare activities.

Tim Sullivan, CEO of the EDA, said the contributions raised would help strengthen the state’s childcare sector by identifying strategies, programs, or other initiatives that could sustain critical resources if the state continues to respond to the pandemic.

“Today we have taken an important step to address the longstanding challenges facing childcare workers and the new barriers created by the ongoing pandemic,” said Sullivan. “Childcare workers are critical to the strength and resilience of our economy. Governor (Phil) Murphy has been steadfast in helping rebuild our state’s economy fairly. Through initiatives like this RFI, we work with our partners in and around the state government to achieve this goal. “

The RFI is asking for facilities from institutions such as childcare providers. Providers of technical assistance for childcare; Childcare organizations; Business and entrepreneurship support organizations; Childcare resource and referral agencies; Community development financial institutions that provide loans and / or financial assistance to childcare facilities; Political and academic researchers; and foundations and philanthropic initiatives that support childcare. The EDA is also interested in hearing perspectives from organizations that may have technical support for childcare workers in New Jersey.

DHS Commissioner Carole Johnson said childcare was essential to both our economic recovery and the development of our children.

“The Murphy administration has worked hard to support the childcare needs of working families and the providers serving them during this ongoing public health crisis with increased funding, tuition and grants, but more work is needed,” she said. “We are excited to have worked with NJEDA and DCF on this RFI to help NJEDA learn how to use its strengths to best support childcare when it is most needed.”

DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer reiterated the need for access to reliable, safe, affordable, accessible and high quality childcare.

“COVID-19 has forced many families to adjust their work schedules, commuting patterns and the way their children study,” she said. “It is important that they have access to reliable childcare in their own neighborhood and that these providers have the tools they need to operate safely.”

The RFI is the latest in a series of steps the state is taking to ease the burden on families – especially children with young children – while managing the economic impact of COVID-19, as well as the economic impact on childcare providers. This includes providing personal protective equipment for daycare centers and family child carers, waiving parental payments in the state childcare allowance program, supporting tuition fees for school-age supervision, and many other resources.

A full list of these programs can be found in the RFI. Click here.

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