EDA extends deadline for child care RFI to Jan. 22

The deadline to submit ideas to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority regarding ways to increase the state’s capacity for child care has been extended to Jan. 22, the EDA announced.

The EDA, working in coordination with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children and Families, has identified child care as one of the most challenges issues facing the post-pandemic economy.

This RFI seeks information on obstacles and potential disparities that child care providers of all types have encountered managing their businesses, accessing capital and establishing partnerships. The NJEDA is looking to better understand the short- and long-term challenges child care providers are facing in their business operations, including challenges to accessing public resources — including Paycheck Protection Program grants from the federal government and NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants, as well as DHS COVID-19 Provider Grants.

The RFI can be found here.

The deadline to ask questions about the program also has been pushed back. Questions should be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 p.m. Jan. 6 via e-mail to: childcarerfi@njeda.com. The subject line of the e-mail should state: “Questions-2020-RFI-OET-COVID19-Childcare-116.”

Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on the EDA’s website by Jan. 13.

The EDA feels the input gathered will help strengthen the state’s child care sector by identifying strategies, programs or other initiatives that could shore up critical resources as the state continues to respond to the pandemic. The EDA also is requesting ideas on solutions to these challenges, including training and technical assistance programs for child care providers on business operations; expanded partnerships among providers; and funding sources to support child care operations.

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said child care providers are critical to the strength and resilience of our economy.

“Gov. (Phil) Murphy has been unwavering in his commitment to rebuilding our state’s economy in an equitable manner,” he said. “Through initiatives such as this RFI, we are working with our partners in and around state government to achieve that goal.”

DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer echoed the need for access to reliable, safe, affordable, accessible and quality child care.

“COVID-19 has forced many families to adjust their work schedules, commuting patterns and the way their children learn,” she said. “It is essential that they have access to reliable child care within their own neighborhoods and that these providers have the tools they need to operate safely.”