Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed into law bill A5445, which provides $10 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for child care providers throughout the state.
The signing is the fifth of five events connected to the five-bill, $100 million relief effort passed by the Legislature that is aimed at helping the state’s economy recover from the yearlong pandemic.
Murphy, who signed each during an individual ceremony, previously signed bills that provided:
- $25 million for microbusinesses;
- $15 million for arts and cultural venues;
- $35 million for restaurants;
- $15 million for small business.
Like the other measures, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority will oversee the application and distribution process. A pre-registration for the grant money is expected to open later this month.
The Murphy administration said the state has spent nearly $200 million of its CARES Act funding on child care capacity since last fall. To date, over 3,000 child care providers have received grants to meet new COVID-19 health and safety precautions and stabilize their operations, and a similar amount received enhanced subsidy payments between September and February.
Murphy stressed their importance.
“Child care providers are absolutely critical to New Jersey’s workforce, and the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them especially hard,” Murphy said. “This legislation will help to ensure that these providers can continue to weather the pandemic and remain open and able to meet the needs of so many New Jerseyans who rely on them.”