Federal program will provide funding to bring more home-based child care to New Jersey

Working parents in Morris County may soon have an easier time getting affordable child care once a new program expands home-based day care offerings using federal funds.
Parents across New Jersey say that reliable child care can be essential.
Nelson Montoya, of Rockaway, sends his daughter to Parsippany Child Day Care Center.
“I can say that this place makes a difference in our life. And we are truly thankful,” Montoya says. “[My daughter’s] been growing a lot. She's ready for kindergarten in terms of curriculum. They follow the curriculum, she knows spelling, she knows her numbers.”
Parents like Montoya are among the fortunate ones. But a new federal program is promising millions for home-based child care and they're recruiting.
“The program is working. I see the positive results every day,” says Twyla Bennet, a home-based day care provider.
Just over $1 million in federal money will be used to hire 10 new home-based child care providers, with an anchor at the Parsippany Day Care Center, to help provide day care services to the state's poorest working families.
“This pilot program is going to show we really can transform the whole child care system across the country,” says New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy.
Murphy and Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill said the idea was born in the depths of the pandemic, but will continue. They say it can make the difference for working mothers.
“So when we can support working moms, when we can support families, we really are supporting the future of our children,” says Sherrill.
Officials also say they want to expand available child care into areas of the state it is hard to find. They call those areas “child care deserts.”
United Way of Northern New Jersey says that 37% of the 22,000 families with children in Sherrill's district live paycheck-to-paycheck.