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1037 In-Home Providers Lobby in Trenton for Accessible & Affordable Childcare

On June 13, CWA 1037 In-Home Childcare Providers, with support from our organizing partners NJ Communities United, joined together for a Lobby Day at the Statehouse in Trenton to urge legislators to pass two bills that would help make childcare in New Jersey more accessible and affordable.

The bills — The Expanded Childcare Subsidy Bill (S2241/A1920) and Extending Funding for Certain Childcare Providers based on Enrollment vs. Attendance Bill (S2239/A3888)— would raise the income limitations so more working families can access childcare and extend payments to childcare providers based on enrollment, not attendance.  Currently, providers receive payments based on enrollment, but this is set to expire in July. Additionally, providers and families are demanding that all existing funding for subsidies remain in the Governor’s budget – current levels of funding should not be cut in any way, which would only send providers and families further into crisis.

“The funding for us being paid by attendance is crucial,” said Jocelyn Tomaszewski, a 1037 Family Childcare Provider based in Burlington who has worked in childcare for 41 years. “We offer very high-quality educational programs, but we’ve been in crisis for a longtime— always underpaid and underfunded.”

Childcare in New Jersey is also costly, ranking second most expensive in the country as families pay an average of 19% of their weekly income on childcare services.

“So many working families don’t qualify for subsidies for childcare, but they don’t make enough to afford childcare,” said Patricia Oliver-Smith, a Childcare Provider also based in Burlington. “I’m here in Trenton today to push for these bills because when our families can afford quality childcare, and our childcare workers are fairly compensated, our communities do better.”

Both bills have been introduced in the Senate and Assembly, and on Lobby Day, workers were able to secure many more sponsors. Workers are determined to keep pressing legislators until these bills are made law.