Introduction

The federal Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization (CCDBG) Act of 2014 had two overall goals: give working parents access to affordable, easy to get child care, and improve the health, safety and quality of child care and early learning programs through more rigorous requirements.

In New Jersey, all child care and early learning programs that accept, or wish to accept, child care subsidies must comply with the requirements set forth by CCDBG.
 
These requirements, among other things, clearly define who must be fingerprinted, what kinds of child care programs must be inspected and monitored, and requires that all child care programs complete health and safety training. In addition, specific information about the status of a child care program's license and whether any complaints have been filed are made public online.
 
The Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development (DHS/DFD) is committed to increasing access to high-quality programs across the state. Providers who are interested in participating in the Child Care Subsidy Program are required to be licensed, regulated, registered or approved, meet DHS/DFD requirements to qualify for funding and are required to comply with the requirements under the federal law.
 

Providers must comply with these federal requirements:
 
Comprehensive Criminal Background Checks

Under the law, all staff must undergo a comprehensive criminal background check.
Comprehensive criminal background checks include:

  • Search of the state criminal and sex offender registry in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member has resided for the past five years;
  • Search of the state child abuse and neglect registry in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member has resided for the past five years;
  • Search of the National Crime Information Center;
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check using the Next Generation Identification (which replaced the former Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System); and
  • Search of the National Sex Offender Registry.

 
Providers that do not comply or refuse to complete a comprehensive criminal background check will immediately become ineligible to operate as a provider and therefore, will not receive further payment through the Child Care Subsidy Program.
 
 

Compliance with health, safety, building, state and local laws

This is demonstrated by:

  • Life/Safety Inspection with Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing (DCF/OOL);
  • Current Fire Safety Inspection Certificate; and
  • Certificate of Occupancy (CO).

 
A CO is issued by the town in which the building is located. There are three types of COs:

  • E (Educational) for buildings for children 2 ½ years of age and/or older;
  • I-4 (Institutional) for buildings for children younger than 2 ½ years of age; or
  • A-3 (Assembly) for buildings for school-aged child care programs only (I-4 or E may also be used).

 
(For existing buildings used as child care centers prior to the adoption of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (before 1977), see N.J.A.C. 10:122-Supchapter 5-5.1.)
 
 

Ratio and Grouping Requirements

Child care providers must have a certain number of staff for the number of children you are serving. For example, if you are serving infants, you must have one teacher for four children. Under the “grouping requirements,” a specific number of children by age are allowed to be cared for together. To get all of the staffing and grouping requirements, go to N.J.A.C 10:122 – Subchapter 4 – 4.3 and 4.4.
 
 

Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (including immunizations) 

Child care providers must meet health requirements around infectious diseases as specified in N.J.A.C 10:122 – Subchapter 7.
 
 

Unannounced Inspections

Child care programs will undergo an unannounced inspection every year to see if you are complying with CCDBG requirements as well as state health, safety and fire standards.
 
 

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Requirement 

By New Jersey law, staff is required to report child abuse or neglect if it is suspected. Staff must be trained on this law.
 
 

Health and Safety Pre-Service Trainings

All teaching staff, providers, caregivers and individuals responsible for the direct care and supervision of children must complete the health and safety trainings. The trainings must meet Division of Family Development (DFD) requirements and standards and be documented and on file. New hires must be complete training within two weeks of hire. 
 
Trainings include:

  • NJ Health and Safety Basics (Birth to Preschool or School Age and Summer Camp)
  • Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect - Mandated Reporting
  • First Aid and CPR Training (staff/providers may be required to maintain certification to meet state Office of Licensing requirements and regulations)

 

If you would like more information about these federal requirements, click here.

Provider Types
-Summer Youth Camp

Licensing Requirement
-Provider Licensing Policy Clarification