NJ ARP Stabilization Grant
Frequently Asked Questions

 

Overview

In response to the urgent need to stabilize the child care sector, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act included approximately $400 million for New Jersey child care stabilization grants. The funds are designed to stabilize the child care sector and to do so in a way that rebuilds a stronger child care system that supports the developmental and learning needs of children, meets parents’ needs and supports a professional workforce that is fairly and appropriately compensated for the essential skilled work that they do. 

These non-competitive grants provide up to $120,000 for licensed child care providers (depending on license capacity and estimated monthly expenses) and $4,000 in payments for family child care providers. Payments will be made in two installments.

Providers may use grant funds across six categories of allowable expenses to cover costs incurred from September 2021- August 2023.  Expense categories include the following allowable expenses: personnel costs, rent, utilities, and insurance, facility maintenance and improvements, personnel protective equipment, cleaning, and other health and safety practices, equipment and supplies, goods and services, and mental health supports.

The stabilization grants are limited to the following child care providers:
•    Licensed child care centers and registered family child providers existing and operating on or before March 11, 2021.
•    Licensed child care centers and registered family child providers who were temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but who expect to reopen within 60 days of submitting an application.
•    Early Child Care or Head Start/Child Care Partnerships may apply and qualify for a partial grant.

Providers must meet applicable state and local health and safety requirements and must be in good standing at the time of application. Providers must be in compliance Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) required health and safety trainings and comprehensive criminal background checks. 

 

Eligibility and General

Can I apply if I have a pending application for a child care license?
No. To be eligible, providers must be licensed/registered as of March 11, 2021. Additionally, providers must have met the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements including comprehensive criminal background checks and health and safety trainings at the time of application.

I am changing my business name and sponsorship. Do I still qualify?
Providers undergoing a sponsor change are subject to an internal review to determine eligibility and grant award amount. The NJ ARP Stabilization grant is designed to help providers remain open and operating.

Can I apply for this grant if I do not currently accept state subsidies?
Yes. 

What does it mean to be a program that is in “good standing”?
To be in good standing a program must not:
1.    Have any enforcement actions, such as pending suspension or revocation notices, serious violations related to child safety or endangerment; or 
2.    Have any findings of fraud or misappropriation of funds.

If I applied for, and received, financial support from another source, am I eligible for these funds?
Yes. However, providers accepting these funds must ensure the funds are not used to pay for expenses already covered by other federal, state, or local relief funds or grants.

If we received funds from the previous New Jersey stabilization grants are we still eligible for this one? 
As long as you are in good standing with submitting receipts and returning unused funds, if applicable. 

 

Application 

Where do I find the grant application?
The sponsor, sponsor representative, owner or director can find the grant application by logging into their www.NJCCIS.com account and navigating to Grants from their Quicklinks panel.

Who can complete the grant application?
The sponsor, sponsor representative, owner or director are the only individuals authorized to complete the application. 

How long will it take to complete the application?
The application will take approximately 45 minutes to complete and must be completed in one session. For security reasons, your session will expire after 60 minutes and all data will be lost. 

What is the deadline for applying for the NJ ARP Stabilization Grant?
Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2022.

How many applications can I submit?
You can submit one application per facility. Programs with more than one facility (location) will need to submit a separate application for each facility. You will need to enter your NJCCIS ID to start the application. Each facility you are applying for must have a unique NJCCIS Facility ID. 

What information will be needed for the grant application?
The following information is needed:
  • Program Information (e.g., NJCCIS ID and program type)
  • Hours of Operation
  • Enrollment Information (February 2020 and Current)
  • Staffing Information
  • Current Estimated Monthly Expenses 
    • Personnel costs, including payroll and salaries or similar compensation for an employee (including any sole proprietor or independent contractor), employee benefits, premium pay, or costs for non-teaching employee recruitment and retention.
    • Rent (including rent under a lease agreement) or payment on any mortgage obligation, utilities, facility maintenance or improvements, or insurance.
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitization supplies and services, or training and professional development related to health and safety practices.
    • Purchases of or updates to equipment and supplies to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
    • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services.
    • Mental health supports for employees.
  • Banking Information (bank account/routing number)
For what reasons might my application be denied?
Applications may be denied based on a program’s inability to meet eligibility criteria or due to misrepresentation of application information.

Can I withdraw my application if I am no longer interested in the grant? 
Yes, providers can withdraw their application before state approval and the issuance of payment. 

How will I be notified of my grant award?
Providers will receive an email informing them of their grant application status and total award amount within 30 days. 

How does the recertification process work?
To qualify for the second payment (grant balance) providers must remain in good standing and remain open and operating. 30 days before the 12-month recertification period, providers will receive an email to confirm that the information provided on the application has remained the same. Once recertified, payment will be issued within 30 days. 

Will there be paper applications available?
Paper applications will not be available. 



Training

Does everyone who works at my center (even federal work-study students or college fieldwork students who are only working at the center for only a semester) have to complete the trainings for me to qualify? 
Yes. All staff must complete Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) required training. For more information, visit our Training page.

 

Grant Funds

How are grant award amounts determined?
Providers’ licensed capacity and monthly operating expenses are taken into consideration. You will see your estimated grant award amount before you submit your application. 

Will Grow NJ Kids programs receive more money than programs that are not participating in Grow NJ Kids?
No. Grow NJ Kids is not a factor in determining grant awards amounts. 

How will I know how much I should expect to receive?
Licensed child care providers who are open and operating will receive 2/3 of the total award amount within 30 days of approval. The remaining grant balance will be issued in 12 months through a recertification process.

Temporarily closed applicants who plan to reopen within 60 days of application will receive 1/3 of the total grant amount within 30 days of approval. The remaining grant balance will be issued in 12 months through a recertification process.

Family child care providers will receive two payments of $2,000. The first payment will be issued within 30 days of approval and the second payment in 12 months through a recertification process. 

What is the deadline to spend grant funds?
All funds must be spent by August 31, 2023. 

Am I required to repay or return funds if my program closes after receiving funding?
Yes, if a program closes during the grant period (December 2021 through August 2023) the provider will be required to return grant funds.

Are child care stabilization grants taxable?
The American Rescue Plan Act does not exempt child care stabilization grant funding from taxation. State tax rules apply. Regarding federal tax rules, please contact the Internal Revenue Service for guidance at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/cares-act-coronavirus-relief-fund-frequently-asked-questions.

Can the grant money be used entirely on payroll?
Personnel expense, such as salary, wages and payroll is one of the approved expenses. All supporting documents must be on file to support approved spending. 

Will I need to maintain documentation and receipts detailing how I used the grant funds?
Yes. You must keep a record of all receipts/invoices for items or services purchased with grant funds. Your business, center or home may be subject at any time to monitoring and/or audit to determine whether the grant funds are being spent properly and according to the provisions set forth herein. By spending grant funds, you hereby agree to permit, DHS/DFD, the State of New Jersey, and/or the federal government to audit your business, center or home and agree to cooperate to the fullest extent possible. 
 

 

Where can I get assistance if I need help or have more questions?

How do I sign up for one-on-one business counseling/technical assistance? 
The Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development has partnered with the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) to offer training and technical assistance on completing the financial section of the NJ ARP Stabilization Grant application. This one-on-one support is open to all providers. To register for this free, confidential business counseling – visit the NJSBDC website. You do not need to participate in this counseling to be eligible for, or receive, grant funds. 

For NJCCIS account questions, including questions about passwords, contact: 
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 1-800-332-6512

For specific questions about the NJ ARP Stabilization Grant application, contact:
Email: [email protected]   
Phone: 1-855-590-2478

For questions about policies, grant eligibility requirements or if you need technical assistance with estimating your monthly expenses, contact:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-609-588-2300

 
12/22/21