Thriving by Three Grant Recertification for Year 2 Payment has closed.

The recertification period for the Thriving by Three Infant and Toddler Child Care Grant was February 15 through April 1, 2024. 

Payment of the Year 3 award is scheduled to occur approximately 12 months after payment of the Year 2 award. In order to receive the Year 3 payment, your program MUST be actively participating in the Grow NJ Kids rating process, have all newly created slots filled and successfully submit the Year 3 Recertification Questionnaire through NJCCIS.

The Year 3 Recertification period will begin in early 2025. If you did not apply for this grant during the initial application period, you are not able to apply now. Recertification for Year 3 is only available for providers who were approved for Year 1 of the grant and who received Year 2 award.

The Thriving by Three Infant and Toddler Child Care Grant for licensed child care centers and Head Start/Early Head Start programs accepted applications from March through June 2023. The online application for the registered family child care provider grant accepted applications from November 2023 through January 2024. 

General

What are the ages for infants and toddlers?
Infant and toddler age ranges are as follows: 

 Infants                       Under 18 months old
 Toddlers                            18 months to 2 ½ years old


Is there cap on how many slots I can create/request funding for?
Currently, there is no cap on the number of slots a provider can add to their application, however the number of slots you request must be based on need. 
 
Can we fill the spots with private pay children or only NJ Child Care Assistance Payment children?
You may fill the slots with private pay students.

What if my program requires repairs and/or renovations to accommodate more infants/toddlers?
Thriving by Three Infant and Toddler Child Care Grant funds cannot be used to cover the cost of minor and/or major repairs and will require demonstration that other funding sources have been secured. Other funding sources may include funds that your program already received through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Stabilization Grant, funds available through the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Child Care Facilities Improvement Program Grant, program revenue and/or private funding.
 
What if my program is not currently licensed to care for infant/toddler age groups?
You must submit an Age Change Request through NJCCIS. You can access the form from the Quick links, Child Care Wizard tab on your provider record in NJCCIS.
 
What if my program needs to increase its licensed capacity to accommodate more infants/toddlers?
You must submit a Capacity Change Request through NJCCIS. You can access the form from the Quick links, Child Care Wizard tab on your provider record in NJCCIS.
 
What if my program needs to re-purpose an existing space to accommodate more infants/toddlers?
If you intend to re-purpose existing vacant space, you must submit a New Space Request through NJCCIS.  You can access the form from the Quick links, Child Care Wizard tab on your provider record in NJCCIS.

What can I use the grant funds for?
Thriving by Three grant funds (including the $200 for Grow NJ Kids rated programs) may be spent on the following approved categories:

  • Equipment/Furniture

    • Including evacuation cribs, changing tables, strollers, mats, tables, high chairs, rocking chairs, toddler size tables/chairs, outdoor equipment, sinks, refrigerators, etc.)

  • Materials/Toys/Supplies

    • Including curriculum, sensory, learning, exploration, fine/gross motor skills, etc.

  • Staff/Recruitment/Hiring

    • Including advertisement, hiring bonus, salary, benefits, etc.

  • Other Needs

    • Including professional development, technical assistance – room arrangement/spacing, regulatory technical assistance, quality improvement technical assistance, etc.

Can this grant be used along with the NJEDA child care improvement grant ?

Yes, they can both be utilized at the same time NJEDA is for capital improvement for the center and TBT is for the expansion of infant/toddler slots.  

Can funds be used not only for recruiting but ALSO for payroll?
Yes, payroll is an approved allowable expense.

The $400 for staff bonus/incentives, does this also include training?
Yes, funds can be directed for professional development, mental health services, paid time off.

How do we know if our banking information is up-to-date?
You will have the opportunity to update banking information during your recertification process.

Recertification

When will the recertification questionnaire be available?
The Year 3 Recertification period will begin in early 2025. If you did not apply for this grant during the initial application period, you are not able to apply now. Recertification for Year 3 is only available for providers who were approved for Year 1 of the grant and who received Year 2 award.

How do I access the recertification questionnaire?
You will find the Recert Button through the Grant tab in your Quicklinks panel.

Initial and Continued Eligibility

Initial Eligibility

What programs could apply?
The Thriving by Three Infant and Toddler Child Care Grant for licensed child care centers and Head Start/Early Head Start programs accepted applications from March through June 2023. The registered family child care provider grant accepted applications from November 2023 through January 2024. Programs that were open and available to provide child care services on the date they apply for the grant were eligible to apply. Interested programs also must participate in, or apply to participate in, the state’s child care quality rating and improvement system, Grow NJ Kids, within six months of grant approval. All staff must complete comprehensive criminal background checks and complete required training.  For more information, visit our Training page. 

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; and/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.

How do I demonstrate that my program needs additional Infant and Toddler slots?
The Needs Assessment section of the Thriving by Three Infant and Toddler Child Care Grant application includes questions about your program’s current infant/toddler enrollment, waiting list, etc. that will determine your program’s need for infant/toddler expansion.  Programs must commit to expanding their infant and/or toddler capacity by a minimum of four additional slots.

Continued Eligibility

‚ÄčIf I was not eligible for Year 2 can I apply for Year 3?
No, you will not be eligible.

Grant Amounts

Year 1 Initial Award

Approved providers will receive an initial minimum grant award of $3,000 per new infant or toddler child care slot created, of which $1,000 must be directed for teacher-related expenses (i.e., bonus or incentive). This is available to all eligible providers. 

Please note: The provider MUST upload a CURRENT W-9 in the file cabinet in NJCCIS in order to receive payment. 


  

Year 2 Award

Additional minimum grant of $1,200 per infant or toddler slot (awarded 12 months following the date of the initial grant award) of which $400 must be directed for teacher-related expenses (i.e., bonus or incentive). If you are already rated three-, four-, or five-stars in Grow NJ Kids at the start of Year 2 you are not eligible for the $1,200 per slot grant award, however, to support and promote equitable access to high-quality programs you will receive $200 per infant or toddler slot created along with a quality tiered rate  in you care for children enrolled in the New Jersey Child Care Assistance Program.
 
Additional funds in Year 2 are contingent on providers’ active engagement in Grow NJ Kids. During the second year, providers must:

  1. Complete a Grow NJ Kids Self-Assessment
  2. Complete a Grow NJ Kids Quality Improvement Plan
  3. Submit a Grow NJ Kids Rating Readiness form to initiate the rating process
  4. Have all the newly created slots filled by end of Year 2
When will additional funds be available?
Once you recertify and your application is approved.

Please note: The provider MUST upload a CURRENT W-9 in the file cabinet in NJCCIS in order to receive payment. 

Year 3 Award

Additional minimum grant of $1,200 per infant or toddler slot (awarded 24 months following the date the initial grant award) of which $400 must be directed for teacher-related expenses (i.e., bonus or incentive). If you are already rated three-, four-, or five-stars in Grow NJ Kids at the start of Year 3 you are not eligible for the $1,200 per slot grant award, however, to support and promote equitable access to high-quality programs you will receive $200 per infant or toddler slot created.
 
At the time of the Year 3 Award, the provider must:

  • Be actively participating in the Grow NJ Kids rating process; and
  • Continue to have all of the newly created slots filled.

 Please note: The provider MUST upload a CURRENT W-9 in the file cabinet in NJCCIS in order to receive payment. 

Grow NJ Kids

What is Grow NJ Kids?
Grow NJ Kids, New Jersey’s Quality Rating Improvement System, is New Jersey’s program to raise the quality of child care and early learning across the state.  For child care and early learning programs, it provides resources that help raise their quality and continuously improve their programs.
 
How can my program participate in Grow NJ Kids?
All types of programs can participate in Grow NJ Kids – a child care center, a school- or center-based preschool program, a Head Start program, as well as a registered family child care provider, who cares for children in his/her home.  All Grow NJ Kids business is conducted in the New Jersey Child Care Information System (NJCCIS). To enroll in Grow NJ Kids you must have a NJCCIS account.
 
For a short video on how Grow NJ Kids works, click here.

How do I complete the orientation? I haven’t received an email or link for that.
Please contact [email protected].
 

Additional Help

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

 
For specific questions about the NJ Thriving by Three Infant and Toddler Child Care Grant, contact:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-609-588-2300

How-To Documents
Recertification Overview  PDF  |  Video
Recertification Questionnaire How-To Video

4/22/24