SENATE, No. 1456

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 16, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Makes supplemental appropriation of $18,000,000 from General Fund to DHS to expand eligibility for child care services in certain school districts.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning child care services and supplementing and amending the Fiscal Year 2016 annual appropriations act, P.L.2015, c.63.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  In addition to the amounts appropriated under P.L.2015, c.63, there is appropriated out of the General Fund the following sum for the purpose specified:

 

54 DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

50. Economic Planning, Development, and Security

53. Economic Assistance and Security

GRANTS-IN-AID

15-7550 Income Maintenance Management.......................................

$18,000,000

Total Grants-in-Aid Appropriation,                                                                                             

$18,000,000

      Economic Assistance and Security..................................

Grants-in-Aid:

 

 

15      Work First New Jersey Child Care………...

($18,000,000)

 

(cf: P.L.2015, c.63, s.1)

 

     2.    The following language provision in section 1 of P.L.2015, c.63 is amended to read as follows:

 

54 DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

50. Economic Planning, Development, and Security

53. Economic Assistance and Security

GRANTS-IN-AID

Notwithstanding the provisions of any law or regulation to the contrary, no funds hereinabove appropriated for before-school, after-school, and summer “wrap around” child care shall be expended except in accordance with the following condition: Effective September 1, 2010, families with incomes between 101% and 250% of the federal poverty level who reside in districts who received Preschool Expansion Aid or Education Opportunity Aid in the 2007-2008 school year shall be subject to a copayment for “wrap around” child care, based upon a schedule approved by the Department of Human Services and published in the New Jersey Register, and effective September 1, 2010, families who reside in districts who received Preschool Expansion Aid or Education Opportunity Aid in the 2007-2008 school year must meet the eligibility requirements under the New Jersey Cares for Kids child care program (N.J.A.C.10:15-5.1 et seq.) in order to receive free or subsidized “wrap around” child care, except that eligibility shall not be restricted on the basis of income for any family with an income less than 250% of the federal poverty level, and no work requirement greater than 15 hours per week shall be imposed.

(cf: P.L.2015, c.63, s.1)

 

     3.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides a supplemental appropriation of $18 million to the Department of Human Services to expand eligibility for “wrap around” child care services provided to families in former Abbott school districts.  Historically, State-funded preschool in these districts has been supplemented by “wrap around” child care services funded by the Department of Human Services, covering up to four hours of before- and after-school care during the school year, and full-day care during the summer.  Beginning with the Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations act, new restrictions were imposed on eligibility for services, including a stricter income eligibility limit for families newly entering the program (currently 200 percent of the federal poverty level, though families already participating can remain eligible with incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level), required copayments (on a sliding scale based on the family’s income), and work requirements (25 or 30 hours per week of employment or job training activities).  This bill would restore the income eligibility limit to 250 percent of the federal poverty level for all program participants, and relax the work requirements to allow parents who work part-time to continue to receive subsidized child care beyond school day hours.