On Friday, May 29, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that licensed community-based child care centers could reopen to all clients on June 15, providing that centers follow specific CDC and State guidelines. With the exception of approximately 500 of the 4100 licensed community-based child care centers in NJ working on emergency status, the majority of community-based child care centers have been closed for nearly two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working on behalf of the New Jersey child care industry's advocacy arm, the Early Childhood Education Advocates (ECEA), Porzio Governmental Affairs VP and lobbyist for ECEA Barbara DeMarco, asked the Senate to hold a committee hearing focused solely on safely reopening licensed childcare centers and day camps. The Senate responded and scheduled a public hearing with their team of Fiscal Recovery Strategists. A representative of ECEA was among the participants invited to speak as part of the discussion. The message was clear: you cannot send parents back to work with school closed unless community-based child care centers and day camps were open. Within a day of the Senate hearing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the industry's opening with the issuance of Executive Order 149. To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.