Murphy signs order to close child care centers

Business. Gov. Phil Murphy signs order requiring child care centers close on April 1 unless they serve the children of essential workers. Child care centers must certify that they serve the children of essential employees by Friday

26 Mar 2020 | 01:33

Gov. Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 110, directing all child care centers in New Jersey to certify by Friday, March 27, that they will solely serve as emergency child care centers for the children of essential workers.

Child care centers that do not certify that they can and will exclusively care for these children of essential workers must close by Wednesday, April 1.

“Essential personnel are a vital part of our response and limiting child care to solely these individuals will assist in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases, as well as provide our front-line workers with the critical services they need to get through this emergency,” Murphy said. “A lack of child care cannot be a barrier for our essential employees, and while these workers commit themselves to our New Jersey family, we will commit ourselves to protecting their families.”

Among the directives, the Governor’s executive order directs:

The Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, in consultation with the Commissioners of the Departments of Education, Human Services, and Health, shall implement a plan permitting access to emergency child care services for the children of “essential persons.”

In order to be designated as an Emergency Child Care Center, any person or organization, requesting permission to stay open or resume operations on or after April 1, shall submit the certification form to the Commissioner of Children and Families for approval by Friday, March 27. If the certification form demonstrates that it will provide child care services exclusively to “essential persons” during the school closure period, and that it will follow all applicable emergency child care standards, the Commissioner shall authorize it to remain open or resume operations as an emergency child care center.

Any child care centers, including those as defined in this executive order, that fail to timely certify shall be closed to the public as of Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and remain closed through the school closure period. Centers shall receive notice of the Commissioner of Children and Families’ certification decision by Monday, March 30, 2020.

The order will take effect immediately. For a copy of Executive Order No. 110, click here.To access the form for Child Care Centers, click here.