Under New Jersey's current law, a child care center that is part of a public or nonpublic school is exempt from licensing requirements. Exemptions are granted for many types of entities including bowling alleys, however, a nonpublic school is exempt only if it contains all of grades kindergarten through 6. This prevents new schools or schools with only lower grades from opening a child care center. If approved, Bill A-370, will remove this restriction, allowing nonpublic schools with any grade level to open state approved centers.
The bill also brings legal parity, assuring that public and nonpublic schools have the same conditions for child care approval.
These state-approved child care centers provide subsidies for low-income families, and having more of them leads to more choices, and ultimately, to more financial help for New Jersey families. "With the high cost of child care," said Rabbi Avi Schnall, Agudath Israel's New Jersey Director, "every little bit counts. If it passes, Assemblyman Kean's bill will make a tremendous difference to many low-income families in New Jersey.