What’s New?

Watch The Recording – HealthySteps: Promoting Healthy Development for NJ’s Babies

HealthySteps, an evidence-based program of ZERO TO THREE, was recently implemented and integrated into four pediatric practices in New Jersey as part of the New Jersey HealthySteps Initiative. The initiative is one example of how providers seek to expand access to two-generation services for families. HealthySteps adds a child development expert, the HealthySteps Specialist, to the care team to provide screenings, referrals, and intensive services if needed. HealthySteps Specialists help identify whether children are reaching development milestones (addressing challenges early and preventing others), and make referrals to community programs to strengthen the quality of relationships and environments that support healthy growth in a universally accessible and trusted setting.

Cynthia Rice Receives Aletha R. Wright, Excellence in Early Care and Education Award

Today, ACNJ senior policy analyst Cynthia Rice was presented with the esteemed Aletha R. Wright, Excellence in EarlyCare and Education Award by the New Jersey Early Care and Education Alliance. Aletha served tirelessly for the benefit of children and families throughout New Jersey and the United States. Her characteristics of leadership, dedication and excellence was recognized by the New Jersey Child Care Advisory Council and now by the New Jersey Early Care and Education Alliance. The award is presented in her memory.

Cynthia Rice with Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver

Aletha’s journey started during her years working with Head Start and later she became a true advocate for children and families on a local, state and national level. She advanced to the NJ Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood Development where she and Edna Ranck worked collaboratively to improve early care programs for New Jersey’s children. She was a visionary that provided insight and lifted her voice to improve equity and quality in New Jersey’s early care and education system.

Cynthia Rice emulates Aletha’s attributes through her advocacy, collaborations with local, state and federal leaders and in her leadership abilities, making a difference in the lives of many throughout her career.


View the Recording: Kids Count Forum: South Jersey Finding Solutions for Kids

On Monday, September 27, 2021, we gathered at Rowan University and over Zoom to listen to engaging speakers discuss the impact of COVID-19 on young children and youth in the southern part of our state. ACNJ also offered ways that everyone in New Jersey can advocate for children in the upcoming election by participating in our #NJVotes4Kids campaign. Learn more at njvotes4kids.org.

This event is brought to you by Acenda Integrated Health, Rowan University and #NJVotes4Kids, a campaign by ACNJ.

Additional Resources

NJ Child Care Workforce Survey Reveals Hiring Struggle

A recent New York Times article spotlighted what many of us have already known, the child care workforce is in crisis. While we know the workforce is severely underpaid, child care programs that often run on razor thin margins cannot raise wages to what our child care workforce deserves. And the pandemic has only made this worse.

In June 2020, ACNJ surveyed child care programs to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the already fragile workforce. But with things rapidly changing, ACNJ surveyed child care programs again this past May to see how programs have been faring over the past year. Below is our our updated snapshot. 

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