What’s New?

Newark Future Policymakers Program Cultivates Youth’s Passion for Advocacy

In February 2022, ACNJ began its Newark Future Policymakers Advocacy Training program. Leaders of the program worked alongside 17 talented young people who live, work or go to school in the City of Newark. After several months of learning sessions, these Future Policymakers worked in groups to identify policies to improve the lives of Newark residents. Each group presented their ideas on a variety of topics to a panel of esteemed speakers in a final symposium. Presentation topics included:

  • Cultivating stronger relationships between students and teachers,
  • Improving financial literacy skills among Newark students through K-12 curriculum,
  • Addressing food insecurity through stronger partnerships with local corner stores, and
  • Using New Jersey’s Environmental Justice bill to prevent the expansion of a gas power plant in Newark.

Three young people from this year’s cohort - Michelle Hunter, Jennymarie Idrobo and Nia Pierce - will continue on at ACNJ over the summer to develop the topic for the special section of this year’s Newark Kids Count report, research it and write the section.

This program was funded through the generous support of the Victoria Foundation and the Prudential Foundation. The vision and direction of the project would not have been possible without the expertise of Kaleena Berryman, as well assistance from Jennifer Made and Barry Ford. If you would like to learn more about the program, or are interested in being a part of the Future Policymakers Class of 2023, contact Alana Vega, avega@acnj.org.

Governor Signs Thriving by Three Act to Increase Infant/Toddler Child Care.

Today, Governor Murphy signed the Thriving by Three Act, which includes bills S2476 and A4179, into law. With widespread support, this legislation passed unanimously in both houses. Special thanks to our early childhood champions Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, who were the bill's main sponsors. This legislation will:

  • bring long-awaited relief to some parents who need child care for their babies to return to work;
  • help providers struggling to find staff to care for infants and toddlers who need care; and
  • be key to New Jersey's economic recovery.

In addition, Governor Murphy signed into law New Jersey's first Young Child Tax Credit (Bill S2523), led by the New Jersey Policy Perspective, which would give families up to $500 per child under age 6.

Read more about today's legislative actions:

Today's win is a culmination of months and years of persistent advocacy. We want to send a heartfelt thank you to our parents and child care providers who have taken the time to contact their local lawmakers, testify at legislative committee hearings, write to their community newspapers and spread the word about giving families a strong start!


GREAT NEWS. The Thriving by Three Act has passed! 

Thank you Governor and our legislative champions:

Primary Sponsor:
Ruiz, M. Teresa
Vitale, Joseph F.
Coughlin, Craig J.
Jasey, Mila M.
Sumter, Shavonda E.
Quijano, Annette

Cruz-Perez, Nilsa I.
Cryan, Joseph P.
Cunningham, Sandra B.
Stanfield, Jean
Turner, Shirley K.
Zwicker, Andrew
O'Scanlon, Declan J., Jr.
Pou, Nellie
McKnight, Angela V.
Benson, Daniel R.
Reynolds-Jackson, Verlina
Park, Ellen J.
Mosquera, Gabriela M.
Wimberly, Benjie E.
Jimenez, Angelica M.
Lopez, Yvonne
Swain, Lisa
Moen, William F., Jr.
Pintor Marin, Eliana
Lampitt, Pamela R.

Urge legislators to pass the Thriving by Three Act to increase infant/toddler child care.

The Thriving by Three Act, which includes bills S2476 and A4179, is being heard in budget committee meetings today and will be voted on in both houses on Wednesday.

Urge your legislators in the House and the Assembly to vote YES - YES to legislation that will:

  • bring long-awaited relief to parents, who need child care for their babies, so that they can return to work;
  • help providers struggling to find staff to care for infants and toddlers that need care; and
  • will be key to New Jersey's economic recovery.

Send a message today!


GREAT NEWS. The Thriving by Three Act has passed! 

Thank you Governor and New Jersey Legislators for making babies a state priority.

Updated Special Education Guide Released

Special education can be a difficult process to navigate. ACNJ, with the generous support of The IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey, has released its updated Special Education Guide, helping parents and caregivers to understand their child's education rights in New Jersey.

Click on the page to flip to the next page.

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