ACNJ recently learned that two of our key recommendations on the child care front are moving forward. The New Jersey Department of Children and Families recently hired 16 additional inspectors to ensure the health, safety and quality of care for children across the state. In our December 2013 report, Meeting the Child Care Challenge, we noted that New Jersey was nearly last in the nation for oversight of child care centers and that inspectors had heavy caseloads that may prevent them from conducting thorough inspections. We commend DCF for addressing this important issue.
In addition, the department now has a searchable online directory of child care providers, giving parents a central place to get basic information, including center location, size and the ages of children served. This information had previously been available only in pdf format.
State officials say they are still working on posting inspection reports and violations online in a user-friendly format for parents. We’ll keep you posted of their progress.