NJ DHS Policies

The Division of Family Development (DFD) provides leadership and supervision to the public and non-profit agencies that deliver financial assistance and critical safety net services to individuals and families in New Jersey.

The federal Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization (CCDBG) Act of 2014 had two overall goals: give working parents access to affordable, easy to get childcare, and improve the health, safety and quality of childcare and early learning programs through more rigorous requirements.
In New Jersey, all childcare and early learning programs that accept, or wish to accept, childcare subsidies must comply with the requirements set forth by CCDBG.

Providers must comply with these federal requirements:

Comprehensive Criminal Background Checks
Under the law, all staff must undergo a comprehensive criminal background check. Comprehensive criminal background checks include:


Search of the state criminal and sex offender registry in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member has resided for the past five years; Search of the state child abuse and neglect registry in the state where the staff member resides and each state where the staff member has resided for the past five years; Search of the National Crime Information Center; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check using the Next Generation Identification (which replaced the former Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System); and Search of the National Sex Offender Registry.
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Providers that do not comply or refuse to complete a comprehensive criminal background check will immediately become ineligible to operate as a provider and therefore, will not receive further payment through the Child Care Subsidy Program.

Compliance with Health, Safety, Building, State and Local Laws
This is demonstrated by: Life/Safety Inspection with Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing (DCF/OOL).


Current Fire Safety Inspection Certificate; and Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
A CO is issued by the town in which the building is located. There are three types of COs:

  • E (Educational) for buildings for children 2 ½ years of age and/or older
  • I-4 (Institutional) for buildings for children younger than 2 ½ years of age
  • A-3 (Assembly) for buildings for school-aged childcare programs only (I-4 or E may also be used).

(For existing buildings used as child care centers prior to the adoption of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code (before 1977), see N.J.A.C. 10:122-Supchapter 5-5.1.)
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Ratio and Grouping Requirements
Childcare providers must have a certain number of staff for the number of children you are serving. For example, if you are serving infants, you must have one teacher for four children.


Under the “grouping requirements,” a specific number of children by age are allowed to be cared for together. To get all of the staffing and grouping requirements, go to N.J.A.C 10:122 – Subchapter 4 – 4.3 and 4.4.

Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (including immunizations)
This is demonstrated by: Life/Safety Inspection with Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing (DCF/OOL). Childcare providers must meet health requirements around infectious diseases as specified in N.J.A.C 10:122 – Subchapter 7.
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Unannounced Inspections
Childcare programs will undergo an unannounced inspection every year to see if you are complying with CCDBG requirements as well as state health, safety and fire standards.

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Requirement
By New Jersey law, staff is required to report child abuse or neglect if it is suspected. Staff must be trained on this law.
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Health and Safety Pre-Service Trainings
All teaching staff, providers, caregivers and individuals responsible for the direct care and supervision of children must complete the health and safety trainings. The trainings must meet Division of Family Development (DFD) requirements and standards and be documented and on file. New hires must be complete training within two weeks of hire.


Trainings include:

  • NJ Health and Safety Basics (Birth to Preschool or School Age and Summer Camp)
  • Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect – Mandated Reporting
  • First Aid and CPR Training (staff/providers may be required to maintain certification to meet state Office of Licensing requirements and regulations).

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