Providers FAQs

Q. How do payments work?
A. Parents swipe daily with the Point of Service system or call into the child-care providers Interactive Voice Response system and do the check in and out for child Care. The payment will be dispersed based on the attendance that is recorded.

Q. When do providers get paid?
A. Payments are for a two-week pay cycle and are deposited on the date specified in the payment schedule.

Q. How do absent/sick days work?
A. Providers are paid two absent days in a two-week period of service. The child must be in attendance 80% of the time for the absent days to be paid. Sick days, however, will be paid a total of five days in a two-week period and should be reported by the parent through the Interactive Voice Response or Point of Service System.

Q. Do providers get paid for closure days?
A. Providers are given 22 days they can use for closures. Providers are advised to reserve some days for unexpected closures in the event of an emergency or weather. Closure days can only be paid a maximum of five days in one payment cycle in the Electronic Payment Processing Information Control (EPPIC) system.

Q. How do I check my payments as a provider?
A. The provider portal helps providers to see payment. Providers can check transactions and agreements. For training on how to navigate the portal, there is an Electronic Child Care Specialist who can train providers individually. Providers are encouraged to check their portal regularly to ensure that families are checking in and out correctly.

Family, Friends and Neighbors Providers

Q. Who can watch my children?
A. Parents may choose a family member residing in the home or somewhere else other than the father or mother of the child, i.e. grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin as long as the person is 18 years of age and older. A close family friend or neighbor reliable and responsible enough to provide child-care services and meet the program guidelines.

Q. How long is this going to take?
A. Mandated requirements must be met, which can be a lengthy process including background checks, orientation and trainings as well as a home inspection before child- care services can begin. The time frame for meeting those requirements varies from three months to as long as nine months.

Q. So what am I supposed to do with my children while waiting for my caregiver to be approved?
A. Parents are given additional child-care options to utilize while waiting for their caregiver to be approved such as a licensed child-care center or registered family child- care provider.

Q. What if I am not pleased with my child-care choice?
A. Parents are always able to receive child-care referrals from their resource and referral agency and given technical assistance in choosing quality child-care programs. We encourage parents to call the agency to secure additional referrals.

Family Child Care Providers (FCCs)

Q. How old do I have to be to become a provider?
A. Potential family child-care providers must be 18 years of age and older.

Q. Who creates the rules for this program?
A. The family child-care program is under the jurisdiction of the State of New Jersey Department of Child and Families Office of Licensing, which enforces the state-mandated Manual of Requirements for Family Child Care Registration. These requirements are implemented by the sponsoring organizations for family child-care registration in each county. 4CS of Passaic County is the sponsoring organization for family child care for Passaic County

Q. Can I rent a separate dwelling to provide my child-care services?
A. Family child-care providers must reside in the apartment or home in which they provide child-care services.

Q. Who provides the food for the children?
A. Providers have the option of having the parents bring the food for their children; providers can provide the food and as part of their contract charge the parent an extra fee or participate in the Child and Adult Food Program.
If approved for participation, they will be reimbursed for the meals served to the children at no cost to the parent and monetary reimbursement based on federal program guidelines.

Q. Is the money that I receive for child care considered income?
A. Family Child Care Providers are self-employed, independent contractors providing services for a fee. All monies received are considered income and taxable. Providers receiving payments from federally funded programs will receive a 1099 at the end of the contract year for tax purposes.

Q. How do I get started with this business? How do I get help?
A. The sponsoring organizations for family child care registration provide ongoing training, technical assistance, guidance and community resources for support to build entrepreneurship and good business practices. 4CS of Passaic County offers quarterly Provider Support Group meetings in which updates regarding the profession of Family Child Care are given and networking with more experienced providers allows for peer support and guidance.

Q. What do I do with the children?
A. Child development, including age-appropriate activities and program development for all age groups, is taught and assistance is given in developing lesson plans and use of early childhood educational program curricula.

Q. How do I get paid?
A. Providers set their own fees and payment options for parents as part of a business contract. Providers providing subsidized child-care services will have contracts in which payments will be electronically transferred into their bank accounts.

Child Care Centers

Q. How can I start a licensed child care center?
A. Under the provisions of the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers (N.J.A.C.10:122), every person or organization caring for six or more children below 13 years of age is required to secure a license from the Office of Licensing in the Department of Children and Families unless the program is exempt by law. Please refer to 10:122-1.2(d) for a list of these exemptions.
Take these steps to start the licensing process:
Identify a potential site:
Contact the construction official of the town or municipality where the potential site is located to determine if the property has been zoned to include a child-care center
Secure a variance (permission to operate a child-care center in an area that is not approved for business use) from the municipal officials if the building is not in a business zone
Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from the municipal construction official reflecting the building’s compliance with applicable requirements of the State Uniform Construction Code (NJUCC). The CO must be one of the following use groups:
I-4 (Institutional) for children younger than 2 ½ years of age
E (Educational) for six or more children 2 ½ years of age or older
A-3 or A-4 (Assembly) for school-age child-care programs (I-4 or E may also be used)
The municipal zoning office or construction official can answer questions regarding a variance or a CO.

Once you have established a potential site is zoned for a child-care center, you may contact the Office of Licensing at 1-877-667-9845 for a courtesy inspection. The Office of Licensing also reviews architectural plans for renovations and new construction of child-care centers. These services are offered to prospective center operators at no cost.

Read the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers very carefully. It includes requirements for:

  • Comprehensive liability insurance
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Staff qualifications including director, head teacher, group teacher and program supervisor
  • Supervision and staff-child ratios
  • Program activities and equipment
  • Health and sanitation conditions and practices
  • Food and nutrition
  • Provisions for rest and sleep
  • Parent and community participation
  • Administrative and record-keeping requirements

All regularly scheduled staff members will be required to complete both a Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) fingerprint background check (if 18 years or older) and a Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check (regardless of age).
If you decide to pursue licensure, please contact the Office of Licensing, Child Care and Youth Residential Licensing if you have any questions.

Q.How can I find out about background checks and fingerprinting?
A. For information about Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background checks for child-care centers, youth residential programs, adoptive applicants and family child-care homes call the CARI Unit at 1-877-667-9845.
For information about Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) fingerprint background checks for child-care centers and youth residential programs, please call the Department of Human Services CHRI unit at 609-633-3761.

Q.How can I find training for staff in a child care program?
A. For information about child-care training programs, please contact the New Jersey Professional Development Center for Early Care and Education at Kean University.