Grow NJ Kids is a state-sponsored initiative to raise the quality of child care and early learning throughout New Jersey.

Grow NJ Kids gives child care and early learning programs resources to assess and improve their programs, while providing parents with information that allows them to evaluate the quality of programs and make the best choices for their child. The goal is to create a system that encourages ongoing improvement.

Grow NJ Kids is part of a national effort. More than 40 other states are at some stage of launching their effort to improve quality.

All types of programs can participate in Grow NJ Kids – a child care center, a school- or center-based preschool program, a Head Start program, as well as a registered family child care provider, who cares for children in his/her home.

How Grow NJ Kids Works

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To create a standard way to look at child care and early learning, Grow NJ Kids provides families with an objective rating system. 

Based on the findings of a preliminary assessment that the child care and early learning program does on itself, trained professionals work with the program staff to address areas needing improvement.

Then, a trained rater, using a comprehensive, research-based tool, formally assesses the program. A program can earn up to five stars, giving parents an easy way to compare and make an educated decision about what is best for their child. 

To find a participating program near you, click here.