Grow NJ Kids
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
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.
The library is a place where teachers actively read books to children, tell stories, enjoy listening to recordings, and promote children’s writing.
The block area offers many opportunities for learning through play and construction. When children construct, create, and represent their experiences with blocks, they progress in each area of development and learning.
This area is filled with materials that children can enjoy on a sensory label as they create and represent ideas in a visual form. Creative art is another language children use to express what they know and how they feel. This area is a studio for children’s development and learning.
This center is designed to inspire creative and imaginative play as children explore their experiences by pretending to be someone or something different from themselves. Teachers facilitate children in making up situations and actions that go along with the roles they choose. When children engage in dramatic play, they deepen their understanding of the world and develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
Toys & Games
This interest area includes manipulatives, puzzles, collectibles, matching games, and other games that children can play with. These materials offer children activities that they can do alone, with another child, with a teacher or volunteer, or with a small group. Children strengthen skills in all areas of development as they play with toys and games.