(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-1146115-71', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); BUILD New Jersey - BUILD States - State and Local - Our Work - BUILD Initiative
Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

BUILD New Jersey

Download New Jersey's 2015 BUILD State Profile

BUILD State Inception Year


BUILD State Leads

Natasha Johnson, Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development, [email protected]
Ceil Zalkind, Advocates for Children of New Jersey, [email protected]

Early Childhood System

Early Childhood Governance Structure: The New Jersey Council for Young Children is the state’s early childhood advisory council (ECAC). The council is a separate entity located in, but not of, the New Jersey Department of Education and charged with assuring collaboration and coordination among the various early childhood programs in the state for children from birth to age eight. The council’s vision is to align and improve New Jersey’s numerous and complex initiatives into one streamlined system of early education and care that reaches all infants and young children in need of services.

Top 3 Early Childhood Areas of Focus in 2015

  1. High-quality early education is accessible and affordable for all children from birth to age eight.
  2. The quality of early education is improved.
  3. New champions call for increased investments in early learning.

BUILD 2015 Areas of Focus

  • Expanding high-quality preschool to more children in low-income school districts.
  • Engaging new champions, particularly in the business community, for accessible, affordable, high-quality child care.
  • Revising the certification process for teachers and administrators to ensure that they receive appropriate instruction in early childhood development.


Federal Grants

  • Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant - $44,286,728 (Phase 3)
  • Preschool Expansion Grant - $69,994,492 (FY 2014-2017)
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership State Grant - No state grant was received. $8,900,000 in annual grants were received by five community-based organizations in New Jersey.
  • MIECHV Grant - $9,400,000 competitive grant and $2,094,745 formula grant (FY 2015)

Local/Regional Collaboratives:  Under its RTT-ELC grant, New Jersey is now funding county councils to supports its system building efforts at the local level.


  • Number of Children 0-5: 652,622 (2010)
  • Number of Children 0-5 in Poverty: 644,916 (2010)
  • Total State Population: 8,938,175 (2014)
  • State Population Ranking: 11 (2014)
  • Number of Counties: 21 (2014)


Age 0-5 Population (2010)

  • White, Non-Hispanic: 47.6%
  • African American, Non-Hispanic: 13.5%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native, NH: 0.2%
  • Asian, Non-Hispanic: 9.3%
  • Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Isl., NH: 0.0%
  • Some Other Race, Non-Hispanic: 0.5%
  • Two or More Races, Non-Hispanic: 3.6%
  • Hispanic: 25.3%


Age 0-5 Poverty Population (2010)

  • Age 0-5 < 100% Poverty: 16.8%
  • Age 0-5 < 200% Poverty: 33.5%


State Government Leadership

  • Governor Christopher Christie (R)
  • State Legislature: House and Senate (both Democrat controlled)


Right from the Start, an advocacy agenda to improve the early care and education of young children from infancy to age Eight, can be found at www.acnj.org.