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United In Care

We Are United In Care

A New Model for Affordable and Accessible Child Care

United In Care is a grant-funded four-year pilot project. Our goal is to increase access to quality, affordable, and flexible child care for all New Jersey families, especially working families we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) those who are living paycheck to paycheck.

New Jersey was already facing a crisis in child care access and affordability before COVID-19. The industry was severely strained and underfunded, and families were struggling. The pandemic just made things worse.

To address these issues, United In Care created a delivery model that partners licensed child care centers with home-based child care providers. This creates a shared-services alliance that expands capacity in communities, leverages a collective expertise to increase the quality of care, and shares critical resources to promote financial health of providers.

For more details about United In Care, please click here to review our Executive Summary.

United In Care

What's the Latest

United In Care is a rapidly growing project.  Our team is constantly uncovering new challenges and crafting tailored solutions to meet the needs of our all our partners. Please click below to learn about our recent updates and activities.

May 2024

United In Care Provides ALICE Families with Tuition Assistance

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Jan. 2024

United In Care assists providers in establishing fiscal planning to create a more sustainable business 

Nov. 2023

South Jersey Summer Camp Provides Comfort for Children

Oct. 2023

Jersey City Summer Program Addresses Learning Loss

Where We’re Making An Impact

United In Care has four shared-service alliances in Gloucester, Hudson, Morris and Warren counties.

These regions were deliberately chosen because they are known to be child care deserts particularly for infants and toddlers, which means there is little to no access to affordable, quality child care. In 2019, 46 percent of all New Jersey residents lived child care deserts.


This work is informed by the deep relationships we have with our local community partners, many of whom participate in United In Care Steering Committees. Click here to see the list of Steering Committee members.


United In Care Academy

The United In Care Academy supports the professional development of child care providers participating in United In Care. We operate with a special focus on the development of participating family child care providers. We identify training and support gaps and fill them as needed. The United In Care Academy compliments, and does not duplicate, existing training resources.

The Academy serves to provide information and increased access to professional development opportunities already offered via state-sponsored and private organizations. Drawing on local and national experts, the Academy continues to offer training and coaching to fill needs and promote a more knowledgeable, skilled, and sustainable child care workforce.  One of the many benefits of being a United In Care participant is the ability to have access to these closed training courses designed and/or coordinated specifically for those in a United In Care network.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) training teaches providers how adversity affects neurological and biological health throughout life, the impact of childhood trauma on population health, and how protection, prevention, and promoting resilience can improve health, safety, and productivity.  United In Care partners with Project Self Sufficiency to provide this training.


A book club also accompanies this training where providers read books related to topics discussed.

Happiness is Running Through the Streets to Find You: Translating Trauma's Harsh Legacy into Healing is a recommended reading.  This book club is coordinated by United In Care.

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This Academy is  a parent education series that focuses on preparing  young children for school entry before they begin their school career.  Topics include Getting Ready To Read, Brain Development and Learning On The Go.  In addition to the lesson there is also a family meal and free giveaways and books included in each session.  This series is run in partnership with local school districts.

The CARE Training provides information for those working with special needs children and children struggling with  learning loss. Topics cover the indicators of developmental delays, understanding different behaviors, building inclusive programs, and coaching and mentoring techniques.  This is a seven-week training course and is a joint effort created by United In Care and Norwescap.

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Topics in this overview session include a discussion of services, how to discuss the program with parents, making referrals and working with the clinicians. An overview presentation on Early Intervention is offered for all family care providers through a partnership with Family Link of NJ.


Visit the FamilyLink website

Visit the Family Matters website 

This series promotes  positive development in young children by building the capacity of the multidisciplinary workforce serving infants, toddlers, young children, and their families.

Keeping Babies and Children in Mind is offered as a seven part series through Montclair State University’s Socio-Emotional Formation Initiative. 

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This training provides information for caregivers on evidence-based practices that promote young children’s healthy social-emotional development. This model helps providers build skills for supporting nurturing and responsive caregiving, create learning environments, providing targeted social-emotional skills and supporting children with challenging behavior.  The training is conducted by Montclair State University.

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Trainings cover working with students with challenging behaviors and offers practical advice for specific situations.  United In Care partners with school districts to provide one-on-one training as well as group training.

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Virtual cooking classes led by a nutritionist offer step by step instructions in preparing a meal while initiating conversation around meal preparation and healthy eating.  Families enrolled with a United In Care provider are offered free groceries/ingredients for each meal to be prepared while participating in a Zoom cooking class.  The class is offered in partnership with local grocery stores.

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This training covers key aspects of running a family child care business. Classes focus on a wide range of business topics from marketing to budgeting and saving. The classes are offered in both English and Spanish.   United In Care partners with Child and Family Resources of Morris County and All Our Kin, a national nonprofit organization that trains, supports, and sustains family child care educators, to hold this 10-week series.

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Providers learn to prepare and maintain budgets and fiscal responsibility for their business. Volunteers and United In Care staff meet with providers and work through their program budget line items, help them calculate key metrics, and teach them how to create a budget from scratch. 

Spanish speaking providers have access to several different English As a Second Language options. These include weekly one-hour conversational ESL classes via Zoom with a United In Care team member and more formal ESL classes at county colleges.  United In Care partners with Warren County Community College and the County College of Morris to provide these classes.

The providers learn basic computer skills, how to navigate the internet, and how to operate Windows and programs like Outlook, Word and Excel.  United In Care provides access to formal community college computer classes as needed as well as to United In Care staff members who individually lend their time to help troubleshoot computer issues.

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Providers have access to regional and national child care conferences which provide learning and networking opportunities.  Providers have been able to attend the following conferences:

The National Association for Family Child Care Annual Conference

Child Care Success Summit

New Jersey Association of the Education of Young Children

Professional development classes for family care providers are hosted by each hub center.  Topics range from health and safety to developing centers within the classroom to literacy training.  Some of these training courses also help fulfill the yearly professional development needs of the family care providers.

In addition United In Care supports individual professional growth opportunities on a case-by-case basis related to business development, quality improvement and professional and personal growth.  

Join Our Network!

If you are a home-based family care provider located in one of our target geographies, please check out the video and email Amanda Krause DiScala for more information about joining our United In Care family.

How We're Helping Families

United In Care believes every family deserves the peace of mind that their child is being cared for by a licensed child care provider without worrying about cost, and every child is entitled to effective quality early childhood child care and education.

United In Care supports families by providing:

  • Access to quality, affordable child care

  • Access to tuition assistance

  • Access to summer programming

  • Access to healthy food and nutrition education

  • Strengthened community connections

How We're Tracking Progress

At every step throughout the project, the United In Care team is actively collecting programmatic data gathered through feedback from the participating families, centers and providers and analyzed by data experts. These key performance indicators will measure results like increased capacity, increased affordability, improved wages, and better quality of care.


United In Care has partnered with BCT Partners of Newark to create an interactive dashboard that will provide reporting, visualization and insight into United In Care’s progress.

Navigating The Tool
Navigating The Tool

Use the links in the upper right-hand corner to navigate between Dashboard pages. All pages show data for all United In Care providers in the default view. Use the “Filter by Location” buttons to show data for one or more of the Alliances. Please note the date of the most recent update is shown in the bottom right-hand corner.

  • At A Glance: Hover over the four main impact metrics to see change over time.

  • Goals: Hover over the Capacity graph to see values at each time period.

  • Partner Satisfaction: Hover over the satisfaction meters to see change over time.

  • Provider Overview: Use the “Select Duration” filter to view data for a selected period. Hover over the Hours of Care and Enrollment graphs to see values at each time period.

Why United In Care is Important Now

The gap between the cost of child care and what an ALICE worker earns was already quite large, especially in New Jersey. In fact, the average annual cost of child care in New Jersey was more than in-state tuition at Rutgers University.

Below are stats that show the urgency and importance of fixing this child care crisis, statewide and nationally. While collecting and providing data and trends unique to United In Care, the program is also informed by reports and data released by state and national advocacy groups focused on child care.

Please click on the data below to view copies of recent child care industry reports.

By The Numbers

United In Care

Expands to District 11

Kindergarten Tables


Number of New Jersey child care centers that closed between 2020-2021

Asian Family


Number of families who don't have reliable child care

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Number of registered US home-base child care businesses that closed from Dec. 2019-March 2021



The average annual cost of child care in New Jersey

This data collection and analysis is led by the United For ALICE research team. Data is collected on a regular basis via surveys of key stakeholders.

Who Supports United In Care

With the backing and collaboration of formidable philanthropic organizations, including the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, Overdeck Family Foundation, The Tepper Foundation, United States Congress, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Health Initiatives, Barclays, and Reinvestment Fund, the goal is to develop a pilot that can be replicated across the state and country.


United In Care seeks like-minded philanthropists interested in joining the collaboration. Email Theresa Leamy for more information.

Click here to meet our Advisory Council members.

NJ Pandemic Relief Fund
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New Jersey Health Initiatives
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Reinvestment Fund Logo
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Who We Are

United In Care is staffed by a core team of devoted, passionate and caring individuals with a diverse mix of experiences and expertise in child care and early childhood education.


Click here to view our team and contact information.

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