Grow NJ Kids

Grow NJ Kids

Grow NJ Kids is New Jersey’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a system that 36 states throughout the country and the District of Columbia have implemented to enhance and strengthen early learning and child care programs. These systems assess quality by measuring child care quality and assigning a rating, thereby giving parents a consistent way to assess quality when choosing child care.

In New Jersey, Grow NJ Kids is organized from Level I, which requires meeting basic licensing standards, to Level IV, where programs must demonstrate higher quality standards and program characteristics. Child care programs including district funded preschool programs, Head Start, Early Head Start and Licensed Child Care Centers will be voluntarily evaluated. This system is designed to create standards of quality early care and education across all types of child care programs.

Through Grow NJ Kids, child care programs will be assessed on the following standards:

  • Safe, Healthy Learning Environment
  • Curriculum and Learning Environment
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Workforce and Professional Development
  • Administration and Management

This program was piloted in three New Jersey counties and one city. Now, the State of New Jersey is taking applications from programs throughout the state.

How do child care programs benefit from Grow NJ Kids?

  • Access to coaching and mentoring supports through Child Care Resources
  • Supporting your staff to obtain professional development to broaden their skills and abilities
  • An assessment opportunity to help you review and analyze your own program, that will result in a logical and reasonable plan for improvement
  • Access incentives such as free professional development programs, educational scholarships and other program incentives
  • Understandable and “user-friendly” marketability for parents that demonstrates your commitment and achievement of quality child care

To access more information about the Grow NJ Kids program, you can access the State of New Jersey’s website at

Grow NJ Kids Resources:


Grow NJ Kids Fact Sheet

Road To Quality Infographic

Child Care Resources is also available to assist you in understanding the Grow NJ Kids program and helping you navigate the process. For more information, please contact our Quality Improvement Specialist, Keithlyn Smith-Urfer at 732-918-9901, Ext. 120 or at