Murphy Says Thousands of NJ Karate Schools, Churches Dance Studios and More, Now Running Illegal “Virtual Childcare” Businesses

TOMS RIVER, NJ – After Governor Phil Murphy’s extended shut down nearly decimated the state’s dance studios, martial arts, fitness industry and more, the Governor today said that thousands of evolving entrepreneurs are breaking the law…and they may not even know it.  Murphy said that if your business is providing any kind of remote instruction to school-aged children during the school day, they are operating child care facilities…and they’re doing it illegally.

This means if you give an online cooking class to kids during the normal school operating hours, you need to obtain a childcare license.  Same goes for remote art classes, karate, dance, and pretty much any ‘remote’ activity for children during the pandemic.

“We have received numerous reports of dance studios, martial arts studios, churches and other locations providing remote learning supervision services for children during the school day when their parents are at work. Under state law and regulation, these setups are in fact childcare centers that need to be licensed,” Murphy said,

Under New Jersey law, if you provide care for more than six children ages 13 years or below, you must obtain a license, especially if parents are not with the children during the periods of instruction.  Typically, these facilities operate on a two-hour “drop-in” limit provided the parent is in the same building or readily accessible at all times.

Murphy has a solution, that also includes a licensing fee.

“However, the Department of Children and Families recognizes the growing need for these services. It has created emergency regulations to allow these centers to undergo an expedited licensure process so they can operate legally for the duration of the public health emergency or until the end of the school year, whichever comes first. The department stands ready to assist these facilities in moving through this process,” Murphy said. “We want to ensure that every family who needs childcare services during remote learning times has those services within reach, and we also want to ensure that these facilities are properly prepared to meet the needs of both students and families. I thank especially Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer and her team for taking these steps.”


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