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Grow NJ Kids Training Services

Grow NJ Kids Training Services is a collaborative effort between the Institute for Families and the New Jersey Department of Human Services to manage and coordinate professional development for the early child care workforce. Research shows that children who are in quality child care and early learning programs are more prepared for kindergarten and have better reading skills, broader math skills, and larger vocabularies.

Grow NJ Kids Training Services directs, delivers, and evaluates training that helps build the knowledge and skills required of child care professionals who are part of Grow NJ Kids, an initiative to raise the quality of early care and education for children from birth through preschool. 

The first few years of a child’s life can create a foundation for well-being and learning that is either fragile or strong. Brain development is exceptionally rapid. During the first three years of life, synapses are formed at a rate higher than any other time in life. Social and emotional connections are shaped that will influence attachment throughout the childhood years. The building blocks of language and literacy are established and set the stage for lifelong learning. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers depend on skilled, knowledgeable caregivers to foster healthy growth and development.      

In New Jersey, more than 330,000 children under the age of five spend time in a professional care setting each day. The caregivers in these programs are among the most influential relationships in a young child’s life. They have the ability to nurture and support infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through their most significant periods of cognitive, emotional, and physical development. Our early care and education providers deserve a professional development program that promotes their important work in the classroom and provides them with best practices and concrete tools for cultivating healthy young learners. 

Grow NJ Kids Training Services delivers a wide array of in-person and online training courses that guide professionals in applying evidence-based classroom curricula, utilizing environmental rating scales, and fostering developmental milestones for children in their care. Our Grow NJ Kids Training Services team coordinates education around:

  • Teaching Strategies: Creative Curriculum® and GOLD® assessments
  • HighScope:  HighScope® PreSchool and Infant/Toddler Curriculum and COR ® child assessments 
  • Let’s Move
  • Strengthening Families through Early Care and Education: Protective Factors
  • Tools of the Mind
  • Program Administration Scale (PAS)
  • ITERS-R, ECERS-3, and FCCERS Environmental Rating Scales
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaires™ 
  • Classroom Assessment Scoring System®
  • Caregiver-child interactions
  • Many other topics related to child care and early learning experiences 

The skilled instructors for Grow NJ Kids Training Services facilitate classroom-based education following established national curricula to meet the professional development needs of providers—including directors, teachers, assistant teachers, aides, and support staff. Classes build skills and knowledge needed to implement the state’s emerging quality rating system and work successfully to raise the quality of child care and early learning programs across New Jersey. To learn more about Grow NJ Kids, please visit the website at 

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