Strolling Thunder New Jersey 2021

I’m reaching out about Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s fourth annual Strolling Thunder NJ! Strolling Thunder NJ is an annual event to tell our lawmakers to Think Babies and support our youngest children and families! This year the event will be focused on child care and what parents want for their families! It will be an interactive Zoom meeting where we will have facilitated breakout room discussions for parents to share their child care experiences and visions for a better system!


Strolling Thunder New Jersey 2021


Ruth Segura

Ruth Segura

Ruth Segura

Ruth Segura, our Ninth Annual June Handler Awardee, arrived in NJ with her father at the age of 17. Bringing her from her home in Peru, this big adventure meant leaving behind those she was attached to, including her extended family and all the familiar things she loves. Remembering her own longing for home, Ruth built her career around caring for young children whose own worlds have changed through immigration.

Ruth is this year’s recipient of the Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators (CITE) Ninth Annual June Handler Award, in honor of the organization’s co-founder, June Moss Handler. She is one of the 172 Credential earners statewide.

This $1,000 award acknowledges Ruth’s dedication to educating infants and toddlers in care outside their homes by relying on the practices of infant mental health promoted in the New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential.

Building trust is the key work of infants and toddlers for them to build healthy relationship and become successful learners.  The New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential was created with statewide collaboration to offer the specific professional development for infant and toddler caregivers, especially those who have earned their CDA.  Acquiring this credential requires participation in two college credit bearing courses which are currently offered remotely. Funding for this coursework is available for those who qualify. To learn more, contact

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) COVID-19 Relief Funding

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on child care providers, causing widespread layoffs and closures nationwide. Significant declines in enrollment paired with steep increases in operating expenses have created an unsustainable financial situation for an industry that traditionally relies on razor-thin margins. Recognizing the essential role of child care for children, working families, and the economy, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have sought to prioritize funding and other relief opportunities for child care providers as part of ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts.

In each of the four major relief packages Congress has passed, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) has been a primary mechanism for providing funding to child care providers and for ensuring access to child care for thousands of working families – including essential workers. This resource outlines funding amounts for CCDBG provided in each of the bills, how funds can be used, and relevant deadlines for reporting & spending the dollars.

This resource outlines funding amounts for CCDBG provided in each of the COVID-19 relief bills, how funds can be used, and relevant deadlines for reporting & spending the dollars.

Example of Parent & Caregiver Engagement Cards

Long time CITE member, Mary Lou Allen, initiated these ‘Building Brains from Birth to 36 Months of Life’  parent & caregiver engagement cards!
Learn more »

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What's New at CITE

In Memoriam – June Moss Handler

CITE founder, June Moss Handler, 94, died on November 6, 2017 at her home in Hackensack, NJ. (read more...)