TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey is giving parents with jobs deemed as essential to the coronavirus response exclusive priority to child care, while those without such roles will lose such access on April 1.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Wednesday telling child care providers they have until Friday to certify their compliance with the new guidelines or shut down business at the end of the month.

“Should this process result in any gaps in child care availability, the director of the Office of Emergency Management will direct county OEM offices to identify schools that can serve as emergency child care centers for the children of essential workers, up through grade eight,” said Murphy.

Currently New Jersey is identifying the follow types of businesses as essential during the outbreak:

  • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Medical supply stores
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
  • Hardware and home improvement stores
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics
  • Printing and office supply shops
  • Mail and delivery store

“We are taking this step for a simple reason we need all of our frontline workers on the job helping us to get through this emergency, a lack of child care cannot be a barrier for them, or our response,” said Murphy.

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