Many families have concerns about the affordability of child care. Our agency offers financial assistance to cover all or a portion of child care costs through subsidy programs. This assistance is available for low income parents, guardians and foster parents in Essex County. We believe these subsidies will help increase economic independence in families and improve the development of Essex County children, the community we proudly serve! These subsidies can be used for family or center-based child care, preschool instruction, after school programs for children up to age 13, and for teens to age 19 with special needs. If approved, most participants are only responsible for a co-payment (a smaller fee based on income and family size). Programs for Parents administers two (2) child care subsidy programs:
New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK)
NJCK is designed for those who are employed and/or attending school full time or participating in a combination of these two activities equivalent to full time. Eligibility is determined by family size, household income and employment and/or education hours. Under NJCK there are several different funding sources created to meet unique family circumstances. The following is a list of the different NJCK funding sources, click on the links to learn about the eligibility criteria for each:
- Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) – Assists low-income families. Eligibility is determined by family size, household income and employment and/or education hours.
- Community Care Voucher Centers (CCVC) – Dedicated child care slots throughout the State of New Jersey, awarded to child care centers only. Eligibility is determined by family size, employment and/or education hours, and income.
- DOE Pre-K Wrap-Around Program – Children 3-4 years of age whom reside in Newark, Irvington, East Orange and Orange Public Schools receive subsidy for extended care — before and after the school day. Eligibility is determined by family size, household income, employment and/or education hours and residency in one of the listed school districts.
- Kinship Care– Assists those who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their relatives’ children. Eligibility determined by family size, household income and employment and/or education hours.
- Post Adoption Child Care (PACC) – Available for children 0-6 years of age (or until the child becomes eligible to attend kindergarten), after their adoption takes place.
- The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance – This program assists families who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Applicants who self-identify as being homeless or who are referred by a service provider, meet the McKinney-Vento definition for homelessness and are unable to establish eligibility at the time of application are eligible to receive a grace period for up to six (6) months to establish eligibility while their child receives child care services. Click here for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Intake Form and the McKinney-Vento Service Provider Referral & Authorization for Release of Information Form.
Work First New Jersey (WFNJ)
WFNJ provides child care for clients participating in job training or work as a requirement of the Welfare-to-Work program. PfP is a proud participant in the WFNJ program because it allows parents to focus on training to enter the workforce and gain security for their families. WFNJ participants receive counseling on child care options and referrals. Their child care is funded through their participation in a qualified welfare-to-work activity assigned by an Essex County Department of Social Services Specialist. Participants in WFNJ are referred to a PfP Child Care Specialist by a Case Worker or Employment Specialist.