Several child care costs can be paid for in New Jersey. The state offers subsidies and financial assistance for qualified residents. Lower to more moderate income families and the working poor can receive help with paying the costs related to preschool, teens with special needs, after-school care, and other expenses related to day or child care. New Jersey uses a combination of federal government and state funds to provide this service.
Subsidized day care assistance may be provided in New Jersey from contracts that are in place between licensed child care centers, the state, and other required agencies. Most of the support is provided using a system of voucher certificates. Parents are still able to choose an approved child care program so they play a major role in the program and do have options available to them.
In certain cases free care may be offered. This is mostly for those families that receive cash assistance under the state welfare program, which is also known as WorkFirst NJ. The assistance will continue for an extended period of time as well. For example, former WorkFirst NJ participants receive government subsidized child care for up to two years even after leaving the welfare program.
In addition, families and individuals that were never even on welfare can receive help. Subsidies may be provided to them as part of the New Jersey Cares for Kids program. A number of low income guidelines will need to be met.
Assistance is offered for families that are enrolled in the Work First New Jersey program. This can also includes beneficiaries of Temporary Assistance For Needy Families or Transitional Child Care.
Qualifications will need to be met. This includes the WFNJ participant needs to be either employed full-time or receiving federal government TANF cash assistance. They also need to have one or more children under the age 13 or a special needs child up to 19 years of age. These are other conditions may need to met in order to be eligible to receive full-or part-time child care vouchers and related services from the state of New Jersey.
The state and its social workers can help WFNJ families with finding, paying for and in general subsidizing child care through the TANF program. Participants will be able to select their own, preferred provider to use. This can include a registered family day care provider, a licensed center, or even an approved home, such as that of a relative or a very close friend. The residence will need to be been inspected by the state of New Jersey and also meet other program guidelines.
Even after your state and federal government TANF cash assistance ends, certain families may still be qualified for ongoing subsidies. A set of different qualifications need to be met, including having employment and/or attending job training or educational services. The client also may still be responsible for paying a portion of their costs.
The primary subsidy program is known as New Jersey Cares For Kids, or NJCK. This is available for low-income families. They need to be attending school full-time or working. The child also needs to be younger than 13 or a special needs child under the age of 19. Income guidelines are in place as well, and those who are enrolled can select their own provider. All of your expenses and bills will not be paid. Families will still be required to make a co-payment. The amount owed will be based on family size and total household income.
Get help in locating an approved, high quality child care provider as well. Many counties and towns offer Child Care Resource and Referrals. Specialists will collect, analyze and distribute information about the various providers and services available. All of the information provided will be objective, accurate and up-to-date. Parents and the general public at large can attend a variety of parenting and child care trainings, receive free educational materials and other support.
The state of New Jersey will also offer subsidies for residents who participate in the Kinship Navigator program. This is an option if they have a child who lives in their home and is related by legal guardianship, blood, or even marriage. So for example, if you are an Aunt or Uncle caring for a child then you may qualify for financial support. In addition, the applicant needs to be employable and/or attempting to find a job secure using the State's Early Employment Initiative. This program can also help people that are employed full-time and a foster parent for the Division of Youth and Family Services/Child Protective Services.
Family Child Care, or FCC, is defined as the care of five or fewer children in the home in which the registered provider currently resides. The New Jersey FCC is the most widely used form of child care in the state. This is a process in which social workers will recruit, train, screen, and monitors family day care providers. All state rules and regulations will be followed.
To learn more about these or other programs, call 1-800-332-9227.
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