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DHS and DOE Team Up to Enroll Children from Low-income Families in a Local Program
TRENTON – The Christie Administration is offering pre-school age children from low-income families summer enrichment and literacy camp programs.  The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Family Development (DFD), in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE), have teamed up to ensure that families with eligible children are aware of the availability of programs in their local area. "Our goal is to provide low-income families with young children access to continuous high-quality early learning and child care services with an enriching, summer program,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez.  "The value of a summer program often extends well beyond the summer, providing positive experiences for young children to build upon during the school-age years.”


The summer enrichment and literacy program is a statewide, eight- to ten-week summer program for children across New Jersey.   These programs are offered through licensed centers or Department of Education-approved programs, with a certified teacher in each classroom. The program cost is only a co-payment that is based on family income and size. 


“Offering this summer program in New Jersey is a vital part of helping to ensure that our children are actively engaged during the summer months,” said DOE Commissioner Chris Cerf. “Pre-school programs provide the foundation for children to arrive at kindergarten eager to learn and personally more prepared for the experiences of early childhood education.”


This program is available to low-income families, determined eligible by the county Child Care Resource and Referral  Agencies (CCR&Rs). Low-income families, who do not to exceed 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible. For example, a family of three with income up to $46,325 annually would be eligible for this summer program. The child’s parent(s) must be working, or be engaged in some type of approved work activity, such as attending school, preparing for General Educational Development testing (GED), studying English as a Second Language, or taking online courses or training programs, or volunteering for an average of 25 hours per week.   For two-parent households, one parent must meet the work activity criteria, but the other parent can be engaged in an approved work activity or be looking for a job.


Interested parents are encouraged to contact their Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.  A list, by county, is available online at: or by calling 1-800-332-9227.

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