Help Paying for Child Care

Eligible families can receive help paying for child care. Financial help may be provided for low- and moderate-income working parents, parents attending school; families receiving assistance under the state welfare program, Work First NJ, may be entitled to free child care.  In addition, adults who are raising relatives’ children in their own homes, can often qualify for child care subsidies from the state of New Jersey.

 

New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK)

Community Child Care Solutions assists income eligible working parents or students in paying for child care.

Eligibility

Applying for a Child Care Subsidy

As an applicant / parent seeking a child care subsidy, you will be required to provide proof of income, school/training hours and household size to help determine eligibility.  All required documents must be submitted to be considered for a subsidy.

Applicant / Parent Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a New Jersey resident;
  • Must meet income requirements and not have assets that exceed $1 million;
  • Must be working full-time (30 hours weekly or more), attending school full-time (12 credits or more), or in job training (20 hours weekly or more); and
  • Depending on family size and income, may have to contribute to the cost of care (co-pay).

 

Child Eligibility Requirements:

  • Ages birth through up to 13 years is eligible or up to 19 years old if mentally or physically incapable of self-care;
  • Must be a US citizen or qualified non-citizen; and
  • Must reside with applicant / parent who is applying for the subsidy.

 

New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK) Application

Child Care Subsidy Program Parent Handbooks 

 

Work First New Jersey (WFNJ)

Community Child Care Solutions assists parents who are moving from welfare to work by providing child care subsidies to participants of Work First New Jersey.  Community Child Care Solutions refers to, but does not endorse child care providers. We encourage you to visit and interview all child care providers before choosing one.

Eligibility

Eligibility is established by the County Board of Social Services or the Department of Labor.  Activities are assigned by either a Career Development Counselor or Income Maintenance Worker.  An activity referral is then sent to Community Child Care Solutions; upon receipt we will contact you through mail and or phone to find out what are your child care needs.  Once a participant’s case is closed upon gaining employment, they will be eligible to receive subsidized child care for up to two years.

Kinship Navigator Program

Kinship caregivers, adults who are raising relatives’ children in their own homes, can often qualify for child care subsidies from the state of New Jersey.

To qualify for child care subsidies, kinship caregivers must prove they are relatives or legal guardians of the children and that the children live with them. Those under age 60 who are not working or preparing for work must prove they are disabled. Financial eligibility depends on the kinship caregiver’s age and the size and income of the family unit. Caregivers must present proof of age and income.

Click here for more information on the Kinship Navigator Program. To learn more about child care resources: in Middlesex County call 732-324-4357, in Somerset County call 908-927-0869. Outside of the county you may contact the Kinship Navigator at 1-877-816-3211 or the state child care help line at 1-800-332-9227.

What is E-Child Care?

E-Child Care or ECC is the new way of reporting child care attendance and absences.  Parents or their designees confirm that child care was provided to their children by using either a telephone (IVR) or a card-reading machine called a Point of Service (POS) device.  Parents and or designees must sign in and out the children’s attendance daily as this is how the child care provider will receive their payments.

Families First Card

Every parent or designee will receive a Families First swipe card.  Parents or their designee will use this card to record the children’s attendance by either using a telephone system (IVR) or a card-reading machine called a Point of Service (POS) device.  If the parent or designee receives Food Stamps and already has a Families First Card you will need to provide the 16 digit card number so that this card can be linked to your child care subsidy. 

Point of Service (POS) device

With a POS machine you would have to swipe your card and follow the screen prompts; wait for a transaction receipt.  You should review the receipt to confirm the transaction was successful and give your provider the receipt for verification.

(IVR) Phone System  

With the IVR phone system you will have to call from the child care provider’s registered phone the toll free number in back of your card, listen and follow the prompts. At the end of the call you should get a message that your transaction was successful.

Click here for more information http://www.childcarenj.gov/Parents/eChildCare

Q&A:

What kind of child care can I use and receive help in paying for my child’s care?

You can use a Licensed Child Care Center, State-Registered Family Child Care (FCC) home provider or a Family, Friend & Neighbor (FFN).  The selection is always parental choice.

What is the process if I select a Family, Friend & Neighbor (FFN) provider?

You should inform the Subsidy Case Worker assigned to your case that you would like to use a FFN provider.  You must also be prepared to have the potential provider’s full legal name, address of where he/she will be watching your child, provider’s phone number and social security number available when you call.  This potential provider will then receive a phone call and will be mailed a packet that must be completed and returned immediately. 

New requirements must be met by your potential provider before payment can be approved.     Click here for new requirements.

IMPORTANT: Due to new state mandated requirements the timeframe to complete all the requirements can take approximately five through eight weeks.  We will not back pay, parents / applicants will have to pay out of pocket until the prospective provider has completed all the requirements and has been approved.

How often should a provider expect to be paid?

As long as the parent / applicant is approved for subsidy, their contract or agreement is current and the parent / applicant is using the ECC attendance system by signing in / out daily, the provider can expect to receive payment on a bi-weekly basis which will be direct deposited into their bank account.

I submitted an application for NJCK; how long will it take to process my application?

We review documentation provided by you within 10 business days. However please be advised a response will be sent to you via mail and allow an additional 3 to 5 business days for mailing.

Do you help pay registration fee?

Only those clients on the Work First New Jersey Program (WFNJ) are eligible for assistance with registration fee.  Up to $50 registration fee can be paid per provider; one time only.

Do you help pay transportation fee?

Only those clients on the Work First New Jersey Program (WFNJ) are eligible for assistance with transportation.  Up to $2 per day can be paid.

How much assistance will I receive and what is my portion (co-pay)?

The amount covered is dependent on your family size, income and whether you need full-time or part-time care.  The exact amounts will not be known until all of the listed information has been approved and entered in the state subsidy systems.  For an estimate of what your co-pay will be and what the state maximum reimbursement rates are click on the following links: 

http://www.childcarenj.gov/getattachment/Parents/SubsidyProgram/2017-2018-Updated-Co-Pay-Schedule-85-SMI.PDF.aspx?lang=en-US

http://www.childcarenj.gov/getattachment/Parents/SubsidyProgram/SFY-2018-Maximum-Child-Care-Payment-Rates.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US

Do you help pay occasional care if my current provider is closed due to school closing?

Only those clients on the Work First New Jersey Program (WFNJ) are eligible for assistance with occasional care due to your child’s current provider closing due to school closing or holiday.

Can my subsidy payment be stopped or terminated?

Yes.  Below are some reasons you may no longer receive help in paying for child care (based on the subsidy program you are approved for).

Work First New Jersey (WFNJ):

  • Your activity has ended or you stop attending
  • You have not submitted employment documents to your case worker
  • You have not paid your portion of child care cost (co-pay)
  • You failed to return the annual redetermination application and eligibility documents
  • You are no longer eligible

New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK):

  • You move out of New Jersey
  • Your income increases over the 85 % of the SMI income scale
  • You stop working or attending school for more than three months
  • You have not paid your portion of child care cost (co-pay)
  • You failed to return the annual redetermination application and eligibility documents
  • You are no longer eligible

For a complete list you can read your Parent Handbook or speak to a Subsidy Case Manager.

Program

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