The cost of child care is a major concern for most families. Most families are spending over half their income for child care. The cost of child care differs greatly in New Jersey, depending on the type of care, age of the child and location. In Union County, family child care providers generally charge between $95 - $300 per week. Private child care centers base their fees on the age of the child costing from $135 - $350 per week. Community based (non-profit) child care programs may offer a sliding fee scale based on income.
New Jersey has child care subsidy programs that help families with the cost of child care. Below is a listing of the programs offered by CCCC. As a parent, you may also want to know:
New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK)
NJCK helps low income families pay the cost of child care. Parents must be working 30 hours per week or in training full-time (at least 20 hours per week) and meet income guidelines. They may also attend college (12 credit hours per semester and 9 credit hours in the summer) or attend a training program (20 classroom hours per week). Parents can combine a part-time job with part-time school/college/training. A family's income may not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their family size.
Department of Education (DOE) Wraparound(formerly known as Abbott Wraparound)
DOE Wraparound is a before and aftercare subsidized program for preschool families. The program provides four hours of care during the months of September through June and ten hours of care for July and August. The child must be three or four years of age. The family must live in Elizabeth or Plainfield. Parents must be working 25 hours per week or in training full-time (at least 20 hours per week) and meet income guidelines. A parent will qualify if they are a full-time student with twelve or more credits during the fall and spring semester or nine or more credits during the summer. A combination of part-time student with part-time employment or training may also qualify a parent.
Work First New Jersey (WFNJ)
Families who get public assistance can get help to pay for child care; Aid will be given while the parent has been placed in a work or training program. Parents may be able to get aid for up to two years after being off public assistance. To talk with someone call 973-923-1433, and press 4.
This program provides help to people who are raising a relative’s child in their own home. Eligibility is based on income, family size and age. For more information call 973-923-1433, ext. 139, 106 or 147.
Post Adoption Child Care
Help paying for child care is available for DYFS children. Their adoption must have taken place after January 1, 2005. It is only open to families meeting certain guidelines. Also, it can only be awarded if funding is available. For more information call 973-923-1433, ext. 139.
Some school districts have free preschool programs for three and four year olds. These are known as Department of Education Preschool (former Abbott), Early Childhood Aid (ECPA), or Early Launch to Learning Initiative (ELLI) Districts. To learn if your school district has free preschool programs contact your local board of education.
How Do I Know If I Qualify for a Subsidy Program?
Each subsidy program has different guidelines. This section will help you to find out if you are able to receive a child care subsidy. Please note eligibility scales are subject to change. To find out if you meet the income eligibility guidelines for NJCK, DOE Wraparound or Kinship programs:
- Visit http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dfd/programs/child/subsidies
- Click on SFY 2012 Child Care Income Eligibility Chart (pfd)
- Be sure to look at the appropriate column on the chart.
- New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK) Review the income guidelines in TIER C
- DOE Wrap Around Review the income guidelines in TIER D
- Kinship CareReview the State Funded Kinship Child Services column.
(For Kinship, employment requirements vary with age.)
How Do I Know What My Co-Pay Will Be?
Even though parents may receive subsidy, they may need to pay a part of the child care; this is called a co-payment. Co-payments are based on income and family size. For more information call your child care specialist.
What is eChild Care?
Providers are paid through the eChild Care systems. Click here for more information about eChild Care.
back to top