PATERSON, NJ – With many school districts opting to start the year remotely, many working parents are scrambling to find child care and figure out how to pay for it.
To ease the burden, the state has launched a $150 million tuition assistance program to help families cover those costs this fall.
The program will offer tuition assistance for parents with incomes of up to $75,000 in need of full or part-time child care for children ages five to 13 due to remote learning. Applications, along with proof of income and a remote learning announcement from the local school district, can be submitted at childcare.nj.gov through Dec. 30.
“The Murphy Administration is committed to helping working families during this incredibly challenging time by providing support to help address the unanticipated child care costs families face as schools open remotely or with hybrid schedules,” New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said in a press release.
“Many working families are struggling to work-from-home or be at essential jobs while their children are attending school remotely. This new program is here to help and we encourage eligible families to apply,” Johnson said.
The tuition assistance program is part of a $250 million plan announced last month by Gov. Phil Murphy to help support working families get through the pandemic.
As part of that effort, the state Department of Human Services is making funding available to licensed child care centers and registered child care providers to handle additional costs related to new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
“The challenges of COVID-19 have touched every part of family’s lives, including childcare,” said Coleen Steven Porcher, Executive Director of 4CS of Passaic County, the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Family Development’s, designated Child Care Resource and Referral Agency for Passaic County. “As we continue to adapt to life with COVID in the community we are committed to doing what we can to make sure those we serve have the resources they need to be as strong in mind and strong in body as possible.”
"Supervising your child who is attending school from the kitchen table is very challenging for parents who are working from home and impossible if you cannot work from home," Porcher continued. "The Tuition Assistance Program is helping to meet unanticipated child care costs facing New Jersey families as schools open either entirely remote or with hybrid schedules.”
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