As so many families know, child care costs can take up a lot of the monthly budget. The New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK) child care subsidy program can help income-eligible families who are working, in training, school, or a combination of these activities to pay a portion of their child care costs.
If you are thinking about applying for a child care subsidy, here’s what you need to know:
As an applicant/parent seeking a child care subsidy, you will be required to provide proof of income (both earned and unearned), training/school hours, and household size to help determine eligibility. All required documents must be submitted in order to be determined subsidy-eligible
- 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 or more per week), attending school full time (12 credits or more), or in job training at least 20 hours per week
- Up to the age of 13, or less than age 19 if under the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency’s protective supervision or mentally or physically incapable of self-care
- Must be a US Citizen or qualified non-citizen
- Must reside with parent(s) or individual(s) acting as parent(s) (in loco parentis)
Follow this link for detailed information about eligibility for the NJCK child care subsidy program. You may also call the subsidy team at 609-989-8035 for assistance.
Please note: You must be a Mercer County resident to apply for subsidy administered by Child Care Connection. If you reside in another New Jersey county, click here for the list of where to apply.
No, a Social Security number is not required for the applicant or co-applicant. However, subsidy can only be approved for children who are U.S. citizens (children must have a Social Security number).
If your family is found to be eligible for subsidy, the subsidy will be paid for your child up to the age of 13, or less than age 19 if under the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency’s protective supervision or mentally or physically incapable of self-care. Please note that your child must be a US Citizen or qualified non-citizen and must reside with the parent/applicant full time.
Applications are reviewed in date order of receipt. Regulations allow for up to 45 days to finalize the review of an application. Incomplete applications will be denied. Once the application review is complete, you will be contacted in writing of the outcome of the review. If your family is found eligible for subsidy, you will be provided with “next steps” to get the subsidy started.
Experiencing homelessness and needing child care services is a challenge. The State makes it easier for you to receive help paying for child care, even if you don’t have all of the required documents at the time of application for assistance. If you lack a fixed and adequate nighttime residence, you may meet the definition of “homeless”. Specifically, that means living in:
- Shared housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
- Motels, hotels, or campgrounds because you don’t have alternative accommodations;
- Emergency or transitional shelters;
- Locations not designed or intended for human sleeping, such as park benches; cars, parks, public spaces, bus or train stations, or abandoned buildings.
If you are facing one of these situations and are unable to provide the necessary documents with your application, you may have up to six months to submit the required paperwork. During this time, your family can start receiving a child care subsidy. Please call Child Care Connection’s subsidy team at 609-989-8035 for assistance.
Yes! Mercer County Voucher Program (MCVP) is funded by Mercer County Department of Human Services and is intended to assist families whose income exceeds eligibility for NJCK.
Please follow this link to download an application and view information about eligibility for the MCVP subsidy program