NJ Cares for Kids

Mercer County families may be eligible for financial assistance with the cost of child care through the New Jersey Cares for Kids program. Eligibility is determined by family size, employment and/or education hours, and income (click here for NJCK Income Eligibility chart).Parents or guardians can call, visit, or write the Child Care Connection to receive an application, or download an application and related documents from the Forms section at right. While instructions are included, NJCK program staff provide assistance with the application process. Once approved for a subsidy, staff continue to assist parents with changes and any other areas that might affect their continued eligibility.

Parents: Before applying for the NJCK program, view
this PowerPoint presentation
, which contains essential information on this program!

For additional information, please call the NJCK Unit directly at 609-989-8035.

Need proof of your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income?  Use your my Social Security account here!

Looking for referrals to child care programs? Click here for information on how to get started!

Child Care Subsidy FAQ

  • Applying for a Child Care Subsidy

    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

  • What are the State’s eligibility requirements for New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK)?
    • Applicant(s)/Parents:
      • 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
    • Children
      • 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.

  • Must I have a Social Security number or Tax Identification Number 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).

  • Will my child be eligible for subsidy?

    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.

  • How long will it take for my application to be processed?

    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.

  • Child Care for Homeless Families

    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.

  • If my family income exceeds the maximum allowable income for the NJCK subsidy program, is there any other program I can apply for?

    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