Full-day school districts now eligible for PreK funds, but must ACT NOW!

Posted on July 5, 2023

It's time to ramp up your advocacy to bring preschool expansion to your community!

The New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) has advised all New Jersey school districts providing full-day kindergarten that they will be eligible to apply for preschool expansion for the 2023-24 school year, regardless of districts’ Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL) percentages.

What does this mean? If your district provides full-day kindergarten, administrators can apply for public preschool funding!

During the first week of July, districts will receive additional details from the DOE on how the funding will be distributed which will be based on FRPL percentages. Districts that apply will need to provide a start date no later than January 1, 2024. This allows additional time to prepare classrooms for operation. Districts only will be required to attend one of two mandatory DOE meetings on July 10 or July 11th.

The first step is for EVERYONE to reach out to their school district administrators and urge them to apply for the funding!  When you have done that, make sure that your friends and neighbors do the same. Time is of the essence and this contact should happen as soon as possible.

Child care and Head Start providers make sure you include in your communications, that you are interested in collaborating with the school district to maximize the number of 3- and 4-year-olds who can benefit from high-quality state-funded preschool AND that your program already meets or will be able to meet the standards.

Not sure how to begin?  ACNJ’s website and the preschool expansion toolkit can help! Here you will find a sample letter and letter to the editor.

Please don’t wait! Start reaching out to your district ASAP!  Make sure your district applies for the funding; and if you are a child care provider, make sure your program is a part of any future collaboration!

Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Cynthia Rice at crice@acnj.org.