Parent Services and Customer Service
Q. Do I need to have a Social Security number or TIN (Tax Identification Number) to apply?
A. No, a Social Security number is not required for the parent to apply. But, the child must have a Social Security number in order to receive subsidy.
Q. Can I apply if I am an undocumented immigrant?
A. If you are an undocumented immigrant but you have children that are US citizens or permanent residents, your children may qualify
Q. How long will it take to build the contract?
A. The agency has 10 days from the day fully completed paperwork is submitted to be processed. The contract will be built in the order in which it is received.
Q. When pre-contract is dropped off, when can I start taking my child to the provider?
A. When pre-contract is dropped off, we have 10 days to process any paperwork. Staff will verify all forms are signed properly, client’s certification date and that the provider is in compliance for that period of time. Based on that, case workers will determine start date of the contract.
Q. What is the process of changing providers?
A. The client must come to the agency and speak to a counselor. Ten days’ notice will be given to the current provider and pre-contracts will be given so the new provider can sign. All signed paperwork must be returned in a timely manner
Q. What is a co-payment? Why do I have one? To whom do I pay it? What is my co-payment?
A. Co-payment means a portion of the family income that is paid by the eligible family toward the cost of child care. The amount of the required co-payment is based on the family’s annual gross income, family size, hours of care needed and the number of children in care. The co-payment is paid to the provider. Your co-payment can be found on the child-care contract. Your co-payment can be found in your contract under “Part C-Summary of Daily Payments Per Month.” The amount is found under “Less Daily Co- Pay.”
Q. Do I have to pay my co-payment even if my child doesn’t attend?
A. Yes, the co-payment must be paid as long as the contract is active, whether your child attends or not.
Q. Until what age can a child receive subsidy?
A. A child can receive subsidy until the age of 13. If the child is special needs, he/she can receive subsidy until the age of 19.
Q. After I’m approved, is my child allowed to attend only centers in Passaic County?
A. A client can choose any provider who is regulated or licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Licensing or residences that meet minimum health and safety standards and have been approved by the Child Care Resource & Referral (CC&R) agency, which is 4CS for Passaic County.
Q. Can a provider charge me extra after a certain time?
A. A provider can have her or his own rates and fees. Please discuss this information with your provider before placing your child.
Q. What do I do if my child care through Workfirst has been stopped?
A. Contact the Workfirst located at the Board of Social Services.
Q. If I receive a contract from the 4CS caseworker at the Board of Social Services, where does it need to be returned?
A. All signed pre-contracts must be returned by the stated due date to the main office located at 2 Market St., 3rd Floor, Paterson NJ 07501.
Mail: 4CS of Passaic County, Inc., 2 Market Street, 3rd floor, Paterson, NJ 07501
Fax: (973) 684-0468
Q. Which card of WFNJ (New Jersey Work First) do I use?
A. The card that should be used for childcare attendance is your food-stamp card. Please contact the agency to link your food stamp card to your case.
Q. Would the state pay child care after my contract is over?
A. Once your childcare contract is over, all payments to the provider will be stopped.
Q. Why do I need to submit all these documents in order to be determined eligible for subsidy?
A. Every document requested is needed in order to determine your eligibility status. Documentation is crucial in the eligibility process. These documents are required by the federal government who funds the child-care subsidy program. 4CS of Passaic County must adhere to federal and state rules regarding document submission.
Q. What are the documents that I need to submit in order to apply for subsidy?
A. Employment: Client must provide us with four weeks of pay stubs (two paid biweekly, four-paid weekly) dated within 6 weeks of the application stamp date. The client must be employed at least 30 hours per week for the New Jersey Cares for Kinds (NJCK) program, 25 hours per week for the NJ Department of Education Preschool Wraparound Child Care program and for the Community Care Voucher Centers (CCVC) program.
School: Client must provide us with school schedule (with school seal and/or stamp). The school schedule must state client’s name, date of term/semester end, and number of credits. Client will have 30 days from training end date to provide us with certification and new full-time activity.
Training: Client must provide us with a letter stating number of hours per week and start and end dates. Client will have 30 days from training end date to provide us with certification and new full-time activity.
Q. How many hours do I need to work in order to qualify for subsidy?
A. Client must be in a full-time activity in order to qualify for NJCK (New Jersey Cares for Kids) application
Client must be employed at least 25 hours per week DOE (Department of Education) wrap-around program and CCVC (Community Care Voucher Centers) program
Training requirements are 20 hours per week
High school students are considered full-time
Clients can do a combination of work and school but it has to add up to 30 hours weekly, or client can apply with 12 credits (online classes are not taken into consideration). Clients obtaining a master’s degree must be taking at least nine credits in order to be considered a full-time student.
Q. How long does it take for my application to be processed?
A. It can take up to 10 business days to process a completed application and up to 45days for an incomplete application.
Q. What is the maximum amount I can earn for my family size?
A. Please refer income eligibility schedules for child care assistance. Click here for Eligibility Chart
Q. I am not employed at this time but my husband is employed, do we qualify?
A. If you are legally married and/or residing together, both parents must be in a full time activity.
Q. Why do I have to add my significant other/partner if we are not legally married?
A. If you are in the same residence, the other individual’s income is included in the household income.
Q. Up to what age does a child qualify?
A. The subsidy covers children up until they are 13 years of age, unless they are classified as special needs. If the child has a special need, an up-to-date IFPS (Individualized Family Service Plan) (child with special need under the age of 5 years old) or IEP (Individualized Education Program) (child is school age, 5 and up) must be submitted as well. This enables the child to remain on the program until the age of 18. Note: If the child turns 13 before annual eligibility redetermination, the child’s contract will not be stopped until the annual redetermination.
Q. Do I need to have a Social Security number or TIN (Tax Identification Number) to apply?
A. No, a Social Security number is not required for the parent to apply. But, the child must have a Social Security number and card in order to receive subsidy.
Q. Why can’t I receive the subsidy before I find employment?
A. Employment or some type of full-time activity is required in order to be deemed eligible.
Q. Do I have to report child support income I am receiving for my other child, who is not on the program?
A. Yes, it is considered your household income, so it must be included as part of income calculation.
Q. If I get paid in cash, can I apply?
A. Yes, you must submit your tax return for the current year and/or previous year and your IRS transcript. Exception—CCVC (Community Care Voucher Centers) cases, different rules apply. Please also note that program rules may be subject to change by the State of New Jersey Department of Human Service or by the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Q. I’m receiving disability and live on my own. Would I qualify?
A. No. Per state regulations, client must be attending a full-time activity in order to qualify. If there are two people in the household, either the applicant or co-applicant has to be in a full- time activity in order to qualify.
Q. Can I include my child who is 18 years old or older in my family size?
A. Yes, but the child must be claimed on your taxes as a dependent.
Q. When does a change in family size, employment, or activity have to be reported? How many days to report?
A. Clients are required to report any changes within 10 days to the agency. This includes changes in family income, family size, home address, phone number, hours of employment/training/education, changes in child-care providers and/or hours of child care needed, and any changes in care, hours, consecutive absences and leaving care.
Q. How can I add another child?
A. An add-on application must be completed for the additional child, as well as supporting documents (birth certificate and Social Security card).
Q. How do payments work?
A. Parents swipe daily with the Point of Service system or call into the child-care providers Interactive Voice Response system and do the check in and out for child Care. The payment will be dispersed based on the attendance that is recorded.
Q. When do providers get paid?
A. Payments are for a two-week pay cycle and are deposited on the date specified in the payment schedule.
Q. How do absent/sick days work?
A. Providers are paid two absent days in a two-week period of service. The child must be in attendance 80% of the time for the absent days to be paid. Sick days, however, will be paid a total of five days in a two-week period and should be reported by the parent through the Interactive Voice Response or Point of Service System.
Q. Do providers get paid for closure days?
A. Providers are given 22 days they can use for closures. Providers are advised to reserve some days for unexpected closures in the event of an emergency or weather. Closure days can only be paid a maximum of five days in one payment cycle in the Electronic Payment Processing Information Control (EPPIC) system.
Q. How do I check my payments as a provider?
A. The provider portal helps providers to see payment. Providers can check transactions and agreements. For training on how to navigate the portal, there is an Electronic Child Care Specialist who can train providers individually. Providers are encouraged to check their portal regularly to ensure that families are checking in and out correctly.
Family, Friends and Neighbors Providers
Q. Who can watch my children?
A. Parents may choose a family member residing in the home or somewhere else other than the father or mother of the child, i.e. grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin as long as the person is 18 years of age and older. A close family friend or neighbor reliable and responsible enough to provide child-care services and meet the program guidelines.
Q. How long is this going to take?
A. Mandated requirements must be met, which can be a lengthy process including background checks, orientation and trainings as well as a home inspection before child- care services can begin. The time frame for meeting those requirements varies from three months to as long as nine months.
Q. So what am I supposed to do with my children while waiting for my caregiver to be approved?
A. Parents are given additional child-care options to utilize while waiting for their caregiver to be approved such as a licensed child-care center or registered family child- care provider.
Q. What if I am not pleased with my child-care choice?
A. Parents are always able to receive child-care referrals from their resource and referral agency and given technical assistance in choosing quality child-care programs. We encourage parents to call the agency to secure additional referrals.
Family Child Care Providers (FCCs)
Q. How old do I have to be to become a provider?
A. Potential family child-care providers must be 18 years of age and older.
Q. Who creates the rules for this program?
A. The family child-care program is under the jurisdiction of the State of New Jersey Department of Child and Families Office of Licensing, which enforces the state-mandated Manual of Requirements for Family Child Care Registration. These requirements are implemented by the sponsoring organizations for family child-care registration in each county. 4CS of Passaic County is the sponsoring organization for family child care for Passaic County
Q. Can I rent a separate dwelling to provide my child-care services?
A. Family child-care providers must reside in the apartment or home in which they provide child-care services.
Q. Who provides the food for the children?
A. Providers have the option of having the parents bring the food for their children; providers can provide the food and as part of their contract charge the parent an extra fee or participate in the Child and Adult Food Program.
If approved for participation, they will be reimbursed for the meals served to the children at no cost to the parent and monetary reimbursement based on federal program guidelines.
Q. Is the money that I receive for child care considered income?
A. Family Child Care Providers are self-employed, independent contractors providing services for a fee. All monies received are considered income and taxable. Providers receiving payments from federally funded programs will receive a 1099 at the end of the contract year for tax purposes.
Q. How do I get started with this business? How do I get help?
A. The sponsoring organizations for family child care registration provide ongoing training, technical assistance, guidance and community resources for support to build entrepreneurship and good business practices. 4CS of Passaic County offers quarterly Provider Support Group meetings in which updates regarding the profession of Family Child Care are given and networking with more experienced providers allows for peer support and guidance.
Q. What do I do with the children?
A. Child development, including age-appropriate activities and program development for all age groups, is taught and assistance is given in developing lesson plans and use of early childhood educational program curricula.
Q. How do I get paid?
A. Providers set their own fees and payment options for parents as part of a business contract. Providers providing subsidized child-care services will have contracts in which payments will be electronically transferred into their bank accounts.
Child Care Centers
Q. How can I start a licensed child care center?
A. Under the provisions of the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers (N.J.A.C.10:122), every person or organization caring for six or more children below 13 years of age is required to secure a license from the Office of Licensing in the Department of Children and Families unless the program is exempt by law. Please refer to 10:122-1.2(d) for a list of these exemptions.
Take these steps to start the licensing process:
Identify a potential site:
Contact the construction official of the town or municipality where the potential site is located to determine if the property has been zoned to include a child-care center
Secure a variance (permission to operate a child-care center in an area that is not approved for business use) from the municipal officials if the building is not in a business zone
Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from the municipal construction official reflecting the building’s compliance with applicable requirements of the State Uniform Construction Code (NJUCC). The CO must be one of the following use groups:
I-4 (Institutional) for children younger than 2 ½ years of age
E (Educational) for six or more children 2 ½ years of age or older
A-3 or A-4 (Assembly) for school-age child-care programs (I-4 or E may also be used)
The municipal zoning office or construction official can answer questions regarding a variance or a CO.
Once you have established a potential site is zoned for a child-care center, you may contact the Office of Licensing at 1-877-667-9845 for a courtesy inspection. The Office of Licensing also reviews architectural plans for renovations and new construction of child-care centers. These services are offered to prospective center operators at no cost.
Read the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers very carefully. It includes requirements for:
- Comprehensive liability insurance
- Vehicle insurance
- Staff qualifications including director, head teacher, group teacher and program supervisor
- Supervision and staff-child ratios
- Program activities and equipment
- Health and sanitation conditions and practices
- Food and nutrition
- Provisions for rest and sleep
- Parent and community participation
- Administrative and record-keeping requirements
All regularly scheduled staff members will be required to complete both a Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) fingerprint background check (if 18 years or older) and a Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check (regardless of age).
If you decide to pursue licensure, please contact the Office of Licensing, Child Care and Youth Residential Licensing if you have any questions.
Q.How can I find out about background checks and fingerprinting?
A. For information about Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background checks for child-care centers, youth residential programs, adoptive applicants and family child-care homes call the CARI Unit at 1-877-667-9845.
For information about Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) fingerprint background checks for child-care centers and youth residential programs, please call the Department of Human Services CHRI unit at 609-633-3761.
Q.How can I find training for staff in a child care program?
A. For information about child-care training programs, please contact the New Jersey Professional Development Center for Early Care and Education at Kean University.
Q. What is the CDA?
A. The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is a National Credentialing Program based on the knowledge of the nation’s leading scholars in early childhood education. The CDA credentialing process is a powerful, cohesive professional development experience, infused with meaningful activities that facilitate the reflective practice of working professionals. It is the baseline credential for people in the early childhood education field. We offer the CDA in English and Spanish to individuals working with children from ages 0-5 years.
Q. Who should apply for the CDA?
A. Family Child Care Providers can apply for the Family Child Care CDA as well as assistant teachers and teachers who work with children between the ages of 0-5 years, who do not have a degree or a related degree in child care. Some of the daycare centers in Passaic County require individuals they hire to possess a CDA Certification. Other centers may require individuals to possess a four-year degree.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. The CDA costs $1,260 plus additional fees. Those additional fees are a non-refundable $100 registration fee, a $26 material fee and a $50 textbook fee. Upon completion of the CDA, there is a Credentialing Exam fee of $425 that gets paid directly to the Council for Professional Recognition.
We do not offer financial aid assistance but we do offer two types of payment plans for participants:
Payment Plan A
Total cost $1,260
Tuition per session $315 (total of four sessions)
Each session consists of five weeks.
Must be paid in full before the first class of each session.
Payment Plan B
Total cost $1,320
Payment plan includes an additional $60 processing fee
$88 per week for 15 weeks beginning with the first class.
A $25 late fee is added to any payment not made on time. Payments are submitted to the Fiscal Department.
We accept students who are part of the Board of Social Services program and the Department of Labor One Stop Career Centers Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) program.
If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment to register for the CDA course, please contact 973-684-1904 Ext. 234.
Q. What are the CDA Requirements?
A. 120 hours of course work and 480 hours of paid or volunteer supervised fieldwork. (A Child Abuse Record Information, background check, and fingerprinting are a requirement at any licensed Child Care Center where they choose to work.)
These should be completed throughout the CDA course.
- Professional Resource File
- Philosophy Statement
- Competency Goal Statements (30- 500 words)
- Formal Observation
- Parent Questionnaires
First Aid/CPR for Infant/Child ($82 if taken at 4CS of Passaic County Inc.)
Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. -3 p.m. (Must be pre-registered to attend.)
Q. When is the CDA being offered?
A. The CDA course is offered twice a week, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The hours and days of the week that the classes are offered are subject to change.
Q. Does the CDA program come with job placement or assistance?
A. We have two placement coordinators that assist current CDA students with job placement and or a center to complete their 480 volunteer hours. Placement is not guaranteed and it is the participant’s responsibility to keep in contact with the Placement Coordinator. If you have any questions regarding CDA placement, please call 973-684-1904, Ext. 233 for English and for English/Spanish 973-684-1904, Ext 229.
Q. How do I register for the CDA?
A. Individuals interested in registering will need to contact 973-684-1904, Ext. 234 to schedule an appointment. Individuals will need to submit their High School Diploma/GED, Photo Identification, Social Security Card/Tax Identification Card, and Basic Skills Entrance Exam.
Q. What additional training do you offer?
A. We offer training that is sponsored by New Jersey First Steps (NJFS), for individuals working with infants and toddlers, such as the New Jersey Birth to Three, Director’s Track Series, SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome, Guiding Principles, and Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC). These trainings are free to all participants and most of them are offered in Spanish with the exception of the Director’s Track Series. We also offer free Parenting Classes and free Strengthening Families Initiative (SFI) training for parents/caregivers and staff.
Paid training we offer:
- We offer first aid and CPR training for $82 per person. If individuals only need to take CPR, the fee is $65 and if they only need First Aid, the fee is $60. In order for you to reserve a space in the First Aid/CPR Training you will need to pay the fees listed above. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. We will not pre-register anyone without payment.
- We also offer paid training based on the needs of Passaic County Day Care Centers. We charge $150 per hour with a minimum of two hours.
- Every year, we host a Professional Development Conference for a fee. Every year we have a different theme and provide two, two-hour workshop sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, that relate to the theme. We also invite a different keynote speaker to speak in the morning and have a variety of vendors and presenters for our participants to experience.
Q. How do I register for training?
A. Individuals can register for training on Professional Impact NJ (PINJ) Registry, www.pinjregistry.org. Individuals will also be able to view and register for upcoming training 4CS of Passaic has to offer on the PINJ. If individuals do not have a PINJ account, they would need to visit www.pinjregistry.org and click on the “Register Now” tab and follow the instructions in order to register for an account. If any individuals have difficulty with their PINJ account, they will need to contact PINJ directly.
Q. How can I find out more information about Grow New Jersey Kids?
A. Grow NJ Kids, New Jersey’s Quality Rating Improvement System, is New Jersey’s program to raise the quality of child care and early childhood education across the state. For parents, it provides information on selecting a quality provider to help them make the most of their kids’ early learning opportunities. For child care and early learning programs, it provides resources that help raise their quality and continuously improve their programs. Any Passaic County Licensed Child Care Center interested in Grow NJ Kids, please visit www.grownjkid.com or call 973-684-1904, Ext 229.
Grow NJ Kids is now being offered across the state to Family Child Care Providers. Any Passaic County FCC providers interested in receiving more information about Grow NJ Kids, please visit the www.grownjkid.com or call 973-684-1904, Ext. 232.
Q. How do I open up my own Day Care Center?
A. If any individual is interested in opening up a Licensed Child Care Center in the state of New Jersey, we ask that you please review the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers http://www.nj.gov/dcf/providers/licensing/laws/CCCmanual.pdf. For any additional information please contact the Department of Children and Families Office of Licensing toll-free Telephone at 1-877-667-9845 or if you are in Passaic County, to contact the local telephone number at 1-609-826-3980.