The Office for Community Centers and Childcare provides funds to licensed Mercer County childcare centers serving children of low-income families. Funding supports infant/toddler days for children ages birth to 2 ½ years, preschool days for children ages 2 ½ years to 5 years, summer day camp for ages 5 years to 13 years, and before and/or after school care for children ages 5 years to 13 years. The Office also supports program enhancements at agencies.
Mercer County funding is not used for Abbott subsidies, nor is it provided directly to county residents.
Childcare agencies funded through the County of Mercer must adhere to State of New Jersey childcare licensing/registration standards as defined in the Manual of Requirements for Child Care Centers or the Manual for Family Child Care Registration, both of which can be found here. Standards include staff/child ratios, grouping of children; staff qualifications; staff responsibilities; record keeping; and facility, program, health, and transportation requirements.
Through these contracts, childcare agencies will serve Mercer County families that meet income-eligible guidelines and earn up to no more than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level in gross yearly wages. The income guidelines for 2020 as of Jan. 14, 2020, are as follows:
|Family Size||250% Federal Poverty Level|
|For each additional person, add||$11,200|
Childcare agencies are selected via the Request for Proposals (RFPs) process. Contracts are awarded after Mercer County Freeholder approval. The contracted agencies will screen applicants for eligibility.