Early Childhood FAQs

Early Childhood

Am I eligible for free Head Start program?


The parents’ income must be below 100% of poverty line. Provide recent proof of income, such as paystubs, that covers a month’s time, W-2 forms or Income Tax Returns. Use the calculator to determine if you are eligible (below 100% FPG), select NJ, family size, and type in annual income. If your family size is more than 5, contact HOPES to determine eligibility. http://www.nccp.org/tools/converter/index.php?popup=1




What mental health services do you offer for my child?


There are three full time Mental Health and Disabilities Specialists on staff that support the teachers and families by providing strategies to assist the child in having a successful school experience. The Mental Health/Disabilities Specialists offer play therapy, individual, group, and/or family therapy to address various issues, such as challenging behaviors, postpartum depression, parent separation, grief, ADHD, etc. to children and families enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start.




What disabilities services do you offer for my child?


HOPES CAP, Inc. Early Childhood Program staff members work closely with community agencies to provide services which meet the special needs of the child through Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP). Services for children include outreach and recruitment, screening, professional diagnosis, development and implementation of IEP/IFSP and transition planning/support.




What physical health and dental services do you offer for my child?


Our staff promote children’s health by keeping immunizations current, and addressing developmental concerns through referrals for further diagnosis and treatment. Staff is also trained to conduct vision and hearing screenings. We facilitate collaboration and partnerships with families, and health professionals, so that children and families are connected to continuous and accessible medical and dental care to meet their basic health needs. In addition, our Head Start staff facilitate a Health Services Advisory Committee bringing together local health care professionals, parents, and local community residents. This team assists with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of services.




Will my child be fed nutritious food?


We serve meals prepared on site, and reflective of the cultures served. A registered dietitian plans nutritious meals to meet 1/2 to 2/3 the child’s daily nutritional needs. Special diets and food allergies are accommodated as specified by physicians. Infants/toddlers are fed on demand with menus developed to meet their nutritional needs. Funding provided by USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).




What social services do you offer for my family?


Our staff provides families with counseling, referrals, and assistance to connect them with community resources. Our social service staff helps promote independence, personal growth and self-sufficiency in families.




What are Early Childhood Developmental Services?


The goal of our Early Childhood Development Services is to provide a comprehensive child development program that addresses the present and future social, cognitive, emotional, and physical needs of the child and his/her family. An interdisciplinary team approach is advocated. The learning environment is geared to the ages and the developmental levels of the children in each classroom. Procedures are developed and implemented which allow staff to identify each child’s strengths, limitations, and special needs, and how to best meet those needs. The following services are not stand alone, they are integrated into both Infant and Toddler, and Preschool programs.





Before & After Care, Spring Break, Summer Enrichment

What are Before and After Care subsidized vouchers?


Subsidized vouchers for free or reduced enrollment costs are provided by Urban League of Hudson County and Community Coordinated Child Care (4C’s) of Union County. Depending on parent’s income, they may owe a co-pay (anywhere from $2.00 to $50.00). The exact amount will be determined based on a scale. *Vouchers cover up to 4 hours of care during the program year; summer program vouchers cover up to 10 hours of care.




What do I provide to determine voucher eligibility?


Complete and submit the following:

  • Child Care and Early Education Service Eligibility Application (DHS:CC1 12/08) form

  • Wrap-Around Services Childcare Voucher application

  • Provide proof of employment and earned family income (i.e. 4 most recent weeks prior to date of the application of consecutive pay subs, letter from employer, W-2, income tax returns etc.)

  • Provide verification of unearned family income (i.e., TANF, SSI, child support, etc.) and

  • Meet the residency requirements established by the former Abbott school district where they reside.

  • Provide verification of school or training, including start date and end date




Am I eligible for a subsidized voucher?


Depending on parent’s income, they may owe a co-pay (anywhere from $2.00 to $50.00); the exact amount will be determined based on a scale. Parents must meet the following requirements for voucher:

  • Below 200% of the 2011 Federal Poverty Level (FPL),

  • Proof of residency

  • Proof of age for the child

  • Be employed 25 hours per week, be enrolled in a full-time training or education program (12 credit hours or 25 classroom hours) or a combination of part-time employment and part-time training/education to equal a minimum of 25 hours per week*

*If applying for Before & After School Enrichment in Early Head Start sites, or if you are non-Hoboken residents enrolled in Head Start at the Rue Site (Hoboken), the hours for employment and training/education requirements are 30 hours per week.




If I don't qualify for a voucher, how much will I have to pay for Before and After Care?


Families, who are not eligible for a voucher, can enroll their child for these enrichment programs at a cost, starting at $150. Cost is calculated on a sliding scale based on the following annual income tiers:

Tier I <$75,000

Tier II $75,000-$150,000

Tier III >$150,000

Tier IV No income verification

Contact HOPES staff to see what the costs would be for you.

There will also be a $100 non-refundable registration fee, payable at the time the Fee Agreement Form is signed.

All fees must be paid in advance, by the 25th of each month, prior to the month of service. With the exception of September which will be due on September 9th.

All fees will be collected by the State-Funded (Abbott) Preschool Providers by check or money order only.

Services will not be provided unless fees have been prepaid. There will be no part-time/part-week fee reductions.




Can I just enroll my child in just a few weeks of the Summer Enrichment?


Yes, however families must register for a minimum of 3 weeks. Parents can enroll in full-days, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, or part-days, 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM.




When is the registration fee for the Spring Break Enrichment due?


Parents can register for full-days ($400 per week) or part-days ($240 per week) Non-voucher children $100 one-time registration fee due March 31st. Voucher children $25 one-time registration fee due April 7th.




Can I get a discount for enrolling my two children in Summer Enrichment?


Yes, if you have two children in the program, a 25% discount will apply for the second child only. Families must register for a minimum of 3 weeks. Payment is required by May 4, 2018 for the first three weeks, and June 8, 2018 for the remaining weeks.





Parent Engagement

What is the Policy Council?


Program governance is supported by parents through Policy Council. The Policy Council works with program administration to develop and approve program policies, prepare and approve the grant application, help develop and set program short and long term goals, the hiring and termination process and help make decisions about how the HOPES CAP, Inc. Early Childhood Program will be run. Parents are elected from all centers and program options to sit on the Policy Council for one 1 year term with a 5 year maximum lifetime participation limit. Over 51% of Policy Council members are parents of currently enrolled children. Other members are linked to the programs through community agencies that partners with HOPES CAP, Inc.




What are Male Involvement activities?


The classroom staff and children plan activities or events to welcome male involvement in the classrooms.




Can I volunteer in my child's classroom?


Parents are encouraged to participate in their child's school experience by volunteering as a team member in their child's classroom or by becoming involved in the Early Head Start/Head Start Policy Council or one of the Parent Committees. The Early Childhood Program has an open door policy, enabling parents to visit freely.




What is Parent, Family & Community Engagement?


Parent engagement is not a stand alone service, rather it is an integral part of both Infant and Toddler, and Preschool programs. Early Head Start/Head Start offers parents opportunities and support for growth so they may identify their own strengths, needs, interests and find their own solutions. The objective of the Parent, Family & Community Engagement is to support parents as they identify and meet their own goals, nurture the development of children in the context of their family and culture, and advocate for communities that are supportive of children and families. The building of trusting, collaborative relationships between parents and staff allows them to share with and to learn from one another.Parents/Guardians are strongly encouraged to be their child's most powerful advocate both in and outside of school.




Are their monthly meetings or forums I can attend?


HOPES CAP, Inc. Early Childhood/Head Start/Early Head Start families can participate in monthly parent meetings that revolve around receiving program and community information, program planning, classroom and health information, and participation in learning activities with their children. HOPES CAP, Inc. Early Childhood Program offers a forum for parents/guardians to ask questions and express their concerns about issues affecting their children through Parent Meetings.




What topics do the parent workshops cover?


• Program Orientation for Parents/Guardians
• Early Childhood Development
• Effective Discipline
• Stress Management
• Cancer Awareness
• Domestic Violence
• Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention
• Basic Nutrition
• Pedestrian Safety
• Dental Health Awareness
• Menu Planning on a Budget




What is the Parent Committee?


A Parent Committee is established and elects officers to facilitate the parent meetings, plan fund-raisers and schedule activities for the children and families.




Are the meetings in Spanish?


Bilingual staff is present during the meetings to answer questions and give guidance as needed.





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