As so many families know, child care costs can take up a lot of the monthly budget. The New Jersey Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) can help income-eligible parents who are working, in school or in job training to pay for child care. You can use these benefits at any licensed child care center, registered family child care provider, approved home (in-home and family, friend or neighbor), school-based program or summer youth camp that is approved by the state and that participates in CCAP.
If you are thinking about or are applying for child care assistance to help you pay for care, our calculator will let you know if you may be eligible. If you are ready to apply, here’s what you need to know -
Applying for Child Care Assistance 
As an applicant/parent seeking child care assistance, you will be required to provide proof of income, training/school hours and household size to help determine eligibility. All required documents must be submitted to be considered for assistance.
Applicant(s)/Parents Eligibility Requirements                                                                                         
  • Must be a New Jersey resident;
  • Must meet income requirements and not have assets that exceed $1 million; and
  • Must be working full time (30 hours or more a week), attending school full time (12 credits or more), or in job training (at least 20 hours a week).
Child Eligibility Requirements 
  • 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; and
  • Must reside with parent(s), or individual(s) acting as parent(s) (in loco parentis).
 Provider Eligibility Requirements 
  • Providers can be licensed child care centers, registered family child care homes, approved homes (in-home and family, friend or neighbor), school-based programs or summer youth camps that are approved by the state; and
  • Eligible providers must comply with all Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) requirements including completing numerous health and safety trainings and required criminal background checks.
Completing and Submitting an Application 
To get started, you must first complete, sign and submit an application with the required documents to the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency in your county. The application is available to download from the right side of this page.


Child Care Assistance for Homeless Families
Experiencing homelessness and needing child care services is a challenge. We make it easier for you to receive help paying for child care even if you don’t have all of the required documents. If you lack a fixed and adequate nighttime residence, you would 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; or
  • 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 child care assistance. Your CCR&R can help or you can call the Child Care Helpline at 1-800-332-9227. 


​COVID-19 Child Care

Waived Copayments
Some families eligible to receive child care assistance are required to share the cost of child care. This is known as a copayment or copay. Copay amounts are determined by family income, family size and the hours of care needed. Copays are separate from other fees. 

Using American Rescue Plan of 2021 funds, the state of New Jersey is currently covering the cost of your copayment to the provider from November 1, 2021 through October 31, 2023.

This means, right now, you are not responsible for paying that copay.

Temporary COVID-19 Family Differential PaymentsIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division of Family Development instituted Temporary COVID-19 Family Differential Payments to support Child Care Assistance Program families using licensed child care centers and registered family child care providers with the cost of child care from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2023.
Family Differential Payments provide up to $300 for full-time care, or $150 for part-time care, per eligible child, per month on top of the child care assistance rate paid by the state on behalf of the family through the end of 2023. This payment goes directly to your child care provider and they will apply the money towards reducing or eliminating the difference between what they charge and what the state pays for care. Your provider also may use these payments to cover any balances due to them or to cover any other costs or fees. 

Child Care Payments Based on Enrollment
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division of Family Development is temporarily making payments to child care providers based on enrollment. For you, this means you do not need to use the eChild Care attendance system (either your Families First card and the swipe machine or calling the IVR phone system) to check your child in and out of care. This will continue through June 30, 2023. However, your child care provider will continue to take attendance.

Additional resources are available on our Emergency/Disaster page