How does Preschool Advantage select the children who are funded for preschool?

Families of children who will be 3 or 4 years old on October 1st may apply for preschool funding for the school year beginning in September. Applications will be available in January online under the Apply button or by calling the office at 973-532-2501. Priority will be given to applications received by February 28th.   Applications received after this date will be reviewed and considered subject to available funding and space in partner schools.
Preschool Advantage seeks to place children who have no other means for attending preschool, that is children who do not qualify for public assistance programs and whose families cannot afford the cost of tuition. The average family income for accepted applicants in 2018 was approximately $46,000.
It is our philosophy to look at each application individually to really understand the need of the family for support and their commitment to educating their child.  We have guidelines to assist in the process, but we do not use rigid rules to inform the selection.  This approach is one way in which Preschool Advantage is different from other funding sources in the community.

How many children are selected?

For the 2018 - 2019 school, year 85 children were selected to receive tuition support. We expect to be able to fund around 100 children for the 2019-2020 school year.  Since its inception, the organization has funded preschool for over 800 children, many of them for two years.

Do parents select which preschool their child attends?

The list of preschools with which Preschool Advantage partners is available online. Parents list their preferred schools on the application. Preschool Advantage is usually able to honor parents’ first or second choice of schools. Final placements are subject to space availability in each school and meeting the school's own application process.

What will Preschool Advantage fund?

Preschool Advantage funds 3 and 4 year olds. If children begin the program at 3, they are eligible for 2 years of preschool. Children may also begin the program at 4. Preschool Advantage funds HALF DAY programs, for example 9-12 each school day.

How do children qualify for a second year of preschool?

Families are required to file an abbreviated application focused on financial information. Preschool Advantage informs the families of 3 year olds completing the program of the application requirements for the second year.

Can children apply for Preschool Advantage funding as 4 year olds? 5 year olds?

Families of children who turn 4 by October 1 of the school year may apply to Preschool Advantage. 5 year olds are not eligible for Preschool Advantage’s assistance.  Parents should apply to the public school system for kindergarten.

Where do I have to live to qualify for Preschool Advantage assistance?

There are no residential qualifications for families applying to Preschool Advantage.  However, families must be able to reliably transport their child to one of the Partner Preschool in Morris and/or Somerset County.

Can I apply for Preschool Advantage assistance if I have also applied for other programs such as Head Start?

Preschool Advantage recognizes that many programs such as Head Start or local municipal preschools have waiting lists. Families may apply to Preschool Advantage as well as to other programs. If another program becomes available for the child, the family is simply asked to notify Preschool Advantage as soon as possible, so that the seat may be made available to another Preschool Advantage child.

How can I apply for Preschool Advantage assistance after the school year has begun?

Preschool Advantage allocates the majority of its funding to families who submit their application prior to February 28.  Applications received after that date are considered subject to availability of funding and space in partner schools.  Those seeking funding after the school year has begun should contact the Preschool Advantage office to inquire as to the possibility of applying at that time.

If my older children attended preschool through Preschool Advantage do my younger children automatically qualify?

No, families whose older children have attended preschool through Preschool Advantage must still submit the standard application package. 

What fees does Preschool Advantage charge families?

Preschool Advantage charges families whose child has been accepted into the program a $75 registration fee. The cumulative fee paid by Preschool Advantage families allows funding of another child.