Open Enrollment for Pre-School Open Doors Begins
By Wendy Osher
Starting today, the state Department of Human Services will begin accepting applications for its Preschool Open Doors program.
The statewide childcare program provides subsidies to eligible low-and-moderate-income families to pay tuition at any of the 428 licensed preschools in the state.
Department officials say that during the last enrollment period more than 1,000 students were approved from the program, and received an average family subsidy of $544 per month.
Under-served or at-risk children born between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009 will receive priority consideration for the program, with the semester set to start on Jan. 1, 2015.
Applications are available throughout this month at the PATCH website or by calling 1-800-746-5620 toll free on the neighbor islands.
According to the PATCH website, families affected by the change to the kindergarten entry age for the school year 2014-15, and families with children who will be enrolling in kindergarten for the school year 2015-16 are encouraged to apply.
Under the law that was implemented on Aug. 20, 2014, children must be at least 5-years of age on or before July 31 of the school year to attend kindergarten, unless otherwise exempt.
Income eligibility for tuition subsidies under the Preschool Open Doors program is based on a monthly gross family income not exceeding the following amounts for 2014: family of 2, $3,718; family of 3, $4,680; family of 4, $5,643; family of 5, $6,605; family of 6, $7,568; family of 7, $8530; family of 8, $9,493; family of 9, $10,456; family of 10, $11,419; and family of 11, $12,382.