Open enrollment for preschool program begins in October

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Throughout the month of October, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will be accepting applications for its second 2014-2015 Preschool Open Doors (POD) program.

Applications received between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31 will be considered for POD participation from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2015.

POD is a DHS statewide child care program that provides subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay tuition at any of the State’s licensed 428 preschools. The POD subsidy provides children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life. The DHS and the Governor’s Executive Office on Early Learning collaborate on the POD program.

Effective August 2014, a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Underserved or at-risk children born between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009 will receive priority consideration for the POD program.

Interested families may request an application beginning Oct. 1 from the DHS’ POD contractor, PATCH.

On Oahu, call 791-2130. Neighbor Islands, call toll-free 1-800-746-5620.

Applications may be downloaded from the PATCH website http://www.patchHawaii.org. Applications must be received on or before Oct. 31, 2014 to be considered for the Jan. 1 through June 30, 2015 POD program.

Please mail completed POD applications to:
PATCH – POD
560 North Nimitz Highway, Suite 218
Honolulu, HI 96817

Families also can contact PATCH to locate a preschool close to home. During the last POD open enrollment period, PATCH received 1,796 applications. A total of 1,087 students were approved and placed. The average family subsidy was $544 per month.

For more information about other DHS programs and services, visit www.humanservices.hawaii.gov.

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