Hawaii Application Period for “Preschool Open Doors” Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will be accepting applications for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program between March 1 and April 30, 2014.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

Montessori Country School at the Pahoa Aquatic Center

Montessori Country School at the Pahoa Aquatic Center

POD is a DHS child care subsidy program that provides statewide services to eligible low- and moderate-income families sending their children to a licensed preschool, prior to kindergarten entry. The goal of POD is to promote school readiness and to help children develop a life-long love for learning.  The DHS POD program is a collaboration with the Governor’s Executive Office of Early Learning.

Effective August 2014, a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten.  Families affected by the new 2014-15 entry age, and families with children who will be enrolling in kindergarten during the 2015-16 school year, are encouraged to apply for the POD program.  Underserved or at-risk children born between August 1 and December 31, 2009 will receive priority consideration for the 2014-2015 school year.

POD applications will be available from the DHS contractor, PATCH, beginning March 1, 2014.  To reserve your packet on Oahu call 791-2130; on the Neighbor Islands call 1-800-746-5620.  Applications also can be downloaded from the PATCH website http://www.patchHawaii.org.

Applications must be received by April 30, 2014 to be considered for the 2014-2015 program year.  Return the completed POD application to:

PATCH – POD
560 North Nimitz Highway, Suite 218
Honolulu, HI  96817

POD subsidies help Hawaii families pay tuition at any of the State’s 627 licensed group child care facilities (i.e. preschools).  Eligible families may select the preschool of their choice. Contact the PATCH office to find a facility in your area.

Priorities for POD program selection are detailed in HAR 17-799 posted on the DHS website at http://humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs/.

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