Kauai News

Preschool Open Doors Program Accepting Applications

Posted January 18, 2021, 9:03 AM HST

The Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (DHS) is assisting eligible families to better-afford preschool for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Preschool Open Doors (POD) program application period began earlier in January and is open through March 31, 2021. Funds are limited, so DHS encourages families to apply as soon as possible.

To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2022-2023 school year (born between Aug. 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017). If awarded a subsidy, families may use any one of the 409 state-licensed preschools. DHS also gives priority to underserved or at-risk children. Preschool Open Doors provides subsidies to eligible families to help pay preschool tuition.

POD aims to assist low-income and moderate-income families with a subsidy that provides their children the opportunity to attend preschool. Preschool and other early learning opportunities help children gain essential skills, be prepared for school, and chart a course for lifelong success.

Interested families may access the application from the department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting patchhawaii.org or calling (808) 791-2130. They may also call toll-free at 1-800-746-5620.

PATCH can help families locate a preschool convenient for them. Applications must be received by end of business day on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, for consideration during the July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 program period. Applications may be dropped off, mailed, faxed, or emailed to the following:

PATCH – POD

560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 218

Honolulu, HI 96817

Fax: (808) 694-3066

Email: PODAdmin@patch-hi.org

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed online in HAR §17-799, which is available online at humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs

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