Preschool Expansion Questions and Answers

Collaboration | District Options | ECPA/ELLI | Eligibility | Funding | Kindergarten | Parent Choice
Program | Special Education | Wraparound Services

Collaboration

1.Q.  May a provider choose not to contract with a school district?

A.  Private providers and Head Start agencies are encouraged to collaborate with their school district. However, the decision to contract for services is voluntary.

2.Q.  Will teachers in community-based/Head Start programs be employees of the district?

A.  Teachers in community-based/Head Start programs will remain as employees of the provider.

3.Q.  Will there be a model contract provided for districts to use with providers?

A.  Yes.  The model contract will be made available on the Web at http://www.nj.gov/education/ece/.

4.Q.  What criteria will be included in a district’s contract with a private provider?

A.  The model contract will include sections on program components, staff qualifications, compensation, district/provider coordination, fiscal responsibility, program monitoring, etc. The preschool program contract will be in a form provided and approved by the department. 

5.Q.  May a provider collaborate with neighboring districts even if the center is not physically located in that district?

A.  Yes.

6.Q.  Are providers required to provide meals?

A.  At-risk children in all settings must be offered breakfast, lunch and one snack per day conforming to the 2005 United States Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines for Americans located at www.nal.usda.gov/childcare/Cacfp/index.html regarding meal pattern requirements and nutrition standards.

7.Q.  May providers implement the program by combining tuition-paying families with program-eligible children?

A.  Eligible children and noneligible children may be in the same classroom under the following conditions:  the department’s high-quality standards are being met, and children eligible for the program are given first preference for preschool slots.

8.Q.  Will districts be informed of existing preschools in their districts?

A.  Districts can contact the child care resource referral agency at www.njaccrra.org to get information about licensed childcare centers in their districts and surrounding area.

9.Q.  Are there any assurances that contracts will continue from one year to the next, assuming that quality standards are met?

A.  The term of districts’ agreements with private providers or local Head Start agencies will be one year.  Districts must notify any private provider or local Head Start agency, the Department of Education (Division of Early Childhood Education), and the Department of Children and Families (Office of Licensing) in writing on or before
May 1 of each contract year of its intent to renew or not renew the preschool program contract for an additional one-year term. 

10.Q.  May a district contract with a provider that does not hold a child care license? 

A.  No.

11.Q.  Should local providers be concerned that districts are going to put them out of business?

A.  The department supports a mixed delivery system that includes in-district, private provider and local Head Start agency settings, based on successful collaborations within the Abbott districts.  Districts are strongly encouraged to look into collaborative relationships and to contract with local providers wherever possible.

12.Q.  May a district contract with religiously affiliated private providers?

A.  Districts may contract with religiously affiliated private providers, but no expression of religion may be present during the state-funded portion of the day.

13.Q.  Do providers need to meet specific regulations in order to enter into a contract with the district?

A.  The district must make sure that any contracting provider is willing and able to meet all standards established in administrative code.  All contracting providers must also hold a valid license from the Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing.

14.Q.  What is the best way for a district to start a relationship with a potential contracting provider?

A.  The department recommends that districts contact providers in their area and arrange a site visit to determine which centers might best fit the needs of the program.  The New Jersey Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NJACCRRA) is available to assist districts in locating existing providers in their area.  NJACCRRA’s website is www.njaccrra.org.

15.Q.  What is the incentive for a provider to contract with a district to serve eligible children?

A.  Collaboration will allow providers to receive additional funding and in many cases increase the quality of their programs.

16.Q.  Why are provider teachers in classrooms with eligible children to be paid according to the district salary scale?

A.  Comparable compensation will help providers retain qualified teachers.

17.Q.  What if a provider’s current program is less than six hours?

A.  In order to contract with the district, the provider would have to agree to serve eligible children conforming to the length of the school day of the district.  The length of the school day must be at least six hours.

18.Q.  May a preschool expansion district contract with an Abbott district to provide preschool services?

A.  Yes.  Guidance regarding local agreements is forthcoming.

District Options

1.Q.  Is a district required to contract with providers/Head Start?

A.  Based on successful collaborations within the Abbott districts, the department supports a mixed delivery system that includes in-district, private provider and local Head Start agency settings. Districts are strongly encouraged to engage in collaborative relationships and to contract with local providers wherever possible.

2.Q.  May a district choose whether or not to provide preschool to eligible children?

A.  School districts that are required to provide universal preschool must provide free access to full-day preschool for all three- and four-year old children. School districts that are required to provide targeted preschool must provide free access to full-day preschool for at-risk three- and four-year-old children.  All programs funded through preschool education aid must meet department standards for high quality.

3.Q.  May a district contract with a provider located in another district? 

A.  A district may contract with providers located outside the district’s boundaries.

4.Q.  Does the district have to offer the program to 90 percent of its universe or get 90 percent of its universe of children to enroll in the program? 

A.  All district boards of education are required to offer full-day preschool for all eligible three- and four-year-old children by the 2013-2014 school year.  Each district must document, in a department-approved five-year plan and annual updates, the district’s strategies to serve at least 90 percent of the universe of eligible preschool children by the 2013-2014 school year.

5.Q.  What will happen if the district doesn’t get 90 percent of the universe of eligible children to enroll in the program?

A.  The district board of education may be required to submit a corrective action plan to the department if enrollment targets are not met.

6.Q.  What options are there for districts with fewer than 15 eligible children?

A.  Districts may choose to combine eligible children with noneligible and/or preschool disabled children, to combine programs with another district, or to have a classroom with fewer than 15 children.

7.Q.  Is the district allowed to have a waiting list?

A.  Districts must document strategies to serve at least 90 percent of the eligible universe of children by 2013-14.  However, districts may place children on a waiting list while working towards serving 90 percent of the eligible universe.

ECPA/ELLI

1.Q.  What funding will ECPA and ELLI districts receive during the planning year?

A.  Non-Abbott ECPA districts will receive at least the same preschool aid as in 07-08.  Districts receiving ELLI aid in 07-08 will receive the same preschool aid in 08-09 that the district received in 07-08.

2.Q.  Will ELLI districts be required to change from 18 in a classroom to 15?

A.  For 2009-10, the maximum class size for all districts will be 15.

3.Q.  If an ECPA district does not choose to expand in 2008-09, does the district have to lower class sizes to 15 during the 2008-09 school year?

A.  No.

Eligibility

1.Q.  Will school districts determine eligibility?

A.  District boards of education will determine age-eligibility for enrollment in both universal and targeted preschool programs for three- and four-year-old children using the same date as that for determining age eligibility for kindergarten programs.  In school districts required to provide targeted preschool, district boards of education must establish proof of income eligibility for each enrolling age-eligible child using the Free and Reduced School Meals Household Application found at http://www.state.nj.us/education/finance/fp/psd/cnp/application.pdf

2.Q.  Do targeted districts and universal districts have to meet the same program standards?

A.  All districts with eligible preschoolers will need to implement a high-quality preschool program based on New Jersey Administrative Code, the Preschool Program Implementation Guidelines, and the Preschool Teaching and Learning Expectations.

3.Q.  Can eligible and noneligible children be mixed in the same classroom?

A.  Eligible and noneligible children may be in the same classroom as long as the classroom meets the department’s high-quality standards.

4.Q.  How can districts identify eligible children in targeted districts?

A.  Districts will need to use recruitment and outreach strategies to advertise the preschool program to their communities.  Advertisements can indicate that some families may be eligible to receive services free of charge.  Upon registration, parents will need to complete paperwork for free and reduced lunch eligibility.

5.Q.  Will families currently receiving New Jersey Cares for Kids (NJCK) vouchers be eligible to participate?

A.  Yes, if the family meets the eligibility requirements of the program in their resident district.

6.Q.  How do we determine our universe of eligible students?

A.  For districts providing universal preschool, the number of first graders reported on the Application for State School Aid (ASSA) is multiplied by two.  For districts providing targeted preschool, the number of first graders reported on the Application for State School Aid (ASSA) is multiplied by two with the result multiplied by the percentage of free and reduced lunch pupils in kindergarten through grade 12.

7.Q.  Is there a formula to determine how many children need to be served in each year of the five-year plan?

A.  No.  In the five year plan, each district will need to illustrate how they plan to reach 90 percent of their universe of eligible children by 2013-14.

8.Q.  If a district’s K-12 population is used to determine the percent of free or reduced lunch-eligible students, how will the number of eligible students be calculated for districts that are K-8 or K-5?

A.  The district’s overall resident population will be used to determine the number of eligible students whether the district is K-12, K-8, K-5, or some other configuration.

9.Q.  What cut-off date must a district use to determine age eligibility for the preschool program?

A.  District boards of education must determine age-eligibility for enrollment in both universal and targeted preschool programs for three- and four-year-old children using the same date as that for determining age eligibility for kindergarten programs.

Funding

1.Q.  Will the state pay for the entire program?

A.  The per-pupil amounts generated by preschool education aid are intended to fund the entire cost of implementing high-quality preschool programs as required by P.L. 2007, c. 260 and N.J.A.C. 6A:13A.

2.Q.  How will funding be distributed to contracting provider/Head Start programs?

A.  Districts will make payments to contracting providers based on a contractual agreement, with adjustments for actual enrollment and allowable expenditures.

3.Q.  Will districts receive the same amount of funding per child?

A.  No.  The amounts will differ depending on the county the district is in and the setting the district plans to use to serve children.  Preschool education aid will reflect the cost of the pupil’s placement in a district program, a licensed child care provider program, or a Head Start Program.  For the 2008-2009 school year, the base preschool per-pupil aid amounts will be $11,506 for pupils enrolled in an in-district program, $12,934 for pupils enrolled in a licensed child care provider program, and $7,146 for pupils enrolled in a Head Start program.  These base amounts will be adjusted for each county by a geographic cost adjustment. 

4.Q.  How much funding can a district take out of the base Head Start or provider per-pupil amounts for district administrative costs?

A.  It is recommended that each district first determine an estimated per-pupil cost for the overall administration of the preschool program (nurses, master teachers, early childhood supervisors, etc).  Once determined, that per-pupil cost should then be subtracted from each applicable per-pupil amount (district, private provider or Head Start).  The resulting per-pupil amounts are what should be used for the instructional piece of the district program and the instructional and administrative pieces of the provider and Head Start programs.

5.Q.  Will teachers in contracting private provider or Head Start settings be paid the same as district teachers?

A.  The district board of education must ensure that compensation for certified teachers and teacher assistants in private provider or local Head Start settings is comparable to that of a teacher or teacher assistant employed by the district board of education based on equivalent certification and credentials.

6.Q.  Are line-item budgets going to be required as an accountability measure for provider or Head Start programs?

Budgets will be calculated on a per-pupil basis. However, providers must use the Private Provider One-Year Planning Budget Worksheet as the basis for their quarterly expenditure report.  Providers must also submit to the district a quarterly expenditure report of actual, approvable, reasonable and customary expenditures.

7.Q.  Must parents provide financial information to districts?

A.  Families in districts offering “targeted” preschool programs will need to complete an application for free and reduced price meals in order to determine their eligibility for free preschool.

8.Q.  Can a district use part of the preschool education aid to offset the costs of
K-12?

A.  A district board of education that provides documentation of efforts to serve 90 percent of its eligible universe of preschool children within the five-year preschool program plan and annual updates, is fully implementing a full-day preschool program and is meeting the elements established for high-quality preschool programs for three- and four-year-old children must use any additional preschool aid to implement a full-day kindergarten program if the district still operates a half-day kindergarten program. The district may then, upon approval by the Commissioner, budget preschool education aid to support kindergarten through grade 12.

9.Q.  If district factor group (DFG) designations will change at the end of the decade with the new census, can the NJDOE let districts know whether they are on the brink of having their designation changed?

A.  There is no way to have prior knowledge of the impact of the decennial census data on DFG designations.  Districts required to provide a universal preschool program (that is, DFG A and B school districts, and DFG CD school districts with a concentration of at-risk pupils equal to or greater than 40 percent) will continue to do so for a minimum of three school years from the time of initial determination even if the district’s concentration of at-risk pupils falls below a 40 percent concentration of at-risk pupils. In the event that the district falls below a 40 percent concentration of at-risk pupils for two consecutive school years, in the third school year, the district will receive preschool education aid for each at-risk pupil and for any four-year-old pupil for whom the district received preschool education aid in the prior school year.

10.Q.  Will districts have penalties for exceeding their administrative budget cap to hire preschool and/or other administrators to comply with the new preschool code?

A.  No. Preschool education aid lines will not have an impact on the administrative limit calculation other than in the section of unallocated benefits.

11.Q  If a district does not have an administrator that could be dedicated to developing the preschool expansion plan during the 2008-2009 school year, will there be funding available for districts to hire staff or consultants for this purpose?

A.  Additional funding is not available to hire staff/consultants to develop the preschool plan.

12.Q.  How much will the geographic adjustment be for preschool expansion funding?

A.  Each district’s geographic cost adjustment will be the same as used for the K-12 school funding formula.  Geographic cost adjustments are listed in Appendix B of A Formula for Success: All Children, All Communities found on the department’s Web site at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/sff/.  The geographic cost adjustments are also listed on the bottom of the “2009-10 District Budget Planning Worksheet,” found within the 2009-10 District Budget Planning Workbook.

13.Q.  How can districts be sure that preschool funding will be sufficient to support the program without placing any additional burden on the rest of the district budget?

A.  The per-pupil amounts generated by preschool education aid are intended to fund the entire cost of implementing high-quality preschool programs as required by P.L. 2007, c. 260 and N.J.A.C. 6A:13A.

14.Q.  How much local funding will districts need to contribute to the program?

A.  Districts are not expected to have to contribute local funding to operate the program for eligible students.  If a district chooses to serve students who are not eligible for free preschool, the district may charge tuition or use local or general funds to serve those students.

15.Q.  Will districts offering targeted preschool programs bear the cost of non-at-risk students?

A.  Districts may charge tuition to non-at-risk students or use local or general funds to serve those students.  Districts may also, upon approval from the Commissioner and satisfaction of elements established for high-quality preschool programs for eligible children, subsidize preschool programs for resident preschool-aged children who are not eligible.

16.Q.  Will districts get additional funding in the middle of the year if more children enroll?

A.  Aid adjustments for enrollment will be made in the subsequent year based on ASSA enrollment counts submitted in October of each year.  Aid adjustments will not be made for children enrolling after the ASSA count is submitted.

17.Q.  Will funding be available for children attending a program in a district in which they are not a resident?

A.  Aid will follow each eligible child.  Eligible students may be sent from their home district to another district through a written agreement between the districts.  A district may also choose to contract with a private provider located in a neighboring district.  

18.Q.  Will startup costs be available to both districts and providers?

A.  District/provider classrooms may be eligible for startup funding in 2009-2010.  Eligible startup classrooms are defined as newly contracted classrooms for 2009-2010 that expand the total department-approved district preschool capacity and are not currently equipped with materials for a preschool program.  Moving an existing classroom to a new location will not qualify the classroom for startup funding.  Startup classrooms must expand the overall number of preschool classrooms. 

19.Q.  May funding be used for middle-income students, or those on the cusp of being low-income?

A.  Districts may, upon approval from the Commissioner and satisfaction of elements established for high-quality preschool programs for eligible children, subsidize preschool programs for resident preschool-aged children who are not eligible.

20.Q.  If a district enters into a written agreement with another district, how will the estimated aid be calculated for the sending district?

A.  Aid for the district that is sending at-risk eligible children to another district will be based on the per-pupil amount for in-district programs for the sending district.

21.Q.  If multiple school districts have developed a written agreement, will they each pay the same amount?

A.  The written agreement must indicate the amount of tuition per child that each district sending students will contribute to the district serving the students. No district may be required to contribute more than the per-pupil amount received for the program; however, their contributions may vary depending on the services provided.

22.Q.  Do self-contained preschool disabled classrooms count as already existing preschool classrooms when it comes to startup funds?

A.  No. Self-contained preschool disabled classrooms that are being converted to general education/inclusion classrooms are eligible for startup funds.

Kindergarten

1.Q.  Are all school districts now required to implement full-day kindergarten?

A.  Full-day kindergarten is not currently a requirement.  However, all school districts currently required to provide universal preschool programs also provide full-day kindergarten.  In addition, N.J.A.C. 6A:13-3.2 states that school districts in which 40 percent or more of the students are "at-risk" as defined in P.L. 2007, c.260 must maintain all existing full-day kindergarten programs with a teacher's aide for each classroom.

2.Q.  Will funds be available to expand kindergarten services to full-day?

A.  The School Funding Reform Act of 2008 (SFRA) removed the disincentive for districts currently providing full-day kindergarten programs, because full-day kindergarteners are no longer funded as half-day students.  The new formula encourages districts to provide full-day kindergarten by funding the second half of full-day kindergarten as a part of the adequacy budget.

Parent Choice

1.Q.  Will parents be able to choose the preschool that they want their child to attend?

A.  If a district is offering the preschool program in multiple sites, the district may allow parents to indicate which site they prefer.  Districts may also choose to assign children to particular sites based on geographic or other considerations. Placement in a child’s neighborhood is optimal when feasible.

2.Q.  What if a parent requests a half-day option for the preschool program?

A.  While the district must offer a full-day program to all eligible students, it is recommended, but not required, that students attend the program for the full school day.

Program

1.Q.  What will be the maximum number of children per classroom?

A.  Class size must not be greater than 15 children.

2.Q.  Will the program be based on a normal school year and a normal school day?

A.  "Full-day preschool" means a preschool program consisting of a six-hour comprehensive educational program and day in accordance with the school district’s grade one through 12 daily school calendar, and not exceeding the 10-month academic period. 

3.Q.  Are the six hours continuous?

A.  The six-hour day should be continuous, and include meal and nap times.

4.Q.  Is there a naptime included in the six-hour day?

A.  Naptime is included in the six-hour day, but should not exceed one hour in most cases.

5.Q.  May we offer a minimum six-hour day that is still slightly less than our regular school schedule in order to give teachers prep time and breaks?

A.  Prep time and breaks should be integrated within the regular school day.  For example, teachers may take break or prep time during students’ naptime, when preschool children can be supervised by one adult, or at the beginning or end of the school day.

6.Q.  Will mixed age groupings (three- and four-year-olds together in one class) be permitted?

A.  Mixed-age groupings are encouraged, as they are ideal for accommodating the varied developmental levels of three- and four-year-old children.

7.Q.  Will the state recommend a curriculum?

A.  There are five research-based curricula that the department will approve in the Five-year Preschool Program Plan. They include Bank Street, Creative Curriculum, Curiosity Corner, High/Scope and Tools of the Mind.

8.Q.  Will the Division of Early Childhood Education approve additional curriculum models beyond the five listed in Question 8?

A.  No district-developed curricula will be approved.  If the district is proposing another preschool curriculum, submit the information listed below to the department along with the Five-Year Preschool Program Plan.  In addition, a waiver must be submitted.

  • Summary of the curriculum;
  • Scope and sequence of professional development;
  • Alignment of the curriculum’s activities and child learning outcomes with the Preschool Teaching and Learning Expectations;
  • Classroom-based curriculum implementation assessment instrument;
  • Child performance-based assessment; and
  • Any efficacy research.

9.Q.  How can districts learn about other districts that are successfully implementing research-based preschool curricula so they can initiate partnerships or view curricula in action?

A.  The Office of Preschool Education has a list of districts using approved preschool curriculum models, available upon request. This list has been provided to the Department of Education’s county offices.

10.Q.  In the section on Supporting English Language Learners in the Five-year Preschool Program Plan, what does the department mean in saying that language proficiency screening tools are not appropriate for making placement decisions about three- and four-year-olds?

A.  Screening measures are intended to identify potential learning or behavioral challenges that may have a significant negative impact on school success. Important decisions should not be based on screening results alone, as these results are prone to error, particularly when used with young children. Information about the child’s language skills collected from the child’s family should help inform any placement decisions.

11.Q.  Is the master teacher function required in districts with targeted programs and a small universe? If so, how can it be fulfilled?

A.  Yes. The mentoring/coaching feature of the preschool program is a critical component. There are many ways to fulfill the function of the master teacher. A qualified person in the district can serve in the role of the master teacher, as long as he or she does not supervise the preschool classroom teachers or teach in the full-day preschool program.  The position can be shared with other school districts, or an Education Service Commission can provide the position, if approved to do so.

12.Q.  May a district serve students half-day in district classrooms and then bus children to a local private provider for the second half of the day? 

A.  The department does not recommend this model.  Eligible preschoolers must be offered a comprehensive and well-integrated full-day program, preferably at the same site.

13.Q. Will a district with a small universe, with no current administrators with preschool experience, have to hire a person to administer the preschool program?

A.  Districts may use an alternate method for meeting early childhood administrator requirements.  The Five-year Preschool Program Plan must show that administrators will participate in training in the district’s preschool curriculum, complete the department’s preschool leadership track, and complete coursework in early childhood education during the first year of implementation.

14.Q. What other positions in the preschool program can the Preschool Intervention and Referral Team (PIRT) social worker fulfill if he/she does not hold a Masters of Social Work (MSW)?

A. If the social worker on the PIRT does not have an MSW, he/she cannot serve as the school social worker for the preschool program, but can serve as the Community Parent Involvement Specialist.

15.Q. May the nurse function be fulfilled by Head Start or a community provider?

A. N.J.A.C. 6A:13A supports the use of county Education Services Commissions to provide nursing services, if approved to do so.  In addition, Head Start or other community providers may serve that role if they meet the district’s nursing services plans.

16.Q. May the early childhood supervisor be someone who has supervised the preschool disabled program?

A. This is permissible only if the supervisor has the appropriate education and experience as described in N.J.A.C. 6A:13A, or districts can demonstrate how the program’s administrator will gain preschool experience and/or education. Training in the district’s preschool curriculum, participation in the department’s preschool leadership track, and coursework in early childhood education are acceptable means of gaining appropriate education and experience.

17.Q. May multiple districts share a Community Parent Involvement Specialist (CPIS)?

A. It is important that the staff person providing the services of the CPIS has direct knowledge of the district’s community. However, the position may be shared with other districts.

18.Q. May a district with a targeted program serve eligible preschoolers in two half-day sessions instead of one full-day session?

A. No.  The two sessions are likely to be similar in schedule and activities and, therefore, are not optimal as a full-day alternative. The high-quality preschool program funded by the state is defined as a full-day program.

Special Education

1.Q.  What if the district currently offers only a half-day program for preschool children with disabilities?

A.  Districts with a universal program will have to offer a full-day program to all resident preschoolers, including students with disabilities.  Districts with targeted programs will have to offer a full-day program to resident income-eligible preschoolers, including students with disabilities who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

2.Q.  If the district’s eligible preschool children with disabilities are all served out of district, would the district still be required to offer those students a full-day program?

A.  Yes.

3.Q.  If a district with a targeted preschool program has a small number of low-income students who all decline the program, is the district still obligated to offer a full-day program to preschool disabled students?

A.  Yes. The district is obligated to offer a full-day program to all at-risk eligible preschool disabled students.

4.Q.  Will special education funding come from different sources with the new preschool expansion program?

A.  No. Districts will still get Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding, in addition to the elementary aid base.

5.Q.  What will happen if a district offering a targeted preschool program is not able to get sufficient numbers of income-eligible general education children registered in inclusion classrooms to keep their special education proportions in line with code?

A.  In addition to increasing recruitment and outreach efforts, districts can consider bringing in general education students from other districts through written agreements and accepting tuition-paying families.

6.Q.  Will preschool expansion have an impact on our child-find obligation?

A.  Preschool expansion will not have an impact on a district’s responsibility to undertake a child-find process under IDEA. When recruiting children for the preschool program, child-find information should be included on recruitment materials.

7.Q.  Even if a preschool disabled child is eligible for the program, if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) states that a half-day program is most appropriate for the child, does the district have to move the child to a full-day program?

A.  No.  If the child’s IEP indicates that a half-day program is most appropriate, the district should keep that child in a half-day program.

8.Q.  Our district already has a successful program for preschool handicapped children.  The district is planning to partner with a private provider to serve eligible general education preschool students.  Are we obligated to operate inclusion classrooms?

A.  Inclusion is the optimal model as it accommodates the preschool disabled child’s need for the least restrictive environment.

9.Q.  If a preschool disabled child is eligible for the program and the IEP indicates that a half-day program is most appropriate, can preschool education aid be used to cover the other half of the day?

A. No. If the child’s IEP requires a longer day, special education funds are used to cover the costs.

10.Q.  On page 9 of the Five-year Preschool Program Plan, should we include all preschool disabled children in general education classrooms, or just those preschool disabled children who are eligible for the program?

A. Enter the information for all preschool disabled children in general education classrooms, regardless of eligibility.

11.Q.  Does the estimated universe on the 2009-2010 District Enrollment Projections Workbook include preschool children with disabilities?

A. No. Only general education preschool children are included.

12.Q.  In a universal program that is currently operating half-day preschool disabled classrooms, should the self-contained preschoolers stay in the self-contained setting for a full day?

A.  Each child’s IEP will determine the type of placement. However, children with disabilities should be placed in the least restrictive environment. We recommend inclusive settings unless the IEP specifies the need to be served in a self-contained classroom.

13.Q.  Can the Intervention and Referral Services team (I&RS) function as the PIRT?

A. Yes, as long as the functions of the PIRT, as described in N.J.A.C. 6A:13A, are fulfilled.

14.Q.  What is the maximum number of children with IEPs that can be in a preschool expansion class?  What will be the staff requirements for including children with disabilities in a preschool expansion class?

A preschool child with a disability may be placed by an IEP team in any early childhood classroom funded through preschool expansion. The early childhood classroom is staffed by a teacher and an aide as required by preschool administrative code.

Special education code does not specify the maximum number of students with disabilities that may be placed in a general education class. However, in order to report the class as a general education preschool class for the IDEA, the number of students with disabilities cannot exceed 50 percent.

The Division of Early Childhood Education’s Preschool Program Implementation Guidelines recommend that special education proportions in the classroom mirror the naturally occurring proportions seen in the community – in general, one to two preschool children with disabilities in each general education preschool classroom. 
 
Each preschool child’s IEP will determine the level of additional adult support given to the child throughout the preschool day.

Wraparound Services

1.Q.  Will the wraparound program be extended to low-income preschoolers outside the Abbott districts?

A.  Districts and private providers are encouraged to provide before- and after-school care programs where there is evidence of need. The Department of Children and Families can provide specific information regarding offering a wraparound program.

2.Q.  If a provider currently has a community-based care contract, will that contract have to be relinquished if the provider chooses to subcontract with a district for the preschool program?

A.  Yes.  The provider would lose the CBC federally funded slots.