Gov. Phil Murphy was joined by Acting Commissioner of Education Kevin Dehmer at Millridge School in Secaucus on March 12 to highlight the impact access to preschool is having on New Jersey families as part of his administration’s record investment to expand access to preschool statewide. The visit coincides with the announcement of another round of fiscal year 2024 preschool education aid that will allow an additional 16 school districts across the state to establish or expand high-quality preschool programs.“Access to early childhood education helps set the tone for the rest of a child’s educational career by providing innumerable benefits that will follow young learners throughout their lives,” Murphy said. “From advanced literacy skills to enhanced social and emotional development, access to high-quality preschool programs has a tangible impact on our children. That is why I am proud to announce continued investments to expand access to preschool for families across the state. Today’s announcement builds upon our work to make universal preschool a reality in New Jersey so that more children have the tools and resources necessary to succeed.”The funding is projected to provide 827 additional seats for children to access high-quality preschool education. This second round of funding for fiscal year 2024 builds on the $25 million investment in preschool funding announced last October that provided for an additional 1,715 preschool seats in 26 school districts. High-quality preschools are full-day programs that have a certificated teacher and aide, limited class size, curriculum aligned to the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards and are inclusive of special needs children.“We know that high-quality preschool sets the foundation for a child’s success and is linked to improved student outcomes for years to come,” Dehmer said. “That’s why bringing high-quality preschool to more communities can be so transformative, and one that is well worth our investment.”The additional funding builds on the Murphy administration’s campaign to put New Jersey on the path to universal preschool, providing every 3- and 4-year-old child in New Jersey with access to free, full-day preschool. Additionally, the governor’s fiscal year 2025 budget proposes an additional $124 million for preschool education, including $20 million to expand high-quality, full-day preschool programs into new school districts. Since taking office, Murphy has increased preschool funding by over $427 million and added more than 14,600 preschool seats in New Jersey school districts.

The following is a list of the 16 additional 2023-2024 school districts receiving PEA funding for preschool programs:

Projected Funding 
Cinnaminson Township
Tabernacle Township
Cape May
Upper Township
Delaware Township
Holland Township
Union Township
Lawrence Township
Atlantic Highlands
Oldmans Township
Fredon Township
Great Meadows Regional