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Governor Murphy announces commitment to universal Pre-K for New Jersey

Governor Also Announces $17 Million in Funds to Bring High-Quality Pre-K to 19 More School Districts

NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Thursday announced that the state will commit to providing universal pre-K to all families across the state over the next several years. Today’s round of funding establishes or expands high-quality pre-K programs in 19 additional school districts across the state. The Department of Education will develop a Strategic Plan that will sets a roadmap for further pre-K expansion throughout the state.

“Investing in early childhood education lays the foundation for a bright future for our early learners,” Murphy said. “Our Administration is committed to ensuring that every New Jersey child receives a high-quality education starting with pre-K. While we still have a long way to go to achieve pre-K for all, today’s expansion further demonstrates our commitment to reaching as many students as possible.”
The Governor’s Universal Pre-K Strategic Plan, led by the Department of Education, will focus on the following:

  • Prioritizing districts and setting a timeline for expansion;
  • Ensuring students have appropriate facilities and quality programming;
  • Involving childcare providers and Head Start in planning to avoid displacing existing high-quality early learning centers;
  • Optimizing funding streams, including federal funds from the federal Build Back Better Plan; and
  • Utilizing best practices from other states that offer expanded/universal pre-k programs.

In addition to vision for pre-K statewide, Governor Murphy announced 19 school districts have been awarded $17 million in pre-K expansion funding for the 2021-2022 school year. This latest round of funding was announced during a visit today to the Dr. Charles Smith Early Childhood Center in Palisades Park, which received $823,860 in state funding.

“Research has shown that children’s trajectory for academic success starts early, and continues throughout their life,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Investing in preschool education pays dividends for our students and future of the State of New Jersey.”

“We commend Gov. Murphy for his steadfast commitment to giving every New Jersey child this important head start in life,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. “We know that every child has incredible potential, but not every child has the same opportunities and resources to fulfill that potential. This investment in our youngest students is another important step in our shared work to build a more just and equitable future.”

Each year in office, Governor Murphy has emphasized early childhood education with the announcement of a new round of state funding. During the Murphy Administration, 140 school districts have received funding for either a new high-quality preschool program or to expand an existing preschool to a high-quality program. The expansion has opened preschool seats for over 9,000 children throughout New Jersey.

Districts that received new state funding to expand or create a high-quality preschool program in the 2021-2022 school year include:





Mullica Township



Palisades Park



Audubon Boro (Audubon Park)



Berlin Township


Cape May

Cape May City



Commercial Township



Deerfield Township



Monroe Township



Washington Township






East Newark



Jackson Township



Ocean Gate



Stafford Township






Penns Grove-Carney’s Point Regional



Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional



Upper Pittsgrove Township





Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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