Tiny Tots, the largest child care center in Lakewood for preschool special education services, was approved today by the NJ State Department of Education to receive funding for its services, just a week after it was made public that the Department of Education would rescind $4 million of pre-school funding for the Lakewood School District if the contract with Tiny Tots was allowed to continue.
The Department of Education had claimed that the Tiny Tots program, both for special education and regular education, is not up to standards and is ineligible for any state funding. The Department of Education, it was said last week, would require the District to bring the entire program in-house. The school board had said at the time that the District would create a mirror program to the Tiny Tots program, in the public school system, with culturally sensitive teachers, in a separate fenced in area made up of 8 trailers.
Today, the state said that it would, indeed, allow funding to continue for the Tiny Tots program.
What still remains a mystery, however, is the status of the Ready, Set, Grow program, which also provides preschool special education services in Lakewood. Matzav.com spoke with Mr. Jeff Hofberg, a parent of a child in that program, who related that on Monday, he was informed that the state would no longer be funding the program.
“When I called a member of the school board,” said Jeff said, “he knew nothing about it.”
Jeff added that he – and other parents – never received notice from Ready, Set, Grow that funding for the preschool special education services was terminated.
The attorney for the Board of Education, Mr. Michael Inzelbuch, told Mr. Hoffberg that the termination took effect as on June 30.
“It is thus even more perplexing,” Jeff told Matzav.com, “that I and other parents of the program weren’t apprised of this for over 7 weeks. The school board appeared to be in the dark as well. This is a lack of communication at best and irresponsibility at worst.”