September 14, 2010; Source: | It’s back-to-school time again. Many of you may have sent your kids off to public school just this morning. You may have packed lunches, made sure teeth were brushed and hair combed. And like many of us your child may utilize your school’s after school program, so that you can clock out on time and earn another day’s wage—or at least finish up that proposal you were working on.

If you live in New Jersey, your afternoon routine just got a little bit more expensive. Governor Chris Christie’s new budget, signed into law yesterday, cuts $7.4 million in aid from nonprofits that support after school programs. These cuts affect after-school programs serving nearly 9,000 children of the working poor in New Jersey.

The Boys & Girls Club of Paterson & Passaic—in need of $400,000 to support four programs—has begun charging fees. For a family who is cash-strapped and looking to make ends meet by working a full-time job, after school programs play a vital role to piecing together a very tipsy house of cards—without the programs the house just might fall.—Aaron Lester