Apply to PK3 or PK4 by March 1, 2018 for school year 2018-19.
The District provides free pre-Kindergarten (PK) education services in its public schools and public charter schools. Families must use the My School DC application to apply to all PK programs offered by schools that participate in My School DC, including:
- Public charter schools; and
- DCPS in-boundary, citywide, and out-of-boundary schools
My School DC encourages families to research all of their public PK options. You can start by using our School Finder, attending EdFEST, or visiting schools. Historical waitlist movement can be found here.
Children of District residents are eligible for these PK programs if they are three years of age on or before September 30 of the upcoming school year (PK3), four years of age on or before September 30 of the upcoming school year (PK4), and children who become five years of age after September 30 of the upcoming school year (K).
Instruction commonly offered in PK
Pre-kindergarten classrooms sometimes follow a program, or curriculum, when deciding what and how to teach. Schools may also create their own program that incorporates aspects of several curricula. The following programs are used by many schools in DC. Check out the school’s profile, call the school, or ask at an open house about the school’s approach to PK instruction!
- Tools of the Mind
- Reggio Emilia
- Teaching Strategies / Creative Curriculum
- Every Child Ready
- Dual Language
Before and After Care
Many schools offer care to their students before and after school, but the programs vary in cost, availability and operation. Use the School Finder and filter by before and after care availability. Contact the school directly to ask about their before and after care program. Click HERE for additional information on income-based child care subsidies.
Information about programs offered through DC Public Schools (DCPS)
DCPS in-boundary PK3 and PK4 programs
An in-boundary school is a DCPS school that a student has a right to attend for grades K-12 based on where the student lives. However the “right to attend” is not extended to children in PK3 or PK4 and there is no guarantee of a lottery match or waitlist offer. If a family seeks to enroll their student in their in-boundary PK3 or PK4 program, they must select that school as one of their 12 selections on their My School DC application and rank it in the order they prefer. PK3 or PK4 applicants will be awarded an “in-boundary” lottery preference at their in-boundary school and, at the time of enrollment, will be required to provide proof of residency at the guardian’s address entered on the My School DC application.
DCPS Early Action PK program
A PK3 or PK4 student is guaranteed a seat at a designated DCPS “Early Action” school as long as they meet the following three conditions:
- The Early Action school is the student’s in-boundary school,
- The student submits a My School DC lottery application by the March 1 deadline, and
- The student is not matched with a school they rank higher than their Early Action school.
A student will not be waitlisted at any school they ranked below their Early Action School. The following is a list of the DCPS Early Action schools for SY18-19:
- Aiton Elementary School
- Amidon-Bowen Elementary School
- Browne Elementary School
- Bunker Hill Elementary School
- Burroughs Elementary School
- Drew Elementary School
- King Elementary School
- Langdon Elementary School
- Langley Elementary School
- Miner Elementary School
- Moten Elementary School
- Noyes Elementary School
- Payne Elementary School
- Stanton Elementary School
- Takoma Education Campus
- Thomson Elementary School
- Truesdell Education Campus
- Turner Elementary School
- Wheatley Education Campus
DCPS Early Stages Assessment Center
Early Stages is a DC Public Schools assessment center for children between the ages of 2 years 8 months and 5 years 10 months. Any District resident can seek their free services to identify any developmental delays your child may have and arrange services to address them. Contact them here.
Information about programs supported by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
PK programs through Community-Based Organizations
The District provides free high quality PK education services through publicly-funded community based organizations (CBOs) in DC. These programs are not part of My School DC. Families can search, learn about, and compare these CBO programs and additional child care options through My Child Care DC. A list of these programs can also be found here. Contact these organizations directly to ask about enrollment.
Strong Start Early Intervention Program
The Strong Start DC Early Intervention Program serves as the single point of entry for infants and toddlers in Washington DC whose families have concerns about their development. Specifically, Strong Start provides early intervention therapeutic and other services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays and their families. Contact them here.