Information for Parents
How do I know if my child is eligible for Pre-K?
Enrollment in the Voluntary Pre-K program is based upon a child’s eligibility as identified in T.C.A. § 49-6-101─104. Available space in each school system is limited and is based on the funding awarded each year through a grant process. Children must be four years old by Aug. 15 prior to the new school year and reside in the area served by the school district. No child who is age eligible for kindergarten (five years of age on or before Aug. 15 prior to the new school year) may be enrolled in pre-K.
Enrollment Priority Requirements
1st Priority (Tier 1) - Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-6-101, students identified as economically disadvantaged are the top priority for VPK. This identification is based on income levels set each year by the Department of Health and Human Services and is used during the application process to determine income eligibility for enrollment. Check with your local school district for application to determine child’s eligibility.
2nd Priority (Tier 2) - Students with disabilities, students identified as English Language Learners (ELL), in state custody, or those identified as educationally at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect.
3rd Priority (Tier 3) - If space for enrollment remains after identifying children who meet Tier 1 or 2, the school district may enroll any child that meets the age requirement and the requirements set forth by the Community Pre-K Advisory Council (C-PAC). These students are considered unserved or underserved and may be enrolled by the process established by the C-PAC.
How do parents apply to enroll their children in Pre-K?
Parents and guardians will need to contact the Pre-K Coordinator in their district for application instructions. View the list of Pre-K Coordinators.
What will my child learn in pre-K?
Your child’s first year of school is an exciting time for both you and your child. The goal of the pre-K school year is to engage each child in learning through a curriculum that focuses on the needs of young children in all areas of development including language, early literacy, math, science, social studies, the arts, physical development, as well as social emotional development, and healthy living. Each day is planned to provide hands on experiences that develop and support a child’s love and joy of learning. The classroom environment creates a safe, nurturing, and supportive place for young children to explore these new learning opportunities and to set the foundation for future learning in the years to come. Your child’s teacher will provide you with information on classroom activities throughout the year to keep you informed on what your child is learning about throughout the year.
To accomplish all of this in pre-K, your child’s teacher will need your support to learn about your child and his/her interests. This will help the teacher build on what your child is already comfortable with and to also expand his knowledge of new things. The teacher will also provide suggestions and ideas for ways to help your child continue to grow and learn as home.