Find out if your family is eligible for FREE Pre-K

FREE Pre-K can take your 3- or 4-year-old to new heights.

This is one of the most important times in your child’s brain development; what they learn in Pre-K can change the course of their life.

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Why Pre-K Matters

Kids who go to Pre-K are more prepared for reading and math in school, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college and earn more money in their careers.

Resources

Your Child will learn

  • Letters of the Alphabet
  • Numbers
  • Language Phrases
  • Problem Solving
  • Communicating with Peers
  • Following Directions

See If You Qualify

You could qualify for FREE Pre-K if any of the statements below apply to your child. To find out, click the button below to take the eligibility quiz.

  • Your family is eligible for a national free or reduced-price lunch program
  • Your child doesn’t speak or understand English (yet!)
  • Your family doesn’t currently have a home or is looking for a permanent home
  • One parent or guardian is on active duty in the armed forces
  • The child is currently or was previously in foster care
  • One parent or guardian is eligible for the Star of Texas Award

Pre-K Testimonials

These parents made the choice to send their children to a quality Pre-K program, and they share their children’s success stories.
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DON'T LOSE YOUR PRE-K SPOT!

A quality Pre-K program will help your child learn through reading stories, singing songs, playing games, and exploring their world with their classmates — kids still get to be kids while building the foundational skills they need to be great readers and math superstars. Pre-K students also get acquainted with how school works, and they enter kindergarten with confidence!

FAQs

Step 1: Find out if you qualify for free pre-K You could qualify for FREE pre-K if you are eligible. To find out, take the eligibility quiz.

Step 2: Find Schools Nearby If you qualify for free pre-K and live anywhere in Greater Houston or Harris County, there’s a free, quality pre-K program near you.

Step 3: Make A List Of Your Favorite Schools Think about your needs as a family, whether that’s half-day or full-day options, aftercare, a bus service, school meals, or programs for learning English.

Step 4: Gather Your Documents To be able to show that you meet one or more of these criteria, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork.
*No one will ask you or your child about your citizenship status. This paperwork is so that we can get you approved for free pre-K and all children and families are welcome!

Step 5: Enroll your child in pre-K! You can enroll online or call your district to enroll. In some cases, you can make an appointment to enroll in person.

Qualifying for free pre-K is based on 1) age and 2) eligibility requirements. To qualify, a child must meet age AND one eligibility requirement. You can see all of the eligibility requirements for free, public pre-K and take our eligibility quiz here.

Your child may qualify for a District Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities through a different process. Ask your school district for more information.

• There are three general types of pre-K programs: 1) Public pre-K offered by traditional school districts and charter schools 2) Head Start programs, offered by school districts and other local providers and 3) Private pre-K programs offered by childcare centers

• Plus, there is a lot of variety even within each of these programs. When making the decision that is right for your family, connect with the school, the Head Start center, or the childcare center to ask questions and learn more about the pre-K program they offer.

• Go to our “How to Enroll” page to get connected to your pre-K options

  • For families that meet eligibility requirements, public school pre-K and Head Start are free. To see if you may be eligible for free pre-K, click here.
  • Some school districts also offer tuition options for families. Ask your district.
  • The cost for private pre-K programs varies. You can learn more about private pre-K programs here.

No, school districts do not ask for the immigration status of parents or children. Children born in other countries are eligible for free pre-K.

  • Some school districts offer tuition programs for children who do not qualify for free pre-K. Ask your district if they offer this option.
  • Families who do not qualify can explore childcare centers that offer pre-K programs on the Collaborative for Children’s website here. (Note: You may qualify for financial aid that can help pay for a private pre-K program. Click here to learn more about financial aid offered by Workforce Solutions.)
  • Some school districts offer pre-K programs for 3-year-olds as of September 1st. Ask your school district.
  • You can also explore childcare centers that offer programs for younger children here
  • It is best to enroll early so that you receive a spot in your pre-k program of choice and give your child the best possible start on the first day of school!
  • Most programs begin enrollment in the spring for the next school year.
  • Enrollment is ongoing, so it’s not too late to enroll!

You can still enroll your child in pre-K. If your child does not have a birth certificate, you can provide one of the following documents:

  • A statement of the child’s date of birth issued by the division of the Texas Department of State Health Services responsible for vital statistics for school admission purposes
  • Passport
  • School ID card
  • Records
  • report card
  • Military ID
  • Hospital birth record
  • Adoption records
  • Church baptismal record
  • Any other legal document that establishes identity and age.
  • Vaccines are available for free to children 0 – 18 who have no insurance, are underinsured, or have Medicaid under the Texas Vaccines for Children program
  • Click here to find a map of clinics that offers free vaccines.
  • For more information about Texas Children’s mobile clinic, call 832-824-6355.