Enrolling your child in pre-K for the first time can feel like a big step and you probably have questions! Below are some questions that other parents have asked us before. Don’t see your question below? You can reach out directly to your district or pre-K program of choice to help find the answers you need.

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.