Pre-K Enrollment Update as of August 10, 2022
Children from families that qualify as Group 1 (up to 300% Federal Poverty Guidelines) have been informed of their acceptance to Pre-K. Pre-K is not mandatory in Maryland. FCPS is required by law to provide Pre-K seats for children qualifying in Group 1.
Families in Group 2 are not guaranteed enrollment. Seats must remain available for Group 1 applications that are submitted after the school year begins. Therefore, Group 2 families may not learn of acceptance to Pre-K until mid-August and possibly, closer to mid-September. As soon as decisions are made about Group 2 acceptances, schools will communicate with families.
FCPS makes every effort to place as many students as possible, however, we are required by law to serve families that qualify by income. Once those requirements are fulfilled, other applications can be considered.
Applying for FCPS public prekindergarten program, regardless of the time of year, DOES NOT automatically guarantee enrollment. Every attempt is made to provide space for as many children as possible, but because of funding restrictions, spaces are limited. In order for your application to be considered, all appropriate information must be completed and accompanied by ALL required documentation. Incomplete applications will not be processed and may affect your child’s placement.
The FCPS Pre-Kindergarten program is a state-funded program for four-year olds who meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Child must be four years old on or before September 1st of the current school year
- Child must reside in Frederick County
- Children whose families qualify up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Limit (new)
Additional state funded Pre-K seats for 3 and 4-year-olds are available at The Learning Bee. Contact them for more information: https://thelearningbee.com/
Is Pre-Kindergarten Mandatory?
No, pre-kindergarten is not a mandatory program for all students in Maryland. Because of this, pre-kindergarten is not available in every Frederick County elementary school. Elementary schools without a pre-kindergarten program are paired with a nearby school that offers a pre-kindergarten program. See Paired School List.
If you are unsure of your child's home school, you can look at the boundary maps or contact Student Services at (240) 236-5323.
Pre-Kindergarten Application Process
Families will receive notification of Pre-K acceptance beginning in late May. Please understand this timeline allows for FCPS to provide full day Pre-K seats to as many children as possible. We appreciate your patience in this process.
When the home school or paired school (See Paired School List) receives your online application, the school enrollment secretary will contact you for any additional information and/or documentation needed to process your application. Note: Income documentation is still required to be considered for Automatic Placement into Pre-K. Additional information will also be required to qualify for High Priority status and Low Priority status.
If you prefer to complete a paper FCPS Enrollment Form and the PK Application, you can download the documents here or contact the home or paired school. Submit all paperwork directly to your child’s home school or paired school where the Pre-K program is located by email, mail or contacting the school directly.
- Enrollment Form / Formulario de inscripción
- Pre-K Application (English)
- Pre-K Application (Spanish)
- Immunization and health records, provide BOTH of the following:
- Department of Health and Mental Hygiene form 896 Immunization Certificate or other proof of immunizations (view the complete immunization schedule here), and
- Documentation of a recent physical exam, recorded on the Maryland Schools Record of Physical Examination (Registro de Examen Físico de las Escuelas de Maryland). If your child's last physical exam was more than 9 months prior to the start of school, you may wait to submit the form until this year's exam is completed. NOTE: This is not the same documentation required to participate in Athletics programs. Please refer to the Athletics section for more information.
- Proof of date of birth (provide one of these: Birth certificate, physician's certificate, hospital certificate, baptismal or church certificate, parent's affidavit, or passport/visa)
- Proof of residency (provide one of these: current property tax bill, current rental bill, current utility bill for water, gas, or electric)
- Parent photo identification
Household Income Verification - To Be Considered for Placement in Prekindergarten
Total Household Gross Income must be verified to qualify for placement in pre-kindergarten. Household Gross Income MUST be documented by providing one of the following for EACH Household Member receiving income:
- Food Supplemental Program (FSP) Current letter of Verification;
- Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) Current letter of Verification;
- Three recent consecutive pay stubs from employer(s);
- W-2 form(s) from last year from employer(s)
- Other: Schedule C/1099 (if self-employed), a letter on letterhead from your employer(s) stating your income, child support and court order or letter, unemployment, disability income, etc.
Household Member - Anyone who is living with you and shares income and expenses, even if not related.
Pre-Kindergarten Bus Transportation
When children reside outside of their regular school attendance area (paired school situation), parents are responsible for transporting their child.
See FCPS Policy 441 for details.
Pre-Kindergarten Out of District Requests
- Pre-kindergarten Out of District Form: English / Spanish
- Complete the Pre-K Out of District Form and email to email@example.com or mail to: Office of Early Childhood, 191 S East Street, 3rd Floor, Frederick, MD 21701.
- Office of Early Childhood will contact the home school or paired school to verify a Pre-k application was received and to verify the priority level.
- In mid-August, pre-kindergarten enrollment numbers and space availability will be reviewed to determine if Out of District Requests can be considered; Automatics are given first priority.
- The home school or paired school will notify the family if their Out of District request was approved or declined. If approved, the family is responsible for transportation of their child to the Out of District school.
The Unified Preschool Program is funded via the Special Education Department and is separate from the Traditional and Inclusion Pre-K Programs offered by FCPS. The Unified Preschool program is designed to meet the needs of students with an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) requiring a highly structured setting focused on alternative ways to access the general education curriculum. Those applying to fulfill the seat of a Role Model are agreeing to be a social and communication example for students with specialized needs. The Unified Preschool Program has the mission of instilling life-long goals for inclusivity, friendship, and understanding.
The Unified Preschool Program is a full-day program which is offered at Butterfly Ridge Elementary for students who are 4 by September 1st. The program will operate with open-boundaries meaning all Frederick County residents may apply regardless of home-school location.
The Unified Preschool Program is a non-entitlement program. All students are welcome to complete an application. Role Models are selected via an application and interview process. Please note: Applying for a student to participate as a Role Model in this program does not guarantee selection.
Parents must provide their own transportation to and from school.
For additional information, please contact Lauren Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lottery applications - opens February 15, 2022
The Inclusion Pre-K Program is funded via the Special Education Department and is separate from the Traditional Pre-K Program offered by the Early Childhood Office.
The Inclusion Pre-K Program is designed to meet the needs of students with specialized instructional requirements as outlined via their Individual Education Program (IEP) as determined via the IEP/Child Find process. The Inclusion Pre-K program delivers the general education curriculum as based on FCPS curricula/ College and Career Readiness Standards with an emphasis on social and communication-based skills.
Those applying for the Inclusion Pre-K Peer Lottery are intended to be a social and communication role-model. The Inclusion Pre-K Peer Lottery is a non-entitlement program meaning that all students have equal opportunity for selection in a random lottery-based process. Inclusion Pre-K Peer seats are available for 3 and 4-year old students.
Students must be 3 or 4 by September 1st. There are no exceptions to this rule. Applying for a student to participate as a peer role model in this program does not guarantee enrollment. Parents must provide their own transportation to and from school.
- Maryland’s Guide to Early Childhood Pedagogy – Birth to Age 8
- Regulation 400-91- Prekindergarten Enrollment
- Regulation 500-10 Placement and Promotion of Students
- Policy 430 Age Requirements
- Maryland State Department of Education Division of Early Childhood Development - Families
- Developmental Milestones (for children 2 months to five years)
- Ready @ Five - Parent tips, parent-child activities, school readiness resources, and other information is included in this site to support families in promoting school readiness.
- ReadyRosie - This is a FREE app for families with children from birth to 5 years old living in Frederick County. Sign up is easy and each week you will receive by text or email, brief videos modeling activities you can do with your child to encourage school readiness.