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Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (Bright from the Start) meets the child care and early education needs of the state's children and their families.

2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, 754 East Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone Number: 
What programs does the department offer?

DECAL manages Even Start, Head Start and Pre-K programs.

Are Even Start and Head Start the same program?

Although Even Start Family Literacy and Head Start share many common goals and often serve the same community, the two programs are distinct. While Even Start focuses on improving literacy for both children and adults, Head Start prepares children for the first day of school by teaching them social skills, encouraging their intellectual curiosity, and monitoring their health and diet.

How old does my daughter need to be before I can enroll her in the Pre-K Program, and how do I sign her up for the program?

Your daughter must be four years old on September 1. Before the first day of the program, make sure to provide the child care center you've chosen with an age verifying document, such as a birth certificate, passport, green card or pink card. Additionally, you'll need to make sure that your daughter's immunizations records and hearing, vision and dental exams are up to date.

Not every public school or private child care center houses a Pre-K program, and so spaces are limited to participating centers. For that reason, you should prepare all your documents, contact the center you like most and register your daughter directly with the center as early as possible. Begin your search for Pre-K Program centers in your area.