Enroll a Child in Pre-K

Georgia’s Pre-K is a free, state-funded program for four-year-olds.

The Georgia Pre-K Program provides a 6.5-hour instructional day, 5 days a week, 180 days a year at no cost to families. You must apply to be considered for a spot in a Pre-K program. 

Each Pre-K provider sets its own application processes, registration deadlines, and selection criteria. Some may include lotteries, wait lists, and other processes to accept students. Contact the provider directly to learn more.

Pre-K is voluntary, not compulsory.

How Do I … Enroll My Child in Pre-K?

  • Make Sure Your Child is Eligible

    To be eligible for the state’s Pre-K program, your child must be a resident of Georgia and at least 4 years of age on Sept. 1 of the school year.

  • Gather What You'll Need

    • Proof of eligibility, such as age and residency. Read more about Pre-K eligibility requirements.
      • Acceptable proof of age includes a birth certificate, passport, hospital record of live birth, legal document, or an official document from another country. 
      • Acceptable proof of residency includes a current lease, property tax notice, homeowner’s insurance bill, mortgage statement, current vehicle registration form, any utility bill listing your residence as the service address, a letter from a shelter, or a letter from your employer, if your employer provides housing.
    • A completed Pre-K program application. Many Pre-K programs accept applications online. If you need to print out application forms, download them from the DECAL website.
    • If your application is selected, you will need to provide additional information to formalize your child’s enrollment. This includes hearing, vision, dental, and nutrition examination certificates as well as immunization records. These completed forms can be provided by a county public health department and your healthcare provider. If you need to print out these forms, download them from the DECAL website.
  • Find a Pre-K Program

    Find a Pre-K program using the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s search tool. Pre-K programs are offered by local school systems and child care learning centers.

    • Local school systems
      • Require you to be a resident of the school system’s district
      • Generally accept registration applications between January and mid-March
      • May limit how many schools your child may be considered for when you apply to the system’s Pre-K program
    • Child care learning centers
      • Are not part of the local school system
      • Have no state limit to how many centers you can apply to 
      • May offer programs besides the state-funded Georgia Pre-K Program, so make sure you’re applying to the no-cost program
      • Do not have county residency requirements
      • Generally accept registration applications around the same time as the local school system
  • Apply for Pre-K

    Each provider has a different application process. Contact the local school system or the child care learning center for application instructions.

    You must complete and submit one application per child by the deadline.

    Applying does not guarantee admittance into a Pre-K program.

  • Next Steps

    If your application is selected, you will receive notification from the local school system or child care learning center by email, phone, or mail. Please follow the program’s instructions to confirm your registration.

    If your application is not selected, it will be placed on a waiting list. You do not have to reapply to move off the waiting list; if another child drops out of the class, your application may be offered a spot.

    Once your application is selected, you will need to complete the enrollment process as instructed by the local school system or child care learning center. If you miss the deadline, your spot will be forfeited.

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