Voluntary Pre-K Program » Q & A

Q & A

Enrollment in the Voluntary Pre-K program is based upon a child’s eligibility as identified in TCA 49-6-101─104. Available space in each school system is limited and is based on the funding awarded each year through a grant process. Children must be four years old by Aug. 15 prior to the new school year and reside in the area served by the school district. No child who is age eligible for kindergarten (five years of age on or before Aug. 15 prior to the new school year) may be enrolled in pre-K.
First priority for enrollment is all children who meet free or reduced price lunch income guidelines and are four years old by Aug. 15. If space is available after enrolling children who qualify for free or reduced lunch, the program may enroll children who have disabilities, are English Language Learners, are in state custody, or who are at risk as defined by U.S.C. § 1400 et sec. , regardless of income. If space is still available after the first 20 days of the new school year, the school district can submit a request to the Office of Early Learning to enroll all other children at that time.

1st Priority (Tier 1) - Pursuant to state law 49-6-101: students identified as economically disadvantaged. This identification is based on income levels set each year by the Department of Health and Human Services. and used during the application process to determine income eligibility for enrollment. Check with your local school district for application to determine child’s eligibility.


2nd Priority (Tier 2) - Students with disabilities, students identified as English Language Learners (ELL), in state custody, or those identified as educationally at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect.


3rd Priority (Tier 3) - If space for enrollment remains after identifying children who meet Tier 1 or 2, the LEA may enroll any child that meets the age requirement and the requirements set forth by the Community Pre-K Advisory Council (C-PAC). These students are considered unserved or underserved and may be enrolled by the process established by the C-PAC.