• Pre-K Application Process

  • The Pre-K Application for the 2024-25 school year is now open. Applications received after June 16 will only be considered for Telamon Head Start and NC Pre-K. Requests and referrals for special education services are accepted and evaluated year-round. Learn more and apply.


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  • Do you have a child who will be 4 years old by August 31, 2024 and is a Wake County resident?  

    Wake Pre-K Programs

    The Wake Pre-K application allows consideration for free, safe, and fun Pre-K program options. Participating programs include NC Pre-Kindergarten (NC Pre-K), WCPSS Title I, and Telamon Head Start.  To learn more, visit the Wake Pre-K Application Center.

    Enrollment into the Wake County Public School System Title I Pre-K program is based on the academic need of the child. NC Pre-K and Head Start are prioritized for families with low incomes and other related eligibility requirements. When your application is processed, your child will be considered for the program that best matches your family based on the criteria.  

    WCPSS Title I Pre-K Programs

    The Title I Pre-Kindergarten Program is designed to provide a child-centered, developmentally appropriate experience for four-year-old children in need of academic support. The program stresses an environment that motivates learning through exploration and discovery. The goal of the program is to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed. Screenings for student participation are offered each spring and students qualify based on academic need.

    WCPSS Title I preschool classrooms are located in the district’s elementary schools and follow the same hours of the elementary school day. Transportation may be an option for children assigned to their base school. Families will have the opportunity to participate in school breakfast and lunch for their child.

  • How to Apply

    You have until June 16, 2024 to apply for Title I Pre-K services for the 2024-25 school year.

    To be eligible, your child must be 4 years old on or before August 31, 2024. Students qualify for the program based on academic need, so children must participate in a brief development screening to determine eligibility. Screenings are offered each spring. Once your completed application is received, you will be notified of your child’s screening appointment.

    You may submit an application and required documents online or mail it to this address:

    Wake County Smart Start - Application Center
    4901 Waters Edge Drive, Suite 101
    Raleigh, NC 27606


    Applications received after June 16, 2024 will only be considered for Telamon Head Start and NC Pre-K. Requests and referrals for special education services are accepted and evaluated year-round.

    Documents required for an application to be complete:

    • Copy of child’s birth certificate
    • Documentation of Wake County residency
    • All sources of family income

    For additional information, refer to Page 2 on the Pre-K application.

    Tuition Based Classrooms

    Tuition Based Classrooms are classrooms located in our schools that require families to pay for the services. Each location provides a description of the classrooms, directions for the application process, and a timeline for notification.

    • Project Enlightenment - The Demonstration Preschool (DPS) is an inclusive half-day pre-K classroom, serving children with developmental or social-emotional concerns as well as typically developing children.
    • Kingswood Montessori Magnet Elementary - Using the Montessori multi-age philosophy, pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students are together in the same primary classroom.
    • Lacy Elementary - A half-day integrated preschool setting where children with and without hearing loss play and learn together. The class uses project approach teaching and inquiry learning, with student exploration encouraged.
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