Applying for Early Admission to Pre-K
Pre-K early admission is based on need
The HCPSS pre-K program is provided, per Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) regulations, to any child who meets first priority criteria (income eligible, homelessness, and foster care). This eligibility is based on information submitted on the HCPSS Pre-K Early Admission application and the supporting documentation that is provided.
Age: Fourth birthday falls between September 2 and October 13. Students born on or after October 14 are not eligible for early admission under any circumstances.
NOTE: Families of children who will be 4 by September 1 do not need to go through the early admission process and can apply for pre-K.
Demonstrated need requirement:
- The student meets first priority criteria (income eligible, homelessness, and foster care)
- In addition, students must demonstrate a need for early intervention as defined by at-risk developmental factors that critically impact potential success in kindergarten (Policy 9000)
Admission determined by: Office of Early Childhood Programs and Office of Early Intervention Services
Meet the requirements? Find out more about applying ↓
At-Risk Development Factors
As stated in Howard County Board of Education Policy 9000 Student Residency, Eligibility, Enrollment and Assignment, children accepted for early admission to HCPSS pre-K must demonstrate a need for early intervention as defined by at-risk developmental factors that critically impact potential success in kindergarten.
Early admission does not guarantee that the child will be promoted to the next grade. Decisions regarding promotion of early admitted pre-K students to kindergarten are based on performance during the pre-K year.
Notification of Decision
After reviewing submitted application documents, the Office of Early Childhood Programs will notify parents/guardians of qualification or non-qualification based on income eligibility and based on demonstrated need for early intervention.
A decision of acceptance or denial for Early Admission to HCPSS Pre-K will be mailed, with instructions for next steps. Eligible students may have to wait for placement, which is dependent upon available space at the start of the school year.
Applying for Early Admission
Early Admission to Pre-K for SY 2023-2024 is now closed.
Early Admission to Pre-K for SY 2024-2025 will open on April 1, 2024.
Step 1: April 1 – June 30
Parents/guardians submit an Early Admission to Pre-K Application to the HCPSS Office of Early Childhood Programs.
The Office of Early Childhood Programs will determine if the student qualifies for HCPSS Pre-K based on first priority criteria and the student’s date of birth.
Step 2: April 1– June 30*
*Forms A and B will be given to parents of eligible students soon after receipt of the Application.
If a student qualifies based on first priority criteria, parents/guardians will receive a copy of Ages & Stages Questionnaire Form A and Form B via U.S. Mail.
Parents/guardians complete and submit Ages & Stages Questionnaire (Form A) to the HCPSS Office of Early Childhood Programs.
Parents/guardians request that preschool teacher, child care provider, or other non-related adult complete and submit Ages & Stages Questionnaire (Form B) to the HCPSS Office of Early Childhood Programs.*It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to follow up with the person asked to complete and mail Ages & Stages Questionnaire Form B in advance of the stated deadline.
Step 3: No later than July 30
Parents/guardians receive notification from the Office of Early Childhood Programs regarding qualification or non-qualification for early admission based on educational need.
Step 4: August – September
Eligible students may have to wait for placement, which is dependent upon available space at the start of the school year.
If accepted, parents/guardians register children at assigned school. Find out more about student registration →
If denied, parents/guardians may appeal decision of early admission.Appeals may be sent via:
- Email to email@example.com, attn: Division of School Management and Instructional Leadership: Director of Schools; or,
- U.S. Mail to the following address:
Division of School Management and Instructional Leadership
Howard County Public School System
10910 Clarksville Pike Ellicott City, MD 21042
Attn: Director of Schools
For additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org