skip to main content

Prekindergarten Program

HCPSS offers high-quality half-day and full-day prekindergarten programs. Students must be four years old by September 1, 2022 to be considered for enrollment in fall 2022. The comprehensive curriculum taught by certified staff supports early learning and school readiness and provides experiences that foster children’s academic, social, emotional and physical development.

Is my child eligible for the program?

Students must be four years old by September 1.

The Maryland State Department of Education requires that the pre-K program be made available first to students who meet first priority criteria: income eligible, homelessness and foster care.

At this time, families that qualify for first priority criteria are placed first into pre-K and second priority applicants are placed on the waitlist. The Office of Early Childhood Programs will monitor countywide enrollment trends and space availability at pre-K sites to determine if the second priority criteria applicants can be considered for placement into pre-K.

How do I apply?

Parent(s)/guardian(s) of prospective pre-K students may submit their pre-K application using one of the following options.

Option 1

  1. Parent(s)/guardian(s) submit a pre-K application to their local HCPSS elementary school for decision based on eligibility guidelines. Applications may also be submitted via email.
  2. Note: Due to the volume of ​inquiries, please allow at least two weeks for processing applications submitted via email.
  3. If accepted, parent(s)/guardian(s) can begin the enrollment process online and upload their program acceptance letter as proof of income.

Option 2

  1. Parent(s)/guardian(s) begin the Online Registration Process.
  2. Once parent(s)/guardian(s) submit their information and documentation through the online portal, their information goes into the school queue to determine if students meet first priority criteria.

Where will my child be enrolled?

HCPSS pre-K programs are only located at selected school sites. A pre-K student will attend the school to which s/he is assigned. The student will then attend kindergarten at his/her regularly designated school regardless of where s/he attended pre-K.

Talbott Springs Preschool Program

Launched in Summer 2021, this half-day (2.5 hour) program serves eligible three-year-old children who live in the Talbott Springs and Stevens Forest attendance areas. The program, which runs four days a week, is co-taught by certified staff, including both general and special educators.

Health Documentation

If approved for the program, parents of prospective prekindergarten students have to complete all health documentation requirements for their student.

This includes a physical, evidence of immunizations and evidence of blood lead testing. Students should have a lead test before enrolling in a prekindergarten program.

Fill out health forms and find out more about health services →

Learn how early childhood programs help build a solid foundation for future student learning opportunities.


  • Office of Early Childhood Programs, 410-313-5693

Other Pre-K Options

Community Action Council of Howard County

The Community Action Council of Howard County’s Early Childhood Education program offers free full-day, full-year accredited prekindergarten to eligible families in Howard County.

Enrollment requirements:

  • Children must three years old (or older) at the time of enrollment, or
  • Four by September 1 to enroll in prekindergarten
  • Families must qualify to enroll in this free program.

Priority is given to:

  • Children in foster care.
  • Families experiencing homelessness.
  • Families receiving SNAP, TCA, or SSI.
  • Children receiving special education services.

To apply:
Please apply via the Community Action Council of Howard County’s website. For questions, please call 410-313-6289.

See Also: Other Pre-K Options