skip to main content

HCPSS’ Pre-K Program

HCPSS offers high-quality half-day and full-day prekindergarten programs. Students must be four years old by September 1, 2023 to be considered for enrollment in the 2023-2024 school year. Students must be four years old by September 1, 2024 to be considered for enrollment in the 2024-2025 school year. 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.

Jump to: Curriculum | Accreditation | Eligibility | Apply | Health Documentation | Locations | Contact |


HCPSS’ pre-k program provides a wide range of experiences and opportunities to familiarize students with the school environment and build on the child’s understanding of his or her world, while developing a readiness for school. The pre-k curriculum, which is based on recommended practices from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and guidelines for early childhood education from the Maryland State Department of Education (including alignment to the Common Core State Standards), is designed to enable children to acquire knowledge, skills and processes and apply them in meaningful real-world ways.


As part of its fulfillment of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, all HCPSS Pre-K and MINC-PK programs are working towards the achievement of Maryland Accreditation by the end of the 2025-2026 school year. In order to achieve Maryland Accreditation, Pre-K programs are required to demonstrate through written documentation and direct observation that they meet standards in three categories: program administration; program operation; and home and community partnerships. Examples of these standards include:
  • Use of teaching strategies that promote an awareness and appreciation of diversity
  • Opportunities to engage in play-based learning activities
  • Daily writing instruction
  • Independent learning opportunities allowing students to explore, investigate, experiment, and problem-solve
  • Instruction based on children’s individual needs, interests, strengths and learning styles
  • Engaging families and the community in all aspects of the program
To date, the following HCPSS Pre-K and MINC-PK programs have achieved Maryland Accreditation. A second cohort of HCPSS Pre-K and MINC-PK programs is currently pursuing Accreditation.
  • Atholton Elementary
  • Bushy Park Elementary
  • Bryant Woods Elementary
  • Cradlerock Elementary
  • Centennial Lane Elementary
  • Elkridge Elementary
  • Jeffers Hill Elementary
  • Laurel Woods Elementary
  • Phelps Luck Elementary
  • Running Brook Elementary
  • Stevens Forest Elementary
  • Swansfield Elementary
Additional information on HCPSS’ Accredited Pre-K programs is available online.

Eligibility Criteria

Per Policy 9000-Student Residency, Eligibility, Enrollment and Assignment, the HCPSS Pre-K program is made available first to children who will be 4 on or before September 1 and meet first priority criteria:

Families that qualify for first priority criteria are placed first into Pre-K. Any family who meets secondary priority is first placed on the waitlist. Waitlist applicants will be considered for enrollment after the start of the school year. Students from households in which English is not the primary spoken language will receive priority for waitlist enrollment, as space allows.

For applicants on the waitlist, acceptance to the HCPSS Pre-K program is determined by the Office of Early Childhood Programs, in alignment with countywide enrollment trends and space availability. Please note that placement on the waitlist does not guarantee enrollment.


Parent(s)/guardian(s) of prospective pre-K students must apply for Pre-K and should submit their Pre-K application to HCPSS Early Childhood Programs via email (, including verification of household members, household income, and income documentation. Applications may also be mailed to HCPSS Early Childhood Programs or submitted to the family’s local HCPSS elementary school.

Applications must contain income documentation. Acceptance decisions are based on meeting eligibility guidelines.

Apply for 2024-2025 Pre-K 

Due to the volume of inquiries, please allow up to fourteen business days from the time of submission for processing. (Processing times may be longer based on the volume of applications received.) For faster processing, please ensure that ALL sections of your application are complete and that all required documentation is included with your application submission. Applications that are not complete or missing documents cannot be processed and will be returned.

Families of children who are 4 by 9/1/2023 may continue to apply for 2023-2024 Pre-K. Please refer to the 2023-2024 income eligibility guidelines.

To Enroll: Famililes accepted into the program will receive an official acceptance letter. This letter is a required piece of the online registration process and should also be used as a point of reference when making pre-k program selections throughout the online registration process.

Health Documentation

Prior to enrollment in a pre-k program, parents/guardians must complete all health documentation requirements, including a physical, evidence of immunizations and evidence of blood lead testing. Students should have a lead test before enrolling in a prekindergarten program.

Program Locations

Pre-K is available to eligible students in all attendance areas, but are only located at selected elementary school sites. Pre-K students will attend the school to which they are assigned. The student will then attend kindergarten at their regularly designated school, regardless of where they attend Pre-K.

Below is a list of HCPSS Pre-K locations. Pre-K students will attend the school to which they are assigned.

Pre-K assignments and locations are based on countywide projections. Pre-K programs and feeder locations are subject to change.



Bellows Spring*


Bollman Bridge*


Bryant Woods* (also serves Clemens Crossing)


Bushy Park* (also serves Lisbon)


Centennial Lane* (also serves St. John’s Lane)




Dayton Oaks


Deep Run


Ducketts Lane




Forest Ridge*




Gorman Crossing (also serves Hammond)




Hanover Hills


Ilchester (also serves Northfield)


Jeffers Hill*


Laurel Woods*




Phelps Luck*


Pointers Run (also serves Clarksville)




Running Brook*


Stevens Forest*




Triadelphia Ridge* (also serves West Friendship)

(410) 313-2560

Talbott Springs*


Veterans (also serves Thunder Hill)




Waverly* (also serves Manor Woods)


Worthington (also serves Hollifield Station)


*Selected HCPSS Pre-K sites will provide a full-day program. Feeder locations are subject to change. Any updates will be posted online and communicated to impacted families.


For more information about HCPSS Pre-K, contact the Office of Early Childhood Programs at 410-313-6836.

Families who require interpreter services can contact the following call center lines for assistance:

  • Centro de Llamadas – 410-313-1591
  • 콜 센터 – 410-313-1592
  • 电话服务中心 – 410-313-5920

All other registration questions can be answered by calling the Multilingual Family Registration Center at 410-313-1297 or 410-313-1525.