JCPS offers an Early Childhood program for children who will be 4 years old on or before August 1st and qualify based on household income and/or special needs, and children who turn 3 years old on or before August 1st and have an Individual Educational Program (IEP). This comprehensive preschool program is designed to prepare children in five areas -- General Knowledge and Mathematics, Language and Literacy, Health and Physical Development, Social Emotional Development and Self-Help. The program is offered full day, five days a week and is free to all eligible families. Transportation is available. A universal and developmentally appropriate curriculum includes weekly or bi-weekly themes which emphasize meaningful early childhood activities to develop the whole child. Ongoing student assessments are used to measure skill development and mastery. The Early Childhood curriculum supports the district’s vision for students to be ready to thrive and succeed in Kindergarten and beyond. Parents are regarded as educational partners and home visits and parent conferences are an important part of the Early Childhood program.
The primary mission of the JCPS Early Childhood Program is to provide equitable access to high quality early education and interventions for three- and four-year-olds who are at greatest risk in our city. This mission is aligned with federal and state laws. Throughout the school year, children who turn three and qualify for Exceptional Child Education services through First Steps and Child Find become eligible for the state preschool program. Eligibility for children who turn four years old is determined by income and/or special needs. Kentucky School districts are required to begin services when students qualify.
District preschool programs typically should not be at full capacity at the beginning of the year in order to anticipate these enrollments. KDE preschool program guidance clearly states that districts may accept students who do not qualify for state preschool only if space is available. Because we are required to first serve those three- and four-year-olds who qualify for the state preschool program, it is unlikely that additional spaces will be available.
Families who do not qualify for the state preschool program may visit the Community Coordinated Child Care site at https://www.4cforkids.org/for-families/find-child-care/ for information regarding quality early care and education options in their area.