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For application information, please contact the Early Childhood Application Center at (502) 485-7677.

Early Childhood Programs

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.  A universal and developmentally appropriate curriculum includes weekly or bi-weekly themes emphasizing 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 important to 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 should not be at full capacity at the beginning of the year 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 for information regarding quality early care and education options in their area.

Application Process

At the time of application, you'll need all of the documents listed below. Partial applications cannot be submitted. Program staff will verify all of the required documents and may request additional documentation needed to determine eligibility.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Residents of Louisville/Jefferson County

  • Children who will be 4 years old on or before August 1 who meet family income guidelines

  • Children who will be 4 years old on or before August 1 and have a diagnosed disability

  • Children who will be 3 years old on or before August 1 and have a diagnosed disability

How to Apply

  • Apply Online

  • If you cannot apply online, you may call (502) 485-7677 to schedule an appointment for a phone application with a member of the Early Childhood Student Assignment team.

Proof of Income

All household income for the past 12 months is required for all income-based programs. You may use any of the following items:

  • Most recent tax return

  • W-2s

  • Paycheck stubs documenting income for the past 12 months

  • An unemployment benefits statement

  • Child support for all children

  • Kinship

  • SSI

Food stamps and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) letters are not accepted as proof of income.

Proof of Residence

This is required for everyone. You may use any of the following items that show the parent/guardian's address and name:

  • Gas/Electric bill (within the past three months)

  • Water bill (within the past three months)

  • Lease

  • House contract

  • Paycheck or paycheck stub

  • Social Security or other government check

The following are not accepted as proof of residence: driver's license, photo ID, or personal check.

Proof of Child's Age and Birth

This may include:

  • Official state-issued birth certificate, or

  • Federal travel document, such as I-94

Any other proof of birth documentation must be state-approved and must be accompanied by a signed affidavit.

Other Documents

You may be asked to provide additional documentation to meet federal or state requirements. For example, you may be asked to show:

  • Custodial papers (if applicable)

  • Your picture ID

  • Current immunization certificate

Children do not have to be present for the application process.

Program Placement

  • Early Childhood is not a compulsory program and has limited space for children.

  • JCPS Early Childhood only serves children who reside in Jefferson County, Kentucky, with a legal custodial parent/guardian.

  • Program eligibility is based on income or disabilities.

  • Early Childhood is not located in every school; therefore, the program determines placement based on transportation address and other factors.

  • Applications are taken year-round, and children are placed throughout the year.

Standards of Conduct

The JCPS Early Childhood Program must ensure all staff, consultants, contractors, and volunteers abide by the program’s standards of conduct that implement positive strategies to support children’s well-being and prevent and address challenging behavior and do not maltreat or endanger the health or safety of children, including, at a minimum, that staff must not:

  • Use corporal punishment.

  • Use isolation to discipline a child.

  • Bind or tie a child to restrict movement or tape a child’s mouth.

  • Use or withhold food as a punishment or reward.

  • Use toilet learning/training methods that punish, demean, or humiliate a child.

  • Use any form of emotional abuse, including public or private humiliation, rejecting, terrorizing, extended ignoring, or corrupting a child.

  • Physically abuse a child.

  • Use any form of verbal abuse, including profane and sarcastic language, threats, or derogatory remarks about the child or child’s family.

  • Use physical activity or outdoor time as a punishment or reward.

And the staff must:

  • Ensure staff, consultants, contractors, and volunteers respect and promote the unique identity of each child and family and do not stereotype on any basis, including gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or family composition.

  • Require staff, consultants, contractors, and volunteers to comply with program confidentiality policies concerning personally identifiable information about children, families, and other staff members.

  • Ensure no child is left alone or unsupervised by staff, consultants, contractors, or volunteers while under their care.