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How to Enroll a Child in Preschool

Encourage your child to develop an early love of learning by enrolling her in preschool.

Preschool gives children between the ages of 3 and 5 an opportunity to learn the educational skills they need to thrive when entering kindergarten as well as to develop important social skills. Once parents make a decision to send their children to preschool, they need to begin taking the steps to enroll them. This includes selecting the type of preschool that would be best for their children and gathering the correct documents.

Review the types of preschools available in your area and choose the one that best fits your child. A public Head Start program, which is available to low-income families, or another public preschool may offer either a half-day program or a full-day program. You might prefer a private preschool that has a smaller student to teacher ratio.

Locate your child's birth certificate or obtain one from the county clerk's office if the preschool you select requires a copy. Most preschools need to see an official birth certificate in order to enroll a student, although some do not ask for it.

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Take your child to the pediatrician's office for a full physical if the school will not accept a copy of the child's most recent well visit. The preschool you select will need to provide you with the form for the physical ahead of time. Once the pediatrician fills it out, make sure your child has up-to-date vaccinations. Ask the pediatrician for a copy of your child's vaccination records. The preschool will need this information as well.

Fill out the registration form for the school of your choice. This form will require your basic information and the information of the person you would like the school to contact in the case of an emergency. Do this before the school's registration deadline or your child's place may not be reserved.

A registration fee or partial or full tuition may also be due at this time. If necessary, submit financial aid forms if the preschool you select is tuition-based. Public schools are funded by grants and will likely not require any payment.

Things You Will Need

  • Child's birth certificate
  • Physical report of the child
  • Child's vaccination record
  • Registration form

Tip

If your child attends a day care that has a focus on education, you may not need to switch him to a preschool.

Warning

Some preschools do not accept children who are not potty trained. If your child still wears diapers, contact the school of your choice to see whether or not he would be eligible to attend.