Enrollment begins for CPS preschool – children from homeless families promised priority placement

Chicago families with preschool-age children can now enroll in preschool for the 2019-20 school year.

Children must be 3 years old or 4 years old by September 1, 2019 to be eligible for the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) preschool program next year. A family can apply for up to two different preschools.

Families can apply online at http://chicagoearlylearning.org They can also apply at a designated Family Resource Center or by phone, at (312) 229-1690.

CPS promised priority placement for children in families experiencing homelessness. Still, it is important to apply early to avoid being placed on a waitlist. Enrollment opened on April 30. Children will be given a preschool placement in late May.

In coming weeks, the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will offer outreach and distribute an informational preschool brochure at shelters to help families enroll their preschool-age children.

Please contact Equal Justice Works attorney Alyssa Phillips with the Law Project at 1 (800) 940-1119 if you need assistance with preschool enrollment or to arrange an outreach visit at your organization.

Children experiencing homelessness can be enrolled in preschool without proof of address, income, guardianship or other documents normally needed for enrollment. This includes children living in shelters, those sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship (“doubled-up”), or those living in other temporary living situations.

Families experiencing homelessness should indicate their living situation on the application and notify the person assisting them with preschool enrollment.

Early childhood education is a crucial component to a child’s development and future academic success. Studies show that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and stay out of the criminal justice system.