Preschool Enrollment Support

Did you know? If you or your child is living in a shelter or another temporary living situation, your child can receive priority placement in Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) preschool programs and preschool programs funded by the City of Chicago. Your child can be enrolled in preschool without proof of address, income, guardianship, or other documents normally needed for enrollment.

Chicago families with preschool-age children can enroll in preschool starting April 9 for the 2024-25 school year.

If your child is 4 years old on or before September 1, 2024, they are eligible for CPS full-day and half-day programs. If your child is 3 years old on or before September 1, 2024, they are eligible for CPS half-day programs and Community Based Programs.

What are examples of temporary living situations?

  • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of adequate accommodations
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters, on the street, in a car, or similar substandard arrangements

How old should my child be to enroll in preschool?

Your child must be 4 years old by September 1, 2024. If your child is 3 years old, there are limited half day programs for through CPS.

How do I apply?

When can I apply?

You can apply beginning on April 9, 2024, and the application process is open year-round. Be sure to apply early and mention your temporary living status when applying.

When will I know if my child received a spot?

  • If you submit the application during the Initial Application Period in April, you’ll receive your child’s placement notice in May after your application is submitted.
  • If you submit your application after April, you will receive your child’s placement 24 hours after submitting the application.

What do I do after my child receives a spot?

  1. You must verify your child’s spot at your assigned preschool program within two weeks or at a Family Resource Center.
  2. If you are in a temporary living situation, you will receive transportation to verify your child’s spot

Is there transportation available for my child to attend preschool?

If your child is attending a Chicago Public School preschool program, your child has a right to transportation services.

If your child is attending a community-based preschool program, you should check with the individual program to determine what supports are available for students in temporary living situations.

Call Education Attorney Alyssa Phillips at (872) 588-6800 or email Alyssa at if you need assistance with preschool enrollment.