Enrollment and participation in Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) is a family choice. Attending a high-quality prekindergarten education program prepares your child for kindergarten and beyond. In Vermont, school districts must offer prekindergarten for at least 10 hours a week, 35 weeks a year.
If you would like your child to receive 10 hours of prekindergarten education at no cost to you, contact your local elementary school.
What is Universal Prekindergaten Education (UPK)?
UPK provides Vermont families with publicly-funded prekindergarten education for their children. UPK is funded by school districts and is voluntary for families. UPK programs are located in public schools or community-based programs. All UPK programs must meet State quality criteria to participate.
How old does my child need to be to qualify for UPK?
Your child must be three, four or five years old and not enrolled in kindergarten in their district of residence. Contact your school district to find out what date the district uses to determine a child's age for eligibility.
Where can I find a UPK program for my child?
Search the prequalified providers list to find out what programs offer prekindergarten in your area. These programs may be in your local school or in a private, community-based program.
How do I sign up?
If your child is going to attend a public school program, the school will process your enrollment. If your child is going to attend a prequalified program in the community, you will need to enroll both with the community provider and with your school district. This will ensure tuition funding for your child’s 10 hours is sent to your community provider.
What does UPK funding cover?
The funding covers 10 hours a week of prekindergarten education for 35 weeks (school year). If your child attends more than 10 hours/35 weeks, you are responsible to cover the tuition for the extra time. If you are enrolling your child in a community-based program, it is important to ask for your tuition responsibilities in writing.
What else can I do to support my prekindergarten student?
Explore the Vermont Early Learning Standards webpage! You will find resources to learn from and activities to share with your child.