• Phone :
    • (207) 874-8100
    • Address :
    • 353 Cumberland AvePortland, Maine 04101
    • Connect with us:

Pre-Kindergarten Enrollment

this is content

Pre-K Students
NOTE: All Pre-K applications will be added to the waitlist as they are received. We will contact you when we have space available.

Pre-Kindergarten Application Process for 2020-21

For the 2020-2021 school year, your child must be 4 years old by October 15, 2020 and be a resident of Portland to be eligible for Pre-K.

This free public Pre-K is currently a partnership between Portland Public Schools, Catherine Morrill Day Nursery, and the Youth and Family Outreach.

Transportation is not provided. You must provide transportation to and from school.

School Year 2020-21 Application Process

Step 1: Online Pre-K Lottery Application: January 2-17, 2020
Pre-K Lottery Application forms for the 2020-2021 school year will be accepted beginning January 2, 2020 and January 17, 2020 and then continually until the end of the following school year. All applications received after January 17th will be added to the waitlist. Please click the link below for the 2020-2021 school year Pre-Kindergarten Lottery Application in your preferred language. This online lottery application can be done
--at home or anywhere you have internet access
--at any of our Portland Public Elementary Schools
--at the Multilingual Center at 353 Cumberland Avenue

Step 2: Selection by Lottery: Week of January 21, 2020
Each Pre-K serves a maximum of 16 students. If more students apply than can be accommodated, a lottery will be held. Students who are accepted through the lottery will be notified by phone, by email and/or by mail the week of January 28, 2020.

Step 3: Student Enrollment for Students Accepted Through the Lottery Process
Enrollment must be completed within two weeks of receiving notification of a slot. There are two required steps for completing enrollment. You will be given enrollment instructions when your child has been accepted into the Pre-K program.
Click here to access the Online Registration (This is only for students accepted through the lottery process.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: If enrollment deadline is missed, your child will be placed on the waitlist and another family will receive the slot.

Step 4: Pre-K Developmental Screening
Pre-K Developmental Screening will take place in Spring 2020 fro students not already identified as having special needs through Child Development Services. Fully enrolled students who need screening will be contacted with screening dates and information.

If you have further questions about the Pre-K program, please contact our office (207) 874-8113.

For families who need translation/interpretation services, please call the Multilingual & Multicultural Center for assistance at (207) 874-8135.

Here are Pre-Kindergarten Application forms for the 2020-2021 School Year. We will be accepting these applications beginning January 2, 2020 for the September 2020 thru June 2021 school year.

    Pre-Kindergarten Application - English
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Acholi
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Arabic
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - French
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Khmer 
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Portuguese
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Vietnamese
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Spanish
    Pre-Kindergarten Application - Somali


At this time, we cannot guarantee that transportation will be available. If we cannot offer transportation, parents must provide
transportation to and from school.

We are working on offering before and after school options but they cannot be guaranteed at this time.

Students will be placed in classrooms by their neighborhood school, if they do not have a neighborhood school, they will be placed in Rowe, PATHS, and YFO classrooms and potentially other community partner Pre-K classrooms.

These free, public Pre-Kindergarten program opportunities are currently offered in partnership between the Portland Public Schools, Youth and Family Outreach, and Catherine Morrill Day Nursery partner sites are subject to change.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Overview of Portland Public Schools' Pre-K Program

Portland Public Schools offers high quality Pre-K programming in both Portland Public Schools buildings and in partnership sites.  Children are eligible if they turn four years old on or before October 15 in the year of application. Start and end times of programs vary, with the long term goal being classroom days that mirror the hours of K-5 classrooms in each building.  Efforts to provide extended day care on a sliding scale and transportation are ongoing, in an effort to decrease barriers to accessing our Pre-K programs.

Children are placed in Pre-K slots in their neighborhood schools or in partner sites, based on our Pre-K lottery process. Portland does not yet have programs available in each elementary school.

Classes are currently located at Riverton Elementary School, Portland Arts and Technology High School, East End Community School, Amanda C Rowe Elementary School, Peaks Island Elementary School, Presumpscot Elementary School, Youth and Family Outreach, and The Opportunity Alliance. Plans are underway to add additional classes in Portland’s public schools and/or in high quality partner preschool programs that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Combining resources affords us space, staffing and finances to serve the maximum number of children citywide.

Pre-K Program Philosophy

Pre-K children benefit from high quality opportunities for developing language, literacy, mathematical problem solving abilities, conceptual knowledge, academic vocabulary, and social emotional skills.  High quality Pre-K programs include a combination of intentionally planned learning environments and opportunities for child choice across all areas of development. Strong positive relationships with well trained, responsive and caring teachers positively impact child outcomes.  Parents are viewed as children’s first teachers and as critical partners in the care and education of their children. 

We view children as competent and capable learners with unique and diverse qualities. Our teachers are highly qualified based on national standards and receive regular professional development. The program prepares children to enter kindergarten having mastered foundational skills and the ability to initiate and maintain positive social relationships,  as well as gaining appropriate level of independence to express their needs, identify and manage their emotions and solve problems with caring adults and peers. As a city, it is our goal to ensure access to high-quality pre-K for all Portland children and we continue to partner with other organizations and providers to pursue that goal. 

Public preschools are approved and monitored through the Maine Department of Education and follow Chapter 124:  Basic Approval Standards: Public Preschool Programs. All pre-kindergarten classes use nationally validated curricula and follow the Maine State Early Childhood Learning Guidelines.  PPS Pre-K programs use formative assessment data to partner with families, to inform curriculum planning, and to best meet individual student needs. PPS Pre-K programs include developmental screening, language proficiency assessment as appropriate, assessment and referral services, and coordination and transition with school personnel for Individual Education Plans as needed.

For more information 

Please call (207) 874-8113 or click on the link above for an application.

Pre-K Students