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2023-24 Pre-k and Kindergarten Registration

Welcome to City Schools!

Congratulations! It's time to enroll your child in pre-k or kindergarten!

To enter pre-k, children must be four years old by September 1, and to enter Kindergarten, children must be five years old by September 1City Schools offers two ways to register your student -- by visiting your neighborhood school or online.

Every day in pre-k and kindergarten, children learn

a new

math skill

how to

work with others

a new


how to

make friends

Can all children go to pre-k?

Space in pre-k is limited, so we use a priority system to enroll children. If space is not available at your neighborhood school, school or district staff can help find a place in a school nearby. 

What is the priority system for pre-k?

Priority 1 children 

  • Are four years old by September 1 and
  • Are considered income eligible or are homeless or receive special education services

All priority 1 children are eligible for City Schools pre-k. If space is full at your neighborhood school, we will find a place for your child at another location as close as possible to your home. To be considered low income, you will need to provide proof of income dated within the past 30 days.

Priority 2 children

  • Are four years old by September 1 but
  • Are not considered income eligible, are not homeless, or do not receive special education services

Priority 2 children can attend where space is available. Enrollment for priority 2 families is on a first-come, first-served basis, so plan to submit your registration early!

Who is considered low income?

This year, many more families will now qualify for early enrollment to pre-k because of changes to the income requirements.  More families can register their children earlier—and will know where their child will be going to school sooner. The new income eligibility information and all the details on pre-k and kindergarten 

City Schools uses federal guidelines based on the number of family members (including children) and the family's total monthly income, which includes monthly earnings, TANF, child support, alimony, food stamps, benefits for immigrants, retirement, Social Security, and foster care. When registering, you will need to provide proof of income dated within the past 30 days.

2023-24 Federal Poverty Guidelines Chart 

Family Size Total Annual Income
1 $43,740
2 $59,160
3 $74,580
4 $90,000
5 $105,420
6 $120,840
7 $136,260
8 $151,680

What about Kindergarten?

For kindergarten, every child who turns five by September 1 must be enrolled in school (according to state law). Any child who lives in Baltimore City can enroll in City Schools.

What if I don't think my child is ready for kindergarten?

You can consider submitting a level-of-maturity waiver (English | Spanish) to the Early Learning Department. If it is granted, your child can delay starting kindergarten for a year.


As free, all-day-pre-k becomes accessible to more students, there are a few changes this year. Many more families will now qualify for early enrollment to pre-k because of changes to the income requirements. The new income eligibility information and all the details on pre-k and kindergarten are below.

Registration dates for 2023-24 school year

  • April 17, 2023 for Priority 1 families
  • July 1, 2023 for Priority 2 families

Important Dates

Important Dates*

  • April 17, 2023: Enrollment window opens for kindergarten & pre-k priority 1 families
  • April 17 – May 19, 2023: Application window for families interested in Early Admission testing to kindergarten & first grade
  • July 1, 2023: Enrollment for pre-k priority 2 families
  • August 1 – August 15, 2023: Application window for families interested in a pre-k waiver 
  • August 28, 2023: First day of school for ALL students

    *All dates are subject to change.
Documentation Needed to Enroll and/or Transfer
  • Proof of Student Identity & Age: Birth certificate or other government-issued document (passport, military ID, birth registration, DHS/DOJ/DOS immigration and refugee resettlement forms)
  • Proof of Parent/Guardian Identity: Photo ID of the parent/legal guardian (driver’s license, passport, alien/permanent resident card, military ID, employment authorization card, ISAP card, DHS/DOJ/DOS immigration and refugee resettlement forms)
  • Proof of Address (only two (2) of the following examples are required):
    • Complete, recent utility bill (gas, electric, water, telephone, or cable)*
    • Deed or title to a residential property
    • Fully-executed, property sales agreement
    • Military housing order
    • Mortgage settlement sheet
    • Original, signed (by landlord and tenant) lease agreement reflecting the name(s) of the parent(s)/guardian(s) as tenants
    • Property tax bill or statement
    • Recent bank or mortgage statement*
    • Recent employer pay stub*
    • Recent homeowner, renter, or medical insurance statement*
    • Recent letter from Social Security Administration, Social Services, Maryland Vehicle Administration, Internal Revenue Services, or Maryland Judicial System*
      • *Recent = within the last sixty (60) days
  • Mandatory Proof of Income

​​​• Federal Income Tax Return (1040 statement) along with documentation related to other sources of income such as child support and/or rental income.

• Current Award letter for Temporary Cash Assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program*

• Current Approval letter for W.I.C or Medical Assistance

• Three consecutive pay stubs within the last 30 days

• Proof of unemployment benefits within the last 30 days

  • Other Requested Documentation
    • Academic records (recent report card and/or transcript)
    • Individualized education program (IEP) or 504 documents (if applicable)
    • Proof of custody/guardianship (if applicable)
    • Health records (immunizations and physical examinations)

How to enroll

• Find your neighborhood school. To find your school, use the school locator feature on the City Schools website. Type in your address under Zoned School, and click Search.

Complete a pre-K/K enrollment guide – available online or at your neighborhood school. The enrollment window opens for kindergarten & pre-k priority 1 families on April 17, 2023.

• Gather the required documents. If you're completing an online form, you can upload the documents. If you're completing a paper form, bring them to your neighborhood school.

• After submitting the form, you will be notified about your child's enrollment within a week. If you don't hear within a week, please contact the school's Enrollment Official or the Office of Enrollment, Choice, and Transfers at or 410-396-8600.

• Charter schools: Contact the school directly to ask about the registration process. (Note that the application deadline for most charter schools was February 13, 2023).

• Out of Zone School Requests – The window to request consideration for placement outside of zoned boundaries is set to tentatively launch on July 24, 2023. Please visit the ECT office with the required documentation to request transfer consideration.

• Additional support and/or questions: Please contact the school’s enrollment official directly or reach out to the district office team at or 410-396-8600.

Let’s Grow Citywide Programs (3-year-olds)

Early Learning Supplemental Registration Information for General Education Students

The Let’s Grow Citywide Programs are funded and designed to support 3-year-old children with Individual Education Plans (IEPS) and their non-disabled peers. The program is available at the following elementary schools: Armistead Gardens, Callaway, Walter P. Carter, Dorothy I. Height, Federal Hill Prep, Billie Holiday, Lakewood, and Westport Academy.

Seven openings are available for non-disabled students in each school. These openings are first come, first serve. To apply, please complete the pre-registration form. Filling out the registration form does not necessarily mean a child is enrolled. Based on available openings, you will be contacted by the school to complete the registration process.

If your child has an IEP or an IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan), they are not considered eligible to be a non-disabled peer in the Let’s Grow program and can’t register. Non-disabled children accepted to Let’s Grow who become eligible for an IEP may not remain in the program.

Learn more

What happens in pre-k and kindergarten?

Find out what students are learning and doing in elementary school.