close video
Skip to main content

Pre-k and Kindergarten Registration

Watch Video

Welcome to City Schools!

Will your child be four or five by September 1? Congratulations! It's time for school!

(If your child is already four or five and you want to register for the current school year, please call 410-396-8600.)

Go

Find your neighborhood school

Download

Registration Packet

(English)

Download

Registration Packet

(Spanish)

How to register

  • Fill out the registration form. Forms are also available at your local school.
  • Gather all the documents you need (see below).
  • For your neighborhood school: Take the registration form and documents to your neighborhood school. (Pre-k classes fill up quickly, so plan to register your child early!)
  • For charter schools: Contact the school directly to ask about the registration process. (Note that the application deadline for most charter schools was Friday, February 8.)
If you're registering a student for the first time or requesting a transfer, you'll need the following:
  • Birth certificate showing your child’s birth date or other government-issued  photo ID of the parent/guardian (i.e., U.S. passport, state driver’s license)
  • Two proofs of primary residence dated within 30 days (water, gas/electric or telephone bill; verifiable lease agreement, rent receipt (rent receipts should have the management letterhead at the top of the receipt – no handwritten rent receipts), or mortgage statement; bank statement; letters from Social Security and Social Services) 
  • Your child’s immunization record (learn more about immunizations requirements)
  • Maryland State health inventory (including lead testing certificate) 
If applicable, the following documents should also be provided:

Important Dates

April 23

Registration opens; schools start enrolling priority 1 pre-k students

April 23 to May 23

Window to apply for early admission to kindergarten (and 1st grade)

July 1

School starts enrolling priority 2 pre-k students

August 1 to August 16

Window to apply for early admission to pre-k

September 3

First day of school

Every day in pre-k and kindergarten, children learn

a new

math skill

how to

work with others

a new

word

how to

make friends

Can all children go to pre-k? What about kindergarten?

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. 

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 is the priority system for pre-k?

Priority 1 children 

  • Are four years old by September 1 and
  • Are considered low income 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.

Priority 2 children

  • Are four years old by September 1 but
  • Are not considered low income, 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?

City Schools uses federal guidelines based on 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.
 

Family Size Total Annual Income
1
 $21,978
2
 $29,637
3
 $37,297
4
 $44,955
5
 $52,614
6
 $60,273
7
 $67,951
8
 $75,647

 

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

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

Early admission

Pre-k

If your child turns four between September 2 and October 15 and your family is considered low income or homeless or your child receives special education services, you can apply to attend pre-k through early admission. Placement is not guaranteed and you will need to provide some extra documentation.

If you'd like to apply:

  1. Fill out the registration form required for all incoming pre-k students.
  2. Complete this checklist.
  3. Bring both documents and all other required documentation to City Schools, Early Learning Programs, Room 308, 200 E. North Avenue between August 1 and 15.
  4. Staff will review the documentation with you.
  5. If your child is eligible, you'll be given a "Pre-k Early Admission Eligibility Form" to take to your neighborhood school.
Kindergarten

If your child turns five between September 2 and October 15, early admission to kindergarten may be possible. (If your child's birthday is after October 15, check your eligibility for registering for pre-k.)

Kindergarten is fun, but it's also challenging. To be successful, your child needs to be ready — or it could be stressful and frustrating for your child and make it harder for her or him to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Before deciding to apply for early admission, think about these points:

  • Children who are accepted into early admission will be in a class with other children who may be more than a year older and more mature.
  • Only children who are advanced in social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development are considered for early admission.
  • There's a formal application, which includes additional paperwork and references.

If you decide to apply, follow these steps:

  1. Check with your neighborhood school to get more details about early admission.
  2. Review the early admission packet.
  3. Complete the early admission request form in the packet and return it to City Schools, Early Learning Programs, Room 308, 200 E. North Avenue between April 23 and May 23.
  4. Ask two people who know about child development and what your child can do (for example, a doctor, coach, teacher, or pastor) to complete the checklists in the packet and send them straight to City Schools. If your child has attended a pre-k program, one of the people you ask must be a teacher from that program.
  5. Make sure that all paperwork is received by City Schools by May 23

An early learning specialist will contact you to schedule a date to assess your child. No studying is required and you don't need to do anything to prepare. You and the principal at your neighborhood school will get the results by July 1. 

Learn more

What happens in pre-k and kindergarten?

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