North Carolina Pre-K Program
The NC Pre-K Program is designed to provide high-quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness for eligible four-year-old children. The program typically follows the local public school calendar and operates for 6.5 hours per day, Monday-Friday, 180 days a year.
Is My Child Eligible for North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten?
The child must be four-years old on or before August 31st of the program year. A child that meets the age requirement is eligible for NC Pre-K if the child is from a family whose gross income is at or below 75% of the State Median Income (SMI). Children of certain military families are also eligible without regard to income. In addition, up to 20% of age eligible children enrolled may have family incomes in excess of 75% SMI if they have documented risk factors in specific categories including developmental disability, Limited English Proficiency, educational need, or chronic health condition.
Although a child may meet one or more eligibility factors, placement is not guaranteed in an NC Pre-K classroom. Waiting lists exist in counties when funding is not sufficient to serve all eligible children. Childcare Network directors can provide families with specific information about the enrollment process in their county.
The NC Pre-K Classroom
The NC Pre-K program aims to prepare children in all five of the developmental domains that are critical to children’s overall well-being and success in reading and math as they enter school:
- Approaches to play and learning
- Emotional and social development
- Health and Physical Development
- Language development and communication
- Cognitive development
Each NC Pre-K classroom at Childcare Network may have a lead teacher and/or an assistant teacher. Each teacher must have passed both state and federal background checks and must be over 21 years of age. Lead teachers are required to have (or by working toward) North Carolina (NC) Birth through Kindergarten (B-K) or Preschool Add-on Standard Professional II licensures and assistant teachers must hold, or be working toward, a minimum of an Associate Degree in early childhood education or child development (ECE/CD) or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.
NC Pre-K Curriculum
The NC Pre-K curriculum that we use at Childcare Network has undergone review and been approved by the North Carolina Division of Child Development. It incorporates large group, small group, outside time, center time, story times, phonological awareness, music and movement, and large group literacy throughout each day. NC Pre-K programs must also use the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Teaching staff must use these early learning standards to guide and inform their planning and facilitation of comprehensive, developmentally appropriate, high-quality prekindergarten learning experiences for children, and in their work with families.
NC Pre-K Healthy Meals
A USDA approved healthy breakfast, lunch and snack will be provided for your child during their day. We do not allow children to bring food into the school. lf your child has special diet requirements related to medical or religious reasons, we encourage you to speak to the director of the school. You can learn more about our USDA Food Program here.
What If I Need Care For A Full Day?
Childcare Network offers an extended day program with wrap around care for families that need care for their children, longer than the 6.5 hours allotted for the Pre-K program. Parents with children enrolled in this program will have care available from open until close, depending on the hours of your location. Pricing is different per location, so please ask a Childcare Network director during your tour to get more information.