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How do I know if my child is eligible to participate in NC Pre-K?

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.  Local NC Pre-K contract administrators can provide specific information about the enrollment process, available programs that meet NC Pre-K Program Requirements, and other specific information related to participation in NC Pre-K in your county, as well as other options for early childhood education services (e.g., Child Care SubsidyChild Care Resource and ReferralHead StartPreschool Exceptional ChildrenSmart StartTitle I Preschool). 

This page has the most current information and updates about the NC Pre-K Program, local contact information, and supporting structures, including the Early Educator Support, Licensure and Professional Development (EESLPD) Unit. The EESLPD Unit is the statewide education and licensure unit serving NC Pre-K teachers employed in nonpublic schools.