Prekindergarten program application process starts April 11

Prekindergarten program application process starts April 11

The application process for the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) prekindergarten program begins Monday, April 11 at all Charles County public elementary schools. To be eligible for prekindergarten, students must be four years old by September 1.

The selection of prekindergarten students is based on criteria and guidelines set by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and CCPS. Placement in the program is based on need in the following three categories:

  • Category one (guaranteed admission): students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals; qualify for homeless status (certified by the CCPS department of student services); or receive food stamps and/or Temporary Cash Assistance (valid food stamp or TCA letter showing names of household members is required).
  • Category two (next priority, admission is not guaranteed/students must meet one or more criteria): family income falls within 10 percent of the limit for category one; child has an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP); child speaks another language at home; child participated in Head Start or other federally funded program in the past 12 months; or certain family circumstances (adolescent parent, elderly guardian, parent has a diagnosed chronic illness that impacts his/her ability to care for the child, or parent is/will be deployed for 12 months or more).
  • Category three: children who are not eligible for categories one or two, and wish to be considered if vacancies exist, which are determined on a school-by-school basis. Families applying for category three admission must submit a separate application and only need to provide a birth certificate and verify their home address when applying. Additional registration documents (listed below) will only be required if the child is placed into the prekindergarten program. Details on the category three application are posted at

Category one families will be notified of their child’s application status within three weeks of submitting their application. Category two and three families will be notified at a later time, and may not be notified until after the start of the school year. Category three families will only be notified in the event that their child is placed. School change requests are not honored for prekindergarten.

Prekindergarten applications are available at all Charles County public elementary schools, and on the CCPS website at To find out what elementary school an address is zoned for, use the School Locator feature on the Charles County Public Schools website at

All children entering Charles County Public Schools must have the following information:

  • A physical examination by a physician or a certified practitioner (physicals must be completed between nine months prior to and six months after entering school);
  • Proof of required immunizations against communicable diseases (the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 896 form showing the required immunizations is available at any school);
  • The child’s birth certificate or other acceptable proof of birth (passport/visa; physician’s certificate; baptismal or church certification; hospital certificate; or birth registration). If the child was born in Maryland, a copy of his/her birth certificate can be purchased from the Charles County Department of Health, 301-609-6900; and
  • Two proofs of domicile (residency): deed, mortgage statement/bill or settlement papers (with appropriate signatures), current signed verifiable lease or rental agreement (with signatures of both parties), current utility bill (complete with name and address), completed Verification of Domicile form accompanied by two acceptable proofs of domicile for the owner/lessee of the property, property tax bill for domicile (not assessment), current pay check with name and address, property title record, current court document (with name, date, and home address), and current government issued documents that include name, date and home address such as documentation of benefits from the Social Security Administration.
  • Call the department of student services at 301-934-7326 with questions about proofs of domicile.

Additional information is posted on the CCPS website at, under the prekindergarten section.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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