Concerned about your child’s development? Don’t sit back and wait.
Henrico County Public Schools offers a preschool program at many elementary schools to children who meet specific criteria. Preschool is a full-day program that follows the HCPS school calendar and school hours. School hours vary depending on location. The preschool program empowers students with the knowledge, skills, attributes and experiences to be life-ready.
HCPS preschool students gain literacy and other skills using a developmentally appropriate, hands-on curriculum, including a focus on phonemic awareness; language enrichment; letters and sounds; decoding and beginning reading and writing; numeracy with a focus on numbers and number sense; and social and emotional development.
Our program reinforces HCPS’ Henrico Learner Profile and focuses on creative and critical thinking, communicating, collaborating, quality character and becoming an effective global citizen in our increasingly diverse society.
Acceptance to an HCPS Early Learning Preschool classroom is granted as slots become available, after a complete application has been submitted and reviewed. Invitations for enrollment are not granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible students who live within the attendance zone of a school with an HCPS preschool classroom are considered first. Children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 30 of the upcoming school year and reside in Henrico County. To be eligible, you must:
Have a low income, as defined by federal poverty guidelines.
Lack fixed, regular or adequate housing (be currently experiencing homelessness), and/or:
Have an individualized education program — often called an IEP — for your child, while falling into a qualifying family income bracket.
Other factors are also considered when determining eligibility.
There are no exceptions to age and residency requirements. There is no cost to families for the program and transportation will be provided for preschool students in accordance with HCPS transportation guidelines. HCPS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities.
HCPS Early Learning Preschool is funded through the Virginia Preschool Initiative and federal Head Start grants awarded to the school division.
Steps in the pre-K application process
The application window for the 2023-24 school year opened Jan. 17, 2023 and will close Aug. 7. After the window closes, you may still apply for the waitlist until Sept. 30.
Applying for HCPS Early Learning Preschool is a three-phase process for qualifying families:
Phase 1: Prescreening for eligibility
An email will be sent within one week to inform you of your tentative eligibility (or ineligibility) and the next steps (Phase 2). This tentative eligibility communication does not guarantee a position in the program; it is to inform you that the child has met the initial eligibility criteria and tell you to move to Phase 2 of the process.
Phase 2: Submission of required documents
If the child is tentatively eligible, you’ll receive an email with a link to upload required documentation to confirm eligibility. Your documents will not be reviewed until all required documents are uploaded. (Watch this video for information on required documents.)
Phase 3: Enrolling in Henrico County Public Schools
If you were found eligible, you’ll receive an email (usually by mid-May) to inform you of either placement in the preschool program or placement on the waitlist. If your child is placed in the program, you’ll be given specific instructions on how to enroll your student in Henrico County Public Schools. Note: this step must be completed within one week.
Children will not be formally enrolled in the Early Learning Preschool program until parents and/or guardians have completed the HCPS enrollment process outlined in the email. Children who are not registered and attending school when school opens for the year will forfeit their space in the pre-K class.
If you are placed on the waitlist, please monitor your email and voicemail. You will be notified if a spot opens and you are next on the list.
Families who complete all three phases will receive a letter by USPS mail with preschool open house information, as well as the name of the child’s preschool teacher.
Documents you’ll need to upload with your application in Phase 2
If anything is missing from your application, a staff member will contact you.
Child’s certified birth certificate (original document). If in a language other than English, you must provide a translated copy in English.
Proof of income for all individuals contributing to the family. You may provide one of the following: 2022 W2; two most recent pay stubs; TANF verification, SNAP benefits award letter; or a letter from your employer indicating the period of employment and salary, child support, social security benefits and/or unemployment.
Current lease/mortgage agreement. If not in your name, you must complete a residency affidavit, which must be notarized by a notary. The homeowner or person renting the home must be present with you at the time of your scheduled appointment.
Current utility bill (gas, electric, water, etc.) in your name, dated within the past 30 days.
Picture ID (military ID, driver’s license, DMV ID or other photo ID).
Medical and dental insurance cards.
Current physical/immunization examination report (showing TB screening), completed within one year before the start of the preschool school year. Page one must be completed and signed by the student’s parent or guardian.
Completed dental exam form, dated within the past six months.
Court-ordered custody papers, if applicable.
Individualized Education Program (IEP), if applicable.
Watch this video for more information on required documents.
Early Learning Preschool classroom sites
Jacob Adams E.S.
Arthur Ashe E.S.
George Baker E.S.
Cashell Donahoe E.S. (serving Donahoe and Fair Oaks elementary schools)
Echo Lake E.S.
Glen Lea E.S.
Highland Springs E.S.
Elizabeth Holladay E.S. (serving Dumbarton, Elizabeth Holladay, Charles Johnson, Laburnum, Lakeside and R.C. Longan elementary schools)
Anthony Mehfoud E.S.
Harold Ratcliffe E.S.
Sandston E.S. (serving Sandston and Seven Pines elementary schools)
Springfield Park E.S.
Three Chopt E.S.
Henry Ward E.S.
FAQ about HCPS Early Learning Preschool
For the fastest response to any questions regarding HCPS’ Early Learning Preschool program, email email@example.com. You may also call our office at 804-328-8104. Please be aware that because of the large volume of calls we receive, email is the most efficient way to communicate.