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Apply Now for Preschool & Early Childhood Ed for 2024-25

Preschool spelled out in blocks


go2grow logoIt is time to make an education plan for the littlest learners in your family for this fall: Anyone with a child who will still be under 5 years old by September 30 is encouraged to apply for free early childhood education through our local Go2Grow website.


How to Apply:

The website is where you can apply for free preschool at Charlottesville City Schools.

Need a paper application? 

Preschool Program

Student and teacher pointing out letters on boardFor children who will be 3 or 4 years old by September 30, 2024: The website is where you can apply for free preschool at Charlottesville City Schools. Our preschool runs five days a week and helps children become kindergarten-ready through play and learning activities. Preschool is five days a week, 7:45am-2:30pm in our neighborhood elementary schools. Bus transportation is available.  

With this one application, you can also apply for MACAA Head Start or other preschool programs.

For children as young as infants 
The website is also where you can apply for free early childhood education and child care. 

Go2Grow programs are free for families that meet the eligibility requirements.

There are many benefits for children who participate in high-quality programs like the ones offered on Go2Grow:

  • Improved nutrition and health
  • Higher scores on math and reading achievement tests
  • Higher high school graduation rates and higher levels of schooling attained

Applications are accepted year-round, but the priority deadline to apply for the 2024-25 school year is March 15, 2024.To learn more, call 434-245-2813 or 434-245-2865 or visit The website

Want to learn more? Watch this story on NBC29 about Go2Grow.


The Preschool Team is available to answer questions or assist with your application.

  • Sheila Sparks, Coordinator of Preschool and Family Support: (434) 531-5920 (call or text)
  • Eleanor Barrese, Preschool Family Support Worker: (434) 245-2865: Habla español


More Information on Charlottesville City Schools Preschool Program

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for the three-year-old class or the four-year-old preschool program, a child must:

  • have turned three or four years old by September 30th of the school year;
  • live in the City of Charlottesville;
  • live in a family with low income and/or other stressors

Required Immunizations for Preschool

Child stacking blocksFor attendance at the preschool, documentary proof shall be provided of adequate age- appropriate immunization with the prescribed number of doses of vaccine indicated below. Religious and medical exceptions to immunization requirements are permitted, but documentation must be provided to the school.

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, or Tdap):  A minimum of 4 doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTaP or DTP vaccine on or after the fourth birthday. DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus) vaccine is required for children who are medically exempt from the pertussis containing vaccine (DTaP or DTP).
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine:  A complete series of 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine is required for all children.
  • Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: A minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps, and 1 rubella are required. (Most children receive 2 doses of each because the vaccine usually administered is the combination vaccine MMR). First dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. Second dose of vaccine must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.
  • Polio Vaccine: A minimum of 4 doses of polio vaccine. One dose must be administered on or after the fourth birthday.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine: All susceptible children born on and after January 1, 1997, shall be required to have one dose of chickenpox vaccine administered at age 12 months or older. Effective March 3, 2010, a second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.

All children starting preschool must have documentation of a physical examination performed by a physician. If a 3-year-old moves into the 4-year-old program, a physical is not required until entry until kindergarten.

Line of stick figure kids

  • There are two programs for children who are younger than four. There are five classes for three-year-old children, with the same eligibility requirements as the four-year-old classes except that the child must be three by September 30th of the school year. Parents interested in this program should use the same contact information as that for the four-year-old program. There is also a special education preschool program for children between the age of two and five who are found to have a significant delay in one or more of the following areas: communication, motor skills, personal/social skills, adaptive behavior and cognitive ability. If you think your child may be in need of special services, call Melinda Whitehurst or Rachel Rasnake at 245-2405.

  • Currently, there is no provision to allow for County residents to attend the City preschool program. Albemarle County does have a program similar to the City Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children; it is called Bright Stars. For more information about the County program, call 972-4140.

  • There is no simple answer to this question. Because each preschool class can have only sixteen children, it depends on where and when there is a vacancy and on the degree of need your child has for services.

  • Our first choice would be to place your child in your new elementary attendance zone. However, if this is not possible, you can transport your child to the school that they currently attend.

  • If you move out of the city, your child can remain in the program if you get approval from Central Office and if you transport your child to school on time every day.