How Do I Qualify and Apply?

  • Qualifications

    • Your child must be four years old before September 30 for the 4-year-old class or three years old before September 30 for the 3-year-old class. 
    • You must live in the school attendance areas.
      • Exception: Children of WPS or City of Winchester employees who live outside of school attendance areas but meet local criteria (below) may be eligible. 
    • Your family must meet income guidelines OR local criteria. Local criteria includes:
      • Either parent is a high school dropout
      • Family member suffers from substance abuse, mental illness, or disability
      • Single parent home
      • Death/terminal illness of a family member
      • Student is being raised by someone other than a parent
      • English is not the primary language spoken in the home
      • Parent is deployed (military)
      • Parent is incarcerated
      • Child has documented social/emotional, self-regulation skill deficits
      • Prolonged/persistent health issues of the child or family member
      • Teen parent

    • Residential mobility—families who have moved more than once in a year
    • Medical autism diagnosis
    • COVID-19 Impact
      • The furlough of one or both parents
      • Loss of child support due to loss of employment
      • Parent resigned due to lack of child care
      • Illness/death of family member due to COVID-19
      • Household has experienced hardship as a result of a parent being considered essential
      • Child's or parent's mental health impacted by COVID-19
    • Other local criteria may qualify your child.

    All applicants must provide proof of income, even if they qualify under different criteria. 

    Inquiries may be directed to:

    Angie Cain
    Early Childhood Coordinator

    Diana Benitez
    Early Childhood Family Liaison


  • Registration Requirements

    TWO (2) Proofs of Residency: Utility bill (gas, electric, water/sewer, home phone); Receipt for personal property taxes or real estate taxes; Current homeowner's or renter's insurance policy; Current deed, mortgage, or rental/lease agreement   

    Income Verification: The following are acceptable forms of income verification:

    • TANF/SSI payment information
    • W-2 forms or pay stubs which indicate gross year-to-date earnings
    • Last year’s tax return (1040)
    • An official letter from your employer stating your monthly earnings
    • Medicaid or SNAP eligibility verification letter
    • and/or Documentation of child support or spousal support.

    Families with income 200% or less above the poverty level are eligible for Pre-K. *Remember: If your family does not meet income requirements, you may still be eligible under local criteria. 

    income verification chart

    All applicants must provide proof of income, even if they qualify under different criteria. 

  • You will also need

    Child’s birth certificate

    Medical insurance card for your child (Medicaid, FAMIS, Private)

    Current immunization record and current physical

    Custody papers/court papers regarding your child (if this applies to your child)

    SNAP information if your family receives benefits 

  • Application Process

    prek registration kickoffprek registration kickoff

    Registration begins with the Pre-K Registration Kickoff!

    Wednesday, March 1 
    4-7 p.m. 


    Wednesday, March 8 
    9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    Location: The Douglas School
    598 N Kent St / Winchester, VA 22601

    If you cannot attend one of the PreK Kickoff events, you can register at your child's school on weekdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. starting Tuesday, March 14. Kindergarten registration will also be available at this time. 

    Find Your School: 
    Families may use the Property Search Tool or call an elementary school to confirm the school zone in which the family resides. 
    To use the Property Search Tool: 
    1. Visit
    2. Click on "Property Search Portal"
    2. Type in home address
    3. Scroll below the address bar to “School Districts” and the elementary school for that address will be listed. *Note: All WPS students attend the same intermediate, middle, and high school. 

    Please bring TWO (2) proofs of residency, proof of income, and the child's birth certificate. If your child is determined to be eligible, you will be given a registration packet to complete and return.