Federal Programs Director
What is Georgia's Pre-K Program?
Georgia’s Pre-K Program is a state lottery funded educational program for all age eligible four-year-old children in Georgia. The purpose of Georgia’s Pre-K Program is to prepare children for success in Kindergarten and later school years.
Pre-K programs usually operate on the regular school system calendar for the length of a typical school day. Programs may be offered at local public schools or through private providers of preschool services.
School Readiness - How does Georgia’s Pre-K Program prepare a child for success in Kindergarten and later school years?
The first of the National Education Goals states "all children will start school ready to learn." Keeping in mind the following contexts, Georgia formulated a definition of school readiness. We believe school readiness must be defined within the context of the nature of four year olds and how they learn. We believe it must be defined within the context of families and how they live. School readiness must be defined within the context of communities and the services they provide. And, it must be defined within the context of schools and their readiness for children.
A child's readiness for school is when...
- possible health barriers that block learning have been detected,
- suspected physical or mental disabilities have been addressed,
- enthusiasm, curiosity, and persistence toward learning is demonstrated,
- feelings of both self and others are recognized,
- social and interpersonal skills are emerging,
- communication with others is effective,
- early literacy skills are evident, and
- a general knowledge about the world, things, places, events, and people has been acquired.
Is this child eligible for Georgia's Pre-K Program?
To participate, children must be four years of age on or before September 1 of the school year and must be a resident of Georgia. If a child is not served as a four year old, then the child may be eligible to attend the Pre-K Program as a five year old. However, programs may choose to deny enrollment into their Pre-K program children who are age eligible for kindergarten. Parents should check the enrollment policies of local programs before enrolling their child.
Proof that a child is age eligible and is a Georgia resident is required to register for Pre-K. Acceptable proof-of-age includes birth certificate, passport, hospital record of live birth, green card, pink card or Federal I-94 card. You may order a birth certificate online directly from Georgia’s State Office of Vital Records using (Official Vital Event Records (ROVER). Acceptable proof-of-residency includes a lease, utility bill or letter from a shelter or employer.
All children enrolled in Georgia's Pre-K Program must have hearing, vision, and dental examination certificates (DHR Form 3300) on file within 90 calendar days of program entry. Form 3300 must be signed by a private practitioner or representative of a local Department of Health.
Immunizations (DHR Form 3231) must be up-to-date or affidavits must be on file within 30 calendar days of program entry. Only health departments and physicians licensed in Georgia can obtain blank immunization certificates (Form 3231). Take your child's personal immunization record to a health department or Georgia physician and they can complete the form and give any required vaccines