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Pre-k and Kindergarten Registration

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Welcome to City Schools!

Will your child be four or five by September 1? Congratulations! It's time for school!

(If your child is already four or five and you want to register for the current school year, please call 410-396-8600.)


Find your neighborhood school


Registration packet



Registration packet


How to register

  • Fill out the registration form. Forms are also available at your local school.
  • Gather all the documents you need (see below).
  • For your neighborhood school: Take the registration form and documents to your neighborhood school. (Pre-k classes fill up quickly, so plan to register your child early!)
  • For charter schools: Contact the school directly to ask about the registration process. (Note that the application deadline for most charter schools was Friday, February 8.)
Remember to bring the following documents with you when you come to register or transfer:

Proof of Student Identity & Age 
•    Birth certificate or other government-issued document (passport, military ID, birth registration, DHS/DOJ/DOS immigration and refugee resettlement forms)

Proof of Parent/Guardian Identity
•    Photo ID of the parent/legal guardian (driver’s license, passport, alien/permanent resident card, military ID, employment authorization card, ISAP card, DHS/DOJ/DOS immigration and refugee resettlement forms) 

Proof of Address (only two (2) of the following examples are required)
•    Complete, recent utility bill (gas, electric, water, telephone, or cable)*
•    Deed or title to residential property
•    Fully-executed, property sales agreement
•    Military housing order
•    Mortgage settlement sheet
•    Original, signed (by landlord and tenant) lease agreement reflecting the name(s) of the parent(s)/guardian(s) as tenants
•    Property tax bill or statement
•    Recent bank or mortgage statement* 
•    Recent employer pay stub*
•    Recent homeowner, renter, or medical insurance statement*
•    Recent letter from Social Security Administration, Social Services, Maryland Vehicle Administration, Internal Revenue Services, or Maryland Judicial System*

*Recent = within the last sixty (60) days

Other Requested Documentation
•    Academic records (recent report card and/or transcript)
•    Individualized education program (IEP) or 504 documents (if applicable)
•    Proof of custody/guardianship (if applicable)
•    Health records (immunization history, lead test certificate, and physical/vision exam results) – new enrollees only

If you're registering for pre-k, you may also need to provide proof of monthly income dated within 30 days.  

Important Dates

April 23

Registration opens; schools start enrolling priority 1 pre-k students

April 23 to May 23

Window to apply for early admission to kindergarten (and 1st grade)

July 1

School starts enrolling priority 2 pre-k students

August 1 to August 16

Window to apply for early admission to pre-k

September 3

First day of school

Every day in pre-k and kindergarten, children learn

a new

math skill

how to

work with others

a new


how to

make friends

Can all children go to pre-k? What about kindergarten?

Space in pre-k is limited, so we use a priority system to enroll children. If space is not available at your neighborhood school, school or district staff can help find a place in a school nearby. 

For kindergarten, every child who turns five by September 1 must be enrolled in school (according to state law). Any child who lives in Baltimore City can enroll in City Schools.

What is the priority system for pre-k?

Priority 1 children 

  • Are four years old by September 1 and
  • Are considered low income or are homeless or receive special education services

All priority 1 children are eligible for City Schools pre-k. If space is full at your neighborhood school, we will find a place for your child at another location as close as possible to your home. To be considered low income, you will need to provide proof of income dated within the past 30 days.

Priority 2 children

  • Are four years old by September 1 but
  • Are not considered low income, are not homeless, or do not receive special education services

Priority 2 children can attend where space is available. Enrollment for priority 2 families is on a first-come, first-served basis, so plan to submit your registration early!

Who is considered low income?

City Schools uses federal guidelines based on number of family members (including children) and the family's total monthly income, which includes monthly earnings, TANF, child support, alimony, food stamps, benefits for immigrants, retirement, Social Security, and foster care.

When registering, you will need to provide proof of income dated within the past 30 days.

Family Size Total Annual Income
1 $21,978
2 $29,637
3 $37,297
4 $44,955
5 $52,614
6 $60,273
7 $67,951
8 $75,647


What if I don't think my child is ready for kindergarten?

You can consider submitting a level-of-maturity waiver to the Early Learning Department. If it is granted, your child can delay starting kindergarten for a year.

Early admission


If your child turns four between September 2 and October 15 and your family is considered low income or homeless or your child receives special education services, you can apply to attend pre-k through early admission. Placement is not guaranteed and you will need to provide some extra documentation.

If you'd like to apply:

  1. Fill out the registration form required for all incoming pre-k students.
  2. Complete this checklist.
  3. Bring both documents and all other required documentation to City Schools, Early Learning Programs, Room 308, 200 E. North Avenue between August 1 and 15.
  4. Staff will review the documentation with you.
  5. If your child is eligible, you'll be given a "Pre-k Early Admission Eligibility Form" to take to your neighborhood school.

If your child turns five between September 2 and October 15, early admission to kindergarten may be possible. (If your child's birthday is after October 15, check your eligibility for registering for pre-k.)

Please note that the deadline to apply for early admission to kindergarten for the 2019-20 school year has already passed.

Kindergarten is fun, but it's also challenging. To be successful, your child needs to be ready — or it could be stressful and frustrating for your child and make it harder for her or him to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Before deciding to apply for early admission, think about these points:

  • Children who are accepted into early admission will be in a class with other children who may be more than a year older and more mature.
  • Only children who are advanced in social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development are considered for early admission.
  • There's a formal application, which includes additional paperwork and references.

If you decide to apply, follow these steps:

  1. Check with your neighborhood school to get more details about early admission.
  2. Review the early admission packet.
  3. Complete the early admission request form in the packet and return it to City Schools, Early Learning Programs, Room 308, 200 E. North Avenue by the deadline.
  4. Ask two people who know about child development and what your child can do (for example, a doctor, coach, teacher, or pastor) to complete the checklists in the packet and send them straight to City Schools. If your child has attended a pre-k program, one of the people you ask must be a teacher from that program.
  5. Make sure that all paperwork is received by City Schools by the deadline.

An early learning specialist will contact you to schedule a date to assess your child. No studying is required and you don't need to do anything to prepare. You and the principal at your neighborhood school will get the results by July 1. 

Learn more

What happens in pre-k and kindergarten?

Find out what students are learning and doing in elementary school.