• Registration for the 2024-2025 School Year is Open! 

    Apply for UPK at Community-Based Organizations, Family Child Care, and Independent Schools, here: https://apply.avela.org/boston

    The updated list of UPK providers for the school year 2024-2025 can be found under the following sections: UPK in Community-Based Organizations, UPK in Family Child Care, UPK in Independent Schools as well as in Great Starts.

    For applications at UPK at BPS (K0/K1), please refer to the information on this website

    Seat assignments will adhere to the following policies:

    General UPK Assignment Policies

    • The UPK application remains open and accepts submissions year-round.

    • Seats are offered to families on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

      • If any documents uploaded to verify a students’ eligibility are deemed incorrect, the application will be on hold, and the application will not be referred to any program until the correct documentation is uploaded. Once your child is verified, the application will be referred to a program with an open seat or added to the waitlist for each program listed in the application.  

    • If a UPK seat becomes available at any point during the school year, a family that is next in line on that specific program’s waitlist may receive an offer.

    • Assignments will be released every two weeks, on every other Monday until seats are filled. The first seat offers for the school year 2024-2025 will be released on Monday, April 22, 2024.  

    • Families will receive an email or text notification and find their seat status update on the application portal via Great Starts.

    • Families have 14 days to accept their seat offer on the application portal via Great Starts

    • If a family does not accept an offer within the 14-day time frame (this time frame includes weekends), their application will be automatically placed at the end of the waitlist for each provider listed in their application. This will allow another student the opportunity to receive a seat offer in time for the school year. 

    • If, for any reason, a family decides to change from one provider to another after accepting a seat, this will be considered as starting a new application. Therefore, they will be added to the end of the waitlist of the provider they are newly requesting.

    UPK Assignment Policies specific to families that applied between March 25, 2024 - April 22, 2024: 

    • The first round of assignments will be released on April 22nd. Families will receive an email or text notification and find their seat status update on the application portal.

    • Seats are offered to families on a first-come first-serve basis.

    • Families have 14 days, until May 6 at 5:00 PM, to accept their seat offer on the application portal. 

    • If a family does not accept an offer by May 6 at 5:00 PM, their application will be automatically placed at the end of the waitlist for each provider listed in their application.

    Please note that this process is new and is subject to change as we learn what works and what does not for providers and families.

     

    School Year 2023-2024

    Applications for UPK for the current school year are still being accepted! Apply for UPK at Community-Based OrganizationsFamily Child Care, and Independent Schools, for the 2023-24 school year here: https://applyprek.bostonpublicschools.org/login

     

    Eligibility for UPK

    Any child is eligible for UPK if they are:

    • Three or four years old as of September 1 of the school year for which you are seeking to enroll 

    • A resident of the City of Boston

     

    Contact

    If you have questions about the registration process at Community-Based Organizations, Family Child Care, and Independent Schools, you may contact the Boston UPK Office with any questions at 617-635-1507 or upk@bostonpublicschools.org. Translation options are available upon request.

    If you have questions about the registration process at Boston Public Schools, you may contact Boston Public Schools, Welcome Services, with any questions at 617-635-9010. Translation options are available upon request.


  • “UPK has been the perfect transition for my son from his small and loving home childcare to a more traditional school environment. The hands-on teaching staff, diverse peer group, and focus on play and exploration have contributed immensely to his growth over the past year. He has acquired important literacy and numeracy skills, but has also become a more confident learner, a deeply curious thinker, and a better friend through his UPK experience. The highlight of our day is when he opens his backpack to present me with the artwork and projects he created which showcase his learning and enthusiasm in a tangible way. In addition, we have been thoroughly impressed with the UPK teaching team.
    - Sarah Olia, UPK parent, 2021
     



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Universal Pre-K at Family Child Care Providers

  • How many UPK seats are offered at a Family Child Care at any given time?

  • Family Child Care providers traditionally offer a much longer schedule, will my child be participating for the entire day free of charge?

  • Family Child Care providers often have a variety of ages in the program, how will the teacher be able to deliver instruction in this setting given the various student needs?



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Boston Universal Pre-K

  • I submitted an application for my child for UPK at a community provider. What happens now?

  • Who is eligible for Boston Universal Pre-K?

  • How is pre-k at a community provider different from a Boston Public Schools classroom?

  • How long does it take to complete the online SchoolMint application for UPK at community providers?

  • Is there flexibility in the September 1 cut-off date for age for starting pre-k?

  • How are families prioritized for enrollment at UPK community providers?

  • Is there before-school care, after-school care, or summer care provided at UPK community providers?

  • Can I use a voucher for before-school care, after-school care, and/or summer care (“wraparound services”)? at UPK community providers?

  • Why is registration for UPK at community providers separate from BPS schools?

  • How might enrolling in pre-k at a community provider instead of pre-k (K1) at a BPS school affect my child’s chances in the BPS lottery for K2?

  • How can someone apply for UPK at a community provider without a computer or web-enabled mobile device?

  • My account for community provider registration (SchoolMint) has been disabled because I attempted to log in too many times. What should I do?

  • How are UPK community providers handling the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • How was funding established for free universal pre-k in Boston?

  • I am a child care provider. How can my program become a Boston UPK provider?