• Information for Early Childhood Programs Interested in Becoming UPK Providers 

    In February 2024, an application process will be initiated for center-based and independent schools programs operating classrooms within the City of Boston. Once this process starts, detailed information and the application itself will be available on the City of Boston Vendor portal.

    You can learn about the UPK model through the UPK Model Overview or these slides 

    Pathway for Adherence to Quality Pre-K Program

    Boston Universal Pre-K created this roadmap for established early childhood providers in the City of Boston. This resource is designed to assist in aligning your program with the high-quality standards of Boston UPK. It is essential to note that achieving these milestones does not grant UPK provider status but properly aligns your program with the established UPK Quality Standards.

    Pathway for adherence to quality Pre-K program standards informatic


    First Step

    Gain EEC Accreditation

    All Early Childhood Care programs in Massachusetts are required to have an active license in good standing with the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Please refer to the Child Care Program Licensing website for additional guidance about licensing and accreditation.

    Second Step

    Ensure All Your Teacher’s Have a Bachelor’s Degree

    Learn how you can get an Early Educator degree for free through the City of Boston.

    Third Step

    Implement the Focus Curriculum

    The Focus Curriculum is a nationally acclaimed model of early learning, developed by the BPS Early Childhood Department in collaboration with researchers, teachers, and experts in child development. You can access the full curriculum to implement at your program.

    Fourth Step

    Work Toward NAEYC Accreditation

    The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation helps teachers and other staff at early learning programs develop a shared understanding and commitment to quality. Visit the NAEYC website to learn more about their accreditation process.

    Fifth Step

    Build a Strong Family Engagement Program

    A Family Engagement program should include concrete strategies to engage families before and post- enrollment and support transitions; measure outcomes of family engagement and respond to family needs; and establish/sustain community partnerships with family engagement and comprehensive service providers. You can learn about Family Engagement best practices from the following resources:

    Sixth Step

    Get Familiar with Child Find in the City of Boston

    Child Find Screening is an evaluation for children 3-5 years old who live in Boston, conducted by the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Office of Specialized Services. You can learn more about it on the Child Find webpage.

    Seventh Step

    Learn About the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)

    The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a tool used to conduct developmental screening for children. You can learn more about ASQ on their website.

    We also encourage you to visit the Office of Early Childhood website for additional resources and early childcare support provided by the City of Boston.