• Registration - Frequently Asked Questions


    Can I adjust my site rankings if I have already submitted my child’s application but have not yet accepted any offers?

    Yes. If a family wants to change their ranked sites after submitting the application, they must edit and resubmit the existing application.

    Every site that a family selects in their application has an individual timestamp. This means that adjusting one of their ranked sites will not impact the timestamp for the other sites.


    Can I add/edit programs to my application after accepting an offer?

    When a family accepts an offer, it immediately voids any other seat offers and removes them from any other waitlist they were on. Therefore, if a family decides to change from one provider to another after accepting a seat, this will be considered as starting a new application. Consequently, they will be added to the end of the waitlist of the provider they are newly requesting.


    How can I withdraw an application?

    If you are no longer interested in a UPK seat, you should log into Great Starts and decline all the offers and waitlists you were added to. Once you decline all your options, your application will be withdrawn. 


    Which documents are required in the UPK application? 

    To complete an application, you will need to upload one (1) proof of your child's age and two (2) proof of address. Please note that the two proofs of address submitted must be different documents (i.e. submitting a gas bill for two different months does not account for two different proofs of address). 


    Valid proofs of age are:

    • Birth Certificate

    • Child’s up-to-date immunization record

    • I-94 Form

    • Child’s Passport


    Valid proofs of Address are: 

    • Utility Bill (not water or cell phone) dated within the past 60 days

    • A Deed, Mortgage Payment dated within the past 60 days, or Property Tax Bill dated within the last year

    • A current Lease, Section 8 Agreement, or BPS Landlord Affidavit, dated within a year

    • A W2 form dated with the year or a Payroll Stub dated within the past 60 days

    • A Bank or Credit Card Statement dated within the past 60 days

    • A Letter from an Approved Government Agency dated within the past 60 days

    • Residency/Landlord Affidavit dated within a year

    • IF EXPERIENCING HOUSING INSECURITY: a shelter letter, self-declaration from the provider, or a letter from DCF (Note: in this case, the same document can be uploaded for both Proof of Address 1 and 2, no other documentation is necessary)


    What does a site marked as “full” on the application mean? Can I still rank it? 

    If a site is marked as “Full” on the application, it means that this site has received enough applications to fill the available UPK seats. 

    However, if a family is interested in a program labeled “full,” they are still encouraged to rank it in their options. The family will be placed on the waitlist for this program. There is a chance that a seat might open in the future as families might take a seat at another program or a BPS school. 

    If all the sites a family ranks are “full,” the UPK team will contact them to ask if they would like to be put on a waitlist or referred to another UPK site with available seats.


    If I applied to a BPS school, do I still have to apply for UPK?

    Yes. If a family applies to Boston Public Schools and wants to be considered for a UPK seat at a Community-based organization, they must apply to UPK through Great Starts. The family will be required to enter their information and submit documentation again. The application for Boston Public Schools will only offer seats at Boston Public Schools and currently is entirely independent of the Great Starts application. 


    I submitted a priority application at the site where my child is currently enrolled. Do I have to do anything else? 

    Yes. If your child was previously enrolled at a UPK site, Great Starts will email you to notify you that an account has been created for you between April and the first two weeks of May. After receiving that email, you must log into Great Starts and upload the required proof of age and address documents to confirm your child’s eligibility criteria. If you don’t upload the required documents, your application will be incomplete.  


    Will signing up with the UPK program negatively impact my voucher status?

    No. As per EEC policy, joining UPK will not affect a family’s voucher status. If a family has a UPK seat, they can use their vouchers for before-school care, after-school care, summer care, or other non-UPK days at the UPK program. Availability and cost for such programs will vary according to each site. 


    Does being a part of UPK guarantee my child a K2 seat at Boston Public Schools? 

    No. However, UPK does have the Connector System, which gives priority to UPK children during the BPS lottery assignment for K2 in certain schools. This does not guarantee a connection between a UPK setting and a particular BPS school for K2; instead, it provides families of UPK children with a higher probability of being placed in specific schools for K2. To be considered to be eligible for the UPK Connector System, families must register their child during the annual BPS K2 priority registration period. 

    Find video explanations of the Connector System in multiple languages here.

    Does UPK cover before-care, after-care, or summer school?

    No. UPK is a 6.5-hour school day for 180 days per year, aligned with the school calendar of Boston Public Schools. UPK does not include before-school care, after-school care, or summer school.