Kindergarten and Pre-K

  • There are several options to get our youngest learners off to a successful start.  

    Universal Pre-K 
    Prepare your child for success! Preschool gets your child ready for school with a strong foundation for learning now. The Boston Public Schools preschool program is one of the strongest in the nation. Boston's Universal Pre-K program provides high-quality preschool for every 4 year old living in Boston at no cost to families. Learn more about the program and how to enroll at

    Countdown to Kindergarten
    This partnership among the BPS, City of Boston, and many community organizations is working to provide a positive transition into BPS kindergarten for students and their families. Pick up copies of their publications, available in many languages, at any Welcome Center, or call 617-635-9288 or visit their website:

    Kindergarten (K2)
    Kindergarten is a six-hour (full-day) program for 5-year olds provided in all elementary schools. School assignment is guaranteed for all children who apply for fullday K2. However, due to space constraints, an assignment cannot be guaranteed to a school you choose. To register for K2, children must be five years old on or before September 1 of the school year they are registering for. 

    Pre-Kindergarten (K0 or K1)
    There are more than 2,400 seats available for children who are four years old on or before September 1 of the school year they are registering for. There are also a very limited number of openings in K0 for children who are three years old on or before September 1 of the school year they are registering for. Assignments to these programs cannot be guaranteed.

    Schools for Early Learners
    Several schools offer full-day kindergarten (starting with K0 or K1) through grade 1 or grade 3, plus before and after school care from 7:30 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. All are free. Seats are limited and wait lists can be long for these popular programs.  

    Important Kindergarten Notes 

    • All general education kindergarten students are guaranteed a seat through the highest grade of their assigned school, following the guidelines of our student assignment plan.
    • Exceptions cannot be made to our entry age policy, regardless of the child’s previous school experience.
    • State law states each child must attend school beginning in September of the calendar year in which the child turns six years old.
    • If you need a program for your three- or four year-old, you are encouraged to check out Head Start, Child Care Choices of Boston, and other preschool options. While the K1 program at BPS for 4-year-olds has expanded in recent years, assignment cannot be guaranteed.