• Hooray for Pre-K!


    Registration for the 2024-2025 school year is open! Apply at Great Starts Apply  

    Welcome! We’re excited you are considering preschool for your child. Preschool is also known as Pre-Kindergarten. In Boston, we have Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), a program that is funded by the City of Boston and promises to deliver on high-quality choices that are free of cost to Boston’s three and four year old children. UPK is a 6.5-hour school day for 180 days per year.

    The Boston UPK model offers the same high quality programming in a variety of settings:

    1. Boston Public Schools (BPS) - known as K0 (for 3-year-olds) and K1 (for 4-year-olds)
    2. Community Based Organizations
    3. Family Child Care
    4. Independent Schools

    A child is eligible for Boston UPK if they are:

    •  3 or 4 years old by September 1 of the school year they are applying to

    • Resident of the City of Boston

    If your child is not age-eligible for Boston UPK, we encourage you to find other childcare and education options through Great Starts Explore 

    Child care is available in many settings in Boston. To understand your options visit GreatStarts.Boston

    What makes UPK a high-quality pre-kindergarten program?

    All UPK programs - regardless of where they are offered - are standardized and quality-based. They all share the following: 

    • Boston Public Schools' (BPS') UPK program exceeds national standards. 
    • All pre-k teachers have a degree in early childhood education and are prepared to teach in classroom settings to support students of all backgrounds and needs.
    • Teachers receive ongoing professional development throughout the year to enhance their teaching.
    • Expert coaches provide ongoing support to teachers.
    • Students learn from the Boston Public Schools Focus on Pre-K curriculum and the Building Blocks curriculum, which are national models in early childhood education.
    • All classroom environments are age-appropriate and culturally responsive.
    • Small classrooms with 2 educators for 20 students.
    • Nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
    • Each UPK community provider has a family engagement coordinator available to provide support to families to meet their individual needs.


    You can download a UPK informational flyer below:

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    Click here to learn more about Boston Universal Pre-K's eligibility criteria and registration process