Preschool Programs (FREE)

Do you have a 3 or a 4 year old?  Tacoma Public Schools is committed to early learning and we offer six preschool programs at more than 30 LOCATIONS​​ throughout the district available to families that reside within the Tacoma school district boundaries. Each program is unique while providing common curriculum that helps prepare students for success in kindergarten and beyond.​  


The preschool enrollment process is changing for the 2018-19 school year and beyond.  You can now APPLY ONLINE.  You will also be able to pick up a paper copy of the application in elementary schools beginning March 5th  Application's submitted online will receive an email confirmation.  An enrollment specialist will call you to discuss programs your child qualifies for and help you with the next steps. 

FREE Preschool Programs

These preschool programs are located at various schools through out the school district.  Our goal is to have preschool children attend their neighborhood school or school of parents choice as we believe this will make the transition to kindergarten smoother.  All programs are 4-5 days per week, with half day sessions.  It is each programs goal to prepare preschool children for kindergarten and beyond.  All preschool enrollments are based on space availability. 

ECEAP 

Early Childhood Education and Assistance program is a comprehensive program that includes preschool, family support, child health coordination and nutrition.  Enrollment is based on income eligibility.  Children must be 3 years of age on or before August 31 for Fall enrollment.  Sessions are 8:30 - 11:30 and 12:30 - 3:30, Willard is a full day program 9:00 - 3:30.

Head Start

The classroom experience is enhanced with education, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families.  Enrollment is based on income eligibility.  Children must be 3 years of age on or before August 31 for Fall enrollment.  Sessions are 9:00 - 12:30 with a few locations providing a full day program 9:00 - 3:30.

Peer Inclusion

Students play and learn together with peers who have developmental delays, learning a variety of skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.   Children must be 3 years of age on or before March 31st for Fall enrollment. Sessions are 9:00 - 11:30 and 1:00 - 3:30 with some sites having extended day programs from 9:00 - 12:00.

Title I 

A foundation for the future, Title I preschool is a comprehensive preschool program focused on academic need, working to ensure all children are ready for kindergarten. Preschoolers will learn a variety of skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.  Children must be 3 years of age on or before August 31st for Fall enrollment.  Sessions are 9:00 - 11:30 and 1:00 - 3:30

English Language Learners 

Focused around preschoolers learning English, students will develop language skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and beyond.  Children must be 4 years of age by August 31st for Fall enrollment.  Sessions are 9:00 - 11:30 and 1:00 - 3:30.



DressUp PreK.jpg Ear​ly Learning Centers

Tacoma Public Schools’ early learning centers are community hubs for academic development and intervention services supporting families with birth to preschool-aged children.  All of our early learning programs use research based curriculum with the goal of assuring students have the skills they need for success in kindergarten. Parents and guardians are encouraged to take part in family activities and volunteer in the classroom.   

Madison Early Learning Center 3101 S 43rd St., Tacoma, WA 98409 

Willard Early Learning Center 3201 S. D St., Tacoma, WA 98418 

Hoyt Early Learning Center 2708 N Union Ave., Tacoma, WA 98407 

McCarver Early Learning Center 2141 South J St., Tacoma, WA 98405