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Charles County Public School offers full-day Prekindergarten (PreK) programs at all 22 elementary schools.

Starting in the 2023-24 school year, a prekindergarten program will be available at the Early Learning Center, La Plata.

The goal of the PreK program is to prepare children socially, emotionally, physically, and academically for Kindergarten and beyond.

Charles County Public Schools will expand Prekindergarten slots at the Early Learning Center, La Plata (ELC) beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.

Click here to read the press release for more information. Please be advised that the ELC has a catchment zone for attendance. Please view the documents below to see if your street has been designated in the catchment zone for Prekindergarten. Students eligible for Prekindergarten who live in these designated areas will attend the ELC instead of their home zoned school for Prekindergarten only. Students in these areas cannot opt out to attend another school, nor can other students opt in to the ELC. First priority will be given to applicants who meet the Tier I qualifications. Transportation will be provided for students enrolled at the ELC. Students who complete Prekindergarten at the ELC will transfer to their home zoned school for kindergarten.

Catchment Zone by Street

Map of Catchment Zone

You must apply for PreK at the school you are zoned for based on your home address.
School Change requests are NOT accepted for PreK. 

find your zoned school through School Locator

Income eligibility guidelines for Tier I increased significantly in the 2022-2023 school year.

As a result of the increase, enrollment numbers were impacted with less slots available for Tier II and Tier III applicants.

PreK programs in some schools are designated inclusion programs for preschool-aged special-needs children, as well as typically-developing children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for PreK?
To be considered for PreK, a child must be 4 years old on or before September 1st of the current school year and must be a Charles County resident. Beginning in the 2022- 2023 school year, all applicants must submit income verification.

Are all county children entitled to attend PreK?
No. The PreK program is neither mandatory nor guaranteed. In accordance with the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, first priority is given to students whose families meet the income eligibility for Tier I, are homeless or are in foster care, or have a current, active Individualized Education Plan (IEP). All Tier I students are admitted after verification. Tier II and Tier III students may be placed if slots exist after all Tier I students are placed. For a full description of the three application tiers, please see Prekindergarten Application Tiers below.  

Prekindergarten application tiers

Is transportation provided for PreK students?
Yes, in most cases. PreK students ride the bus to and from school with other students from their school. If you qualify for Tier I and the PreK program at your home school is full at the time your child is accepted, you will be offered a placement at a different school.  Transportation may be available.

PreK Application Process

For questions about PreK, please contact:

Mrs. Beth Sorsby, M.Ed, NBCT
Specialist in Early Childhood