Pre-K application process varies from school to school

pre-k-handprint.gifAll I can say is I am relieved my son has two more years until he’s eligible for Georgia’s free pre-k program because it’s going to take me that long to figure out the application process.

We continue to receive questions from SouthernMamas readers about the free pre-k application process, currently under way @ Savannah-Chatham public schools until March 16. Children 4-years-old prior to or on Sept. 1, 2009 are eligible for free pre-K in Georgia.

Private child-care facilities also offer the free pre-k, but many have a different application process. If, for example, you are interested in a private child care that has it, call the school to find out when their applications are due.  Savannah Youth University and The Children’s House take applications around mid-February. YMCA Childcare Plus starts accepting applications Feb. 15.

Many are on a first-come, first-serve basis, such as Maggies’ Morning School ,which is already full and only accepting waiting-list applications now.

Perhaps the most confusing is Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, part of the Savannah-Chatham public school system. Although Ellis doesn’t have a designated attendance zone for its higher grades, it does for free pre-k. That means they have TWO pre-k lotteries. One for those fortunate people living in the attendance zone and another for those of us outside the zone. The first lottery group gets first dibs on free pre-k slots. Those in the second group don’t have much chance.

Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School @ 301 Buckhalter Road in Savannah is accepting free pre-k applications from Jan. 12 through March 31. The lottery will be done at the school at 5 pm April 1 and is open to the public. You can apply online here.

For more info on the free pre-k program, click here.  Good luck to those you immersed in the process.

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