Free pre-k lottery delayed until May for Savannah-Chatham public schools

Bad news for those of you eager to take advantage of the the FREE pre-k-handprint.gifGeorgia pre-k program , a full-day program available at some public and private schools.

The application process was initially supposed to start in February, but has been delayed until April due to ongoing changes in the Savannah-Chatham Public Schools’ attendance zones. Children will be selected through a lottery process, which now won’t happen until May. 

The lottery was initially scheduled for March, allowing for parents to enroll their children in a private program if they didn’t get their first choice in the lottery.

Now the application process will be Monday, April 12, 2010 through Friday, May 7, 2010, making it difficult for those of you who want to make back-up plans in case you don’t get your first choice school. We’re guessing most private free pre-k and other pre-k programs will be full by May.

Applications are expected to be available April 12 at the Savannah-Chatham public schools that offer the free, full-day program and at 208 Bull St.

Children 4-years-old prior to or on Sept. 1, 2010 are eligible for funded (i.e. FREE) pre-K in Georgia.  You can only apply to TWO different schools and your first choice must be the school in your public school attendance zone.

To get a list of the designated attendance zone, click on this school locator and put in your address. But these zones are changing. If you have any questions, call the Savannah-Chatham School’s pre-K program director LaWanda Ransom @ 912. 395.1154 or 912. 395.5635 or email her @

Private schools also offer the free pre-K program including Maggies’ Morning School, Savannah Youth University, Candler’s  The Children’s House, and  YMCA Childcare Plus: but many have a different application process. If you’re interested in a private child care that has it, call the school to find out when their applications are due.  Many are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

With the application and lottery delays, perhaps the private schools offering free pre-k will also move back their application processes to correlate with the public school system’s.  What’s your take on these changes? Will you opt not to take advantage of the free program through the public school system because the lottery will be so late?

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