Pre-K Programs

Learn More about Kansas City Pre-K Programs

Kansas City has many options if you are looking for Pre-K for your child! When exploring, first learn about your options and consider where you might like your child to attend Kindergarten. Also, consider your ability to pay, as some options are free and some require families to pay all or some of the cost.


What is Pre-K? We use the term “Pre-K” to refer to the classroom education options for 3 and 4 year olds, which are typically the 2 years before a child enters kindergarten. You may also hear the words “preschool” or “early childhood education” or “child care” used to mean something similar. Always ask for clarification to make sure you understand what a program includes. 

Transportation: Most early childhood and preschool programs do not provide transportation. Even though some Pre-K programs are connected to elementary schools, bus transportation usually begins at kindergarten. However, if your child qualifies for early childhood special education they may also qualify for transportation.

About Free Seats

FREE Pre-K seats are available through Kansas City Public Schools, Charter Schools and community-based providers. Some of these seats are for children who qualify based on income. It is best to go through the application process to see if you qualify. You will be asked to either fill out a “free and reduced lunch” form or provide proof of income documents. 

The Kansas City Public School district offers FREE Pre-K in 4 different settings for students as young as 3 years old:

  1. Neighborhood elementary school Pre-K classrooms
  2. Early childhood centers (Woodland and Richardson)
  3. Montessori preschool programs (Border Star and Holliday)
  4. Off-site partner locations (through the Pre-K Cooperative).

Visit KCPS for the most up-to-date information on these options.

Charter schools also often have FREE Pre-K options in various settings for children as young as 3 years old:

  1. Pre-K classrooms at elementary schools (Academy for Integrated Arts, Brookside Charter School, Frontier School of Innovation, Guadalupe Centers Schools)
  2. Off-site partner locations (through the Pre-K Cooperative)

Some private schools have tuition-based Pre-K. As you explore this guide, you will see that some schools list grade levels that start at “PK.” If you are interested in learning more, reach out directly to any of the schools in this guide.


Special Education Services: Students in need of Early Childhood Special Education should reach out to the KCPS Early Childhood Special Education office at (816) 418-5292.