SMCPS Announces Countywide Joint Pre-Kindergarten/Head Start Online App

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LEONARDTOWN, Md. – St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) will open the 2022-2023 Common Online Application for Pre-K and Head Start on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Pre-kindergarten programs provide high-quality early learning experiences to help children develop the basic skills and concepts necessary for success in kindergarten. Families with age-appropriate children in St. Mary’s County can submit an application online. All applications and required documents will be reviewed centrally by the Department of Equity, Engagement and Early Access Early Childhood Education team.

The online process uses Cognito forms which allow parents/guardians to complete the application and upload the required documents. Any family that is unable to access the online application should contact their home school to receive a paper application. The paper application is also available in Spanish. Required documents acceptable for screening may include:

Birth proof (Birth certificate, valid and unexpired passport/visa, medical certificate, baptism/church certificate, birth registration

Proof of residence (Deed, Mortgage Statement, Rental/Lease Agreement, Building Agreement, Current Property Tax Bill, Current Utility Bill, Patuxent River Naval Base Housing Form NOW-NATC-1110-1/15 )

-Verification of proof of income (2021 W2, 1040, Schedule C/1998, 3 consecutive recent pay stubs, Child Support, SNAP Benefits Letter, TCA, SSA, SSI)

A list of all required documents and guidance for applying for Pre-K is currently available on the SMCPS website at www.smcps.org.

Acceptance into a pre-kindergarten/Head Start program is based on age, income, risk factors and eligibility. A child must be three or four years old by September 1, 2022. proof of income must provide. Verification of proof of income includes a 2021 W-2 form or copies of LAST 3 consecutive payslips. Families must also disclose any additional income such as Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), child support, Supplemental Security Income (SSA), or Social Security Insurance (SSI).

School eligibility and placement for Pre-K will follow regulations per COMAR 13a.06.02.03 and Head Start will follow Health and Human Services 1302.12i. Children will be admitted to the program based on their income eligibility first. If there are any vacancies remaining, these will be filled using locally determined at-risk criteria and served in ranked order. A limited number of Pre-K3 spaces are available at several Title I schools supported by the Judy Center Early Learning Hub.

New this spring: Private providers can apply for grants from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) that will expand availability and expand access to high-quality, full-day pre-kindergarten. When MSDE publishes the list of private providers offering full-day pre-kindergarten programs, this list will also be published on the SMCPS website.

More information about the Pre-K and Head Start programs can be found at www.smcps.org or questions can be directed to Ms. Charlottis Woodley at [email protected] or (301) 475-5511, x 32136.

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