Seattle’s preschool program is now accepting applications for the next school year, the city announced Tuesday, with services available in an additional 14 locations.
The city, and its partner organizations, now offer preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds in 129 classrooms, with capacity to serve more than 2,000 kids.
Tuition is on a sliding scale and is free for low and middle-income families.
Families can see a list of locations and apply at the city’s Department of Education and Early Learning website.
A little more than half of the city’s preschool classrooms will stay open for two months in the summer, the city announced Tuesday, to help mitigate learning loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full details of next year’s preschool schedule aren’t yet available, the city said, but providers are “preparing to receive more children in person.”
“We know that the learning foundations built at this age have significant impacts on future academic success, and we are incredibly grateful for all our [Seattle Preschool Program] providers who have been on the frontlines serving children since the pandemic hit, adapting their programs so the negative impact on our children is minimized,” Dwane Chappelle, director of the Department of Education and Early Learning, said in a prepared statement.
The Seattle Preschool Program is funded by the city’s $619 million Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy, which voters approved in 2018. It offers free preschool to families making up to 350% of the federal poverty level, around $93,000 for a family of four.
The levy also pays for summer and after school programs and school-based health centers for K-12 students, and a free community college program for all Seattle public high school graduates.