Durham PreK Application Process
Durham PreK enrolls children that are 4 years old by August 31 of the school year attending.
You will need to bring your child’s birth certificate and immunization records, proof of your current address and proof of one month’s income. More documentation may be required after the application appointment, and can be submitted at a later date.
Families do not need to bring their child to the application appointment. However, you are welcome to do so. We have a play space in our application office, or they can join you while you complete the application. Many families will sign-up for a developmental screening during their application time. This screening will be at a later date and you will be required to bring your child.
Developmental screenings are used to determine if your child needs any additional supports or services in their future preschool classroom, and helps place them in a classroom that will best meet those needs. In order to be considered for a seat in a Durham Public Schools preschool classrooms, your child must complete a developmental screening.
Developmental screenings will be at the Durham Public Schools Staff Development Center, 2107 Hillandale Rd, Durham, NC 27705. Each appointment takes about 45 minutes. You will choose your appointment day and time at your application appointment.
Durham PreK Site Information
Durham PreK sites are located around Durham County. You can view a map of all of the Durham PreK sites here. Families will be able to indicate their location preferences during the application appointment to be considered during placement.
You may find it helpful to contact the director of that facility for a tour before deciding on a placement offer. If for any reason you do not wish to accept placement at a particular location, you may ask to remain on the waiting list for other programs. If toward the end of the placement process unfilled seats remain in a preferred facility, you may be contacted about placement, though there is never a guarantee of a second offer or a preferred placement.
Durham PreK follows the Durham Public Schools Traditional Calendar. All sites operate on a 6.5 hour school day. Durham PreK sites typically start at 8:30 am and run until 3:00 pm or from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm, but times may vary by site. Some sites may offer before and after care, and families can contact the center's director for more information.
Care outside the preschool day is called Wrap Around Care. Wrap Around Care is a separate service from preschool and is neither guaranteed at every facility nor free. Individual preschool providers will determine whether they have the staffing to host Wrap Around Care and for what hours. Families should ask the facility where they are placed whether Wrap Around Care is an option and, if so, make Wrap Around Care arrangements with that facility. Vouchers and Scholarships can sometimes help to cover Wrap Around Care costs for qualifying families, but eligibility for these services is not guaranteed or universally applicable to all types of preschool.
At this time, Durham PreK only serves 4-year-olds. However, please visit our Family Resources page for assistance in finding child care for your younger children.
All Durham PreK sites provide high-quality education that supports healthy social-emotional, physical and academic development. Children will learn positive social behaviors, emotional regulation and understanding and academic concepts through play, inquiry and other academic activities.
Durham PreK classrooms are 5-star classrooms, and all lead teachers are required to have or be working toward a Birth to Kindergarten License. These classrooms go through a thorough application process and a non-conflicting committee reviews them before selecting semifinalists. Semifinalists then receive an official Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS©) observation to evaluate the quality of teacher-child interactions, and a site visit from the Durham PreK Senior Manager to review the family engagement, dual language learner, and children with developmental differences plans. From there, the classrooms with the highest scores are invited to become a Durham PreK site.