PreK and Early Head Start Selection and Eligibility

Learn about the application and student selection process and eligibility criteria for the program.

When we receive your application and supporting documents, a family service partner will contact you for a brief five to ten minute interview and provide you with a checklist of income verification documents to submit to complete the application process. The family service partner assigned to your application will help guide your family through the rest of the application process.


Your application will be reviewed and eligibility verified by staff and managers. If your child is not eligible, you will receive a letter via US mail with a list of PreK options in your community and a “parent tip sheet” with ideas for helping prepare your child for transitioning to kindergarten.


For families who are eligible for the program, the child applicant will either be selected, if space is available, or placed on the waitlist. If your child is placed on the waitlist, you will receive a waitlist letter via US mail. If a space becomes available and your child is selected for the space, you will receive an acceptance letter via US mail in addition to a phone call to schedule an enrollment appointment.


If your child is selected for a space, the acceptance letter is mailed with required enrollment forms: school physical, dental exam, and FCPS school registration forms. Enrollment forms are required and must be completed before your child can begin school.

Enrollment requirements are as follows:

  • A parent/legal guardian must meet with family service partner to submit your child’s completed enrollment packet. You will be contacted by the family service partner to schedule an appointment.
  • Your child must have a current school physical with up-to-date immunizations; a home visit with the teacher must be completed. The teacher will call you to schedule an appointment.
  • As children are enrolled in PreK or Early Head Start, it is important to maintain accurate medical records. The following health forms are used to ensure your child is healthy and are required to be on file prior to a child’s first day of school in the PreK or Early Head Start program. These forms may also be asked to be updated throughout the school year. Please submit the following forms to your assigned Family Service Partner or your child’s classroom teacher when asked to provide them for your child.

Please remember:

  • Spaces are limited.
  • Acceptance into the program is based on need, not “first come, first served” with priority given to 4 and 5 year olds (not eligible for Kindergarten). Families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, beginning January 1st of each year for the following school year starting in September.
  • A family service partner will be assigned to guide your family through the entire application process.
  • Only complete applications can be processed for possible consideration for a space; only eligible applicants can be considered for selection.
  • If you have questions please call our office at: English 703-208-7900 or Spanish 703-208-7901.