Academic Progress

Academic Progress

Laying a Stronger Foundation in Pre-Kindergarten

Early childhood education is the foundation on which lifelong learning is built. Improving the quality and accessibility of Pre-Kindergarten programs will raise student achievement in elementary school, high school and beyond.


Increase the Availability of Full-Day Pre-Kindergarten

Research shows that full day Pre-K programs prepare students for later school success. Chicago Public Schools, in collaboration with the City of Chicago, is working to expand access to full-day Pre-K to four year olds in need. By 2019, over 50 percent of CPS’s Pre-K classrooms will provide fullday programming—an increase of 46 percent since 2011.

Focus on Quality Instruction and Comprehensive Services

High quality Pre-K requires program standards that are both developmentally appropriate and academically rigorous. CPS will partner with other City agencies to ensure that all providers that support young children and their families understand the expectations for kindergarten readiness to create consistent practices so all children are getting high quality early learning experiences before entering school to set them on the path for success from the start. CPS will also create universal standards for school-based preschool, giving principals a road map for quality instruction from Pre-K to 2nd grade.

Decreasing Barriers for Families

Eliminating obstacles for families to access high quality Pre-K is a key priority. For many years, enrolling in a CPS Pre-K program was a complicated endeavor, requiring parents to apply on-site at one or more schools. To simplify the process, parents are now able to apply online, at a school, or a community based organization (CBO). The online application allows for parents to apply to Pre-K whereever they can access a computer or mobile device—including at their local schools or community-sites.

Community Awareness of Pre-Kindergarten

The Office of Early Childhood Education will continue to expand awareness of the value of Pre-K and support families enrolling in programs that improve students’ long-term school success. Through city-wide communications and targeted outreach efforts in Chicago’s most vulnerable communities, CPS will work with partners to increase the demand for high quality Pre-K. Targeting high-need areas, Family Resource Centers at select libraries, trained staff at schools, and partners in community organizations will collaborate to provide support to families to enroll children in early childhood education.

Learn more at Early Childhood

Page Last Modified on Thursday, January 04, 2018