CPS Opens Enrollment for Over 17,000 Early Learning Seats in School Year 15-16 

Chicago: Ready to Learn! Continues to Expand in Third Year, Offering Equitable Access to High-Quality Early Learning Options for Families Citywide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                     

Monday, March 2, 2015      

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced today it has opened enrollment for more than 17,000 early childhood education seats for School Year 2015-2016. This is the third year of Chicago: Ready to Learn!, an initiative designed to bring high-quality early learning opportunities to every area of the city. Starting next school year, the program will expand to include 55 additional full-day classrooms serving 1,000 more students in neighborhoods across Chicago.


Parents of children who will be 3- or 4-years old by September 1, 2015 can access school-based early education opportunities by visiting chicagoearlylearning.org, or one of 24 centralized application sites across the city.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel created Chicago: Ready to Learn! in 2013 by bringing CPS and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) together to manage resources under one early education system. Chicago: Ready to Learn! coordinates early learning programs across the city, expanding access to school- and community-based early learning opportunities while improving the quality of early childhood programs.


"We know that the early years are critical to a child's future success, which is why we have committed to creating a strong foundation that will benefit our students throughout their entire education," said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. "With the support of Mayor Emanuel and DFSS, we have expanded access to programming, while increasing program quality, so that all children arrive in Kindergarten ready to learn.” 


Since Chicago: Ready to Learn! began, this joint effort has expanded DFSS and CPS' early learning programs for 5,000 new children, while raising the quality of existing programs for 6,000 children with added wrap-around services, including intensive parent engagement, nursing services, and community partnerships.


Last fall, Mayor Emanuel closed the gap on pre-kindergarten education for 4-year old children in low-income families. Currently there are nearly 1,500 4-year old children in Chicago who qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program, but do not attend at least a half-day of pre-kindergarten. Beginning in School Year 2015-2016, CPS will provide pre-k education to these students through capital investments from the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois as well as Social Impact Bonds, supporting programs at neighborhood schools and new community based programs. Since Mayor Emanuel took office in 2011, he has steadily expanded early learning programming through a $36 million investment in the City’s budget.


Research indicates that high-quality early childhood programs boost academic skills, foster independence, and instill a lifelong love of learning. Further, children who attend these high-quality early childhood programs are 29 percent more likely to graduate from high school and earn a 33 percent higher salary on average. In addition to the academic benefits, early childhood programs connect children with wrap-around services like regular medical care, which are proven indicators of better student attendance and academic performance throughout the year.


Applications for CPS school-based early childhood programs can be accessed at chicagoearlylearning.org, a local elementary school, or in the 24 application sites throughout the city. All applications must be submitted in person at one of the application sites Monday through Friday at scheduled times, or at local elementary schools on designated days. Proof of residency, income and the child's age will be required with all applications, due no later than May 1, 2015.


Application sites are located at: 


4707 W. Marquette Rd.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm



3151 W. Walnut St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Burke Child Parent Center

5356 S. King Dr.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Carver Child Parent Center

902 E. 133rd Pl.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Courtenay Child Parent Center

4425 N. Magnolia Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


De Diego Child Parent Center

1313 N. Claremont Ave. 

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Dewey Child Parent Center

638 W. 54th Pl.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Edwards Child Parent Center

4950 S. Laporte Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm



2332 S. Western Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Fiske Child Parent Center

6020 S. Langley Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Hanson Park Child Parent Center

5411 W. Fullerton Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Academy of Social Justice

644 W. 71st St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Manierre Child Parent Center

1420 N. Hudson Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm



4728 N. Wolcott Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Melody Child Parent Center

3905 W. Wilcox St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Peck Child Parent Center

4026 W. 59th St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm



744 E. 103rd St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm



7507 W. Birchwood Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Thomas Child Parent Center

3625 S. Hoyne Ave.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm



2554 W. 113th St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Webster Child Parent Center

4055 W. Arthington St.

8:30 am – 3:30 pm


CPS Central Office: Loop

42 W. Madison St.,        Garden Level

9:00 am – 5:00 pm


CPS Central Office: Colman

4655 S. Dearborn St.

9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Office of Early Childhood    Education: Hall Mall

4638 W. Diversey Ave.

8:00 am – 5:00 pm



Parents may also enroll in early learning programs available in thousands of community-based agencies throughout the year. For community-based early childhood programs serving children ages 0 to 5, parents should contact agencies directly. Parents can receive locations of nearby early education centers by texting their zip code to (773) 886-1819. Information on early learning options in all neighborhoods can be found at chicagoearlylearning.org.


Chicago Public Schools serves 396,000 students in 664 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.

Page Last Modified on Monday, March 02, 2015