Chicago: Ready to Learn!  

March 02, 2015

Children who will be 3 or 4-years-old by September 1, 2015 and live in the city of Chicago are eligible to apply for Chicago: Ready to Learn!, the District’s school-based early childhood education program. 

Part of a three-year, $36 million investment in early childhood education, Chicago: Ready to Learn! was launched in 2013 and has expanded preschool options for thousands of children across the city. 

“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 Department of Family and Support Services, we have expanded access to high quality preschool programs so that all children arrive in Kindergarten ready to learn.”

Research has shown that high-quality early learning programs:
  • Boost academic skills
  • Foster independence
  • Create a love of lifelong learning
  • Build social skills
  • Connect children with vital wrap-around services such as medical and dental care
Complete details on Chicago: Ready to Learn!, as well as information on how and where to apply, is available at All applications must be submitted in person at one of the Chicago: Ready to Learn! application sites. Proof of residency, income, and the child’s age are required at the time an application is submitted. 

Parents who are interested in enrolling children Birth – 5 in community-based early childhood programs should contact the agency directly, visit, or text their zip code to (773)  886-1819. 

For questions on Chicago: Ready to Learn! or assistance with the application, please call (312) 229-1690 or visit

Page Last Modified on Wednesday, May 13, 2015