The child must be four years old on or before August 31st of the program year. A child that meets the age requirement is eligible for NC Pre-K if the child is from a family whose gross income is at or below 75% of the State Median Income (SMI). Children of certain military families are also eligible without regard to income. In addition, up to 20% of age-eligible children enrolled may have family incomes in excess of 75% SMI if they have documented risk factors in specific categories including developmental disability, Limited English Proficiency, educational need, or chronic health condition.
Although a child may meet one or more eligibility factors, placement is not guaranteed in an NC Pre-K classroom. Waiting lists exist in counties when funding is not sufficient to serve all eligible children. Local NC Pre-K contract administrators can provide specific information about the enrollment process, available programs that meet NC Pre-K Program Requirements, and other specific information related to participation in NC Pre-K in your county, as well as other options for early childhood education services (e.g., Child Care Subsidy, Child Care Resource and Referral, Head Start, Preschool Exceptional Children, Smart Start, Title I Preschool).
This page has the most current information and updates about the NC Pre-K Program, local contact information, and supporting structures, including the Early Educator Support (EES) Unit. The EES Unit is the statewide education and licensure unit serving NC Pre-K teachers employed in nonpublic schools.