When your child is small, every little discovery is a learning opportunity to them. First, they discover their toes; then the bigger world around them. Then they start understanding your words and exploring their surroundings. Every child is different, and their learning journey is unique. But at some point, many parents may begin to wonder, “What’s next? Should I enroll my child in pre-K?” and, “Where do I start?”
Enrolling in Pre-K
A quick internet search will tell you that there are many different pre-K programs. In Mecklenburg County, NC, MECK Pre-K is a high quality, free program available to all four-year-olds who live in the county and will turn four on or before August 31 of that year. But when should you apply?
Many programs, including MECK Pre-K, start taking applications for the upcoming fall early in the year. Starting in late January, you can visit MECKPreK.org and click on “Apply Now!” It will take you to our application platform, where you can apply for the upcoming year.
Most pre-K programs will require some documents to enroll. MECK Pre-K has a handy list available at MeckPreK.org/meck-pre-k-enrollment. The good news? All you need to start your application is an email address. After that, you can log back in later to upload your documents. Here are some of the items you’ll need:
- Current Proof of Mecklenburg County Residency
- Proof of Child’s Age and Legal Name
- Proof of Parent Identity
If your child has a diagnosed chronic health or developmental issue you will be asked to provide related documentation. You will also need to provide immunization records and a recent physical within 30 days of starting school.
The online application at MeckPreK.org will walk you through the steps to enroll. After uploading documents, the next most important step is selecting which locations you would prefer. MECK Pre-K classrooms are located in licensed child development centers and taught by licensed teachers and highly qualified assistant teachers. In the application, you can choose three locations in order of preference. The application includes a convenient search tool that will allow you to search for locations near your work or home; as well as extra services such as transportation or afterschool care. The earlier you complete your applicaiton, the better your chances of getting the location you want.
Once you have provided all the required documentation, your application will be considered complete, and MECK Pre-K’s enrollment team will work with you to place your child in a classroom. Once your child is placed, you will receive an email or letter notifying you that your child is officially accepted into MECK Pre-K. Now you can gradually begin preparing your child for pre-K. Check out our blog at MeckPreK.org/meck-pre-k-blog for tips and information to help you prepare.
If Your Child Isn’t Four Yet
If your child will not turn four by August 31 of the coming year, that’s ok! It’s never too soon to start thinking about pre-K. You can sign up for our Future MECK Pre-K Student list and we’ll keep you informed about MECK Pre-K and let you know when registration opens for their age group.