Preschool in Jersey City is a huge topic. Last year I held several workshops with parents to help explain the process. Please feel free to send any and all questions as comments to this post, through our Facebook page, or directly to my personal email address.
Here’s how the Pre-K3 public school option works in Jersey City.
Every kid who is 3 years old by October 1 of that school year is eligible for the public school option as long as they live in Jersey City. No exceptions are made for age or location. If you’re almost 3 by October 1 – no dice. If you’re moving to Jersey City during the school year but haven’t closed on your new house yet, no dice. Your kid has to be 3 by 10/1 and you have to prove Jersey City residency at the time of registration. That’s the rule.
Once you have that, you have a little bit of wiggle room. Because many (most?) of the schools are using all of their available space, they don’t have room for the Pre-K3 kids. The city makes up for that by offering the Pre-K3 program in locations that they call “Contracted Child Care Centers.” It’s your job to find out which is your local school. You can call 201-915-6045 and provide your address. Sadly this isn’t something you can google, and there’s no online database that will answer this question for you. You have to call them and ask.
Once you find out which is your local school, you need to find out if that school has the Pre-K3 classrooms. If it doesn’t, you then choose from the list of contracted child care centers. I just called the district – the list of contracted child care centers isn’t up yet. He said it should be up next week, and that I should call back. I will update this post when it’s up, but for now, let’s keep checking at the Board of Education’s website.
Registration for the Pre-K3 program happens at the end of February, beginning of March. (Specific dates aren’t available yet – let’s keep each other posted on this too.) You will need the following information to register:
- Child’s Birth Certificate and a copy
- Immunization Records and a copy
- TWO Proofs of Residency and a copy, such as:
- PSE&G Bill
- Cable Bill
- Other Utility Bill
- Photo ID of Parent and a copy
Finally, the Pre-K3 program uses the High/Scope curriculum, provides both breakfast and lunch, does have nap time, and does not provide transportation to contracted child care centers.
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