Early Childhood

APS offers 3 high-quality early childhood programs for families:

  • Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)
  • Primary Montessori
  • Community Peer Pre-K programs (CPP)

Each program shares the goal of setting our students on the course for academic and social-emotional success in future years. Our programs target early literacy and math skills, communication and motor development as well as social-emotional growth in warm and inviting environments across our schools.

Learn more about each program to find out which option is best for your child.  Then, complete an online application by April 15, 4 pm.  Each program may require different supporting documents.

Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)

VPI is a free full-day Pre-K program located at 15 elementary schools (35 classrooms).  VPI follows a curriculum that is research-based, developmentally appropriate and has been shown to increase academic and social success for students.

  • Students must turn four years old by September 30th to be accepted into the program.
  • VPI is a free program for families that meet income eligibility guidelines.

Primary Montessori

A full-day Montessori Pre-K program is offered at 6 elementary schools (18 primary classrooms) and is for students ages three to five.

  • Students must turn three years old by September 30 to enroll.
  • Two-thirds of the available slots are for students whose families meet income eligibility guidelines.
  • Tuition for three-and four-year-old children is charged on a sliding fee schedule based on family income.

Community Peer Pre-Kindergarten (CPP) Program

The CPP program, located in 11 elementary schools, provides children with and without disabilities the opportunity to participate in an engaging and comprehensive inclusive Preschool program.  Children in the program receive differentiated instruction based on the Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS). Instructional areas of focus include literacy, mathematics, science, history, health and physical development, personal and social development, music, and visual arts.

  • The Toddler Program is a 25-hour-a-week program designed for children ages 2 years and 6 months through 3.
    • Children without disabilities must be 2.5 years old by September 30th to be eligible.
  • The Pre-K Program is a full-day program designed for children ages 3 years and 6 months through 5.
    • Children without disabilities must be 3.5 years old by September 30th to be eligible and toilet trained.
  • Tuition is charged on a sliding fee schedule based on family income.


APS Pre-K Special Education & ChildFind Office

The Child Find process is a part of the APS Department of Student Services and Office of Special Education. Children with suspected delays, such as in the areas of cognition, communication, hearing, vision, social-emotional skills, and/or motor skills, are referred to a student study committee to determine whether the child requires assessment for consideration of eligibility for special education services. To learn more, contact the APS ChildFind Office at 703-228-2550.

Kindergarten Program

Arlington Public Schools (APS) offers a high quality, developmentally appropriate kindergarten program.  This full-day program is designed to meet the emotional, social, physical, and academic needs of all children and is based on the Virginia State Standards.


Head Start – Northern Virginia Family Services

Northern Virginia Family Services’ Head Start program serves families of children ages 3-5 years old that meet income requirements, to enhance and promote social cognitive, physical, and emotional development and help children toward educational literacy as they prepare to enter public school.

Please contact Anisah Bailey at 571-748-2793 for enrollment questions and information.

Arlington County Office of Child & Family Services

The Arlington County Office of Child & Family Services serves over 200 private preschool and daycare providers. View a complete list: https://family.arlingtonva.us/child-care/

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APS Office of Early Childhood

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