Free Preschool Returns In Montclair For A New Year: What To Know


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MONTCLAIR, NJ — Free universal preschool is back in Montclair.

On Monday, administrators announced that the enrollment lottery for the Montclair Public School District’s free, full-day preschool program in 2023-2024 is now open. The district is accepting applications for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds who were born on or before Oct. 1, 2023. Learn more and download applications here.

Locations will include established classrooms at DLC, Nishuane School, Montclair Community Preschool (MCPK) and the YMCA (Geyer Center), as well as new classrooms at Montclair Child Development Center (Head Start) and Neighborhood Childcare Center.

According to a message from the district:

“All classrooms will be inclusive of students with varied abilities, interests, needs and learning styles. Children are provided with a foundation of developmentally appropriate experiences in a safe and nurturing environment that encourages them to learn and grow. We believe each child is a unique individual and that all children can learn. Seats will largely be determined by lottery. To ensure socioeconomic diversity, some spots will be reserved for children who qualify for scholarships at other preschool programs.”

A full day of preschool will be six hours daily. School start and end times will be dependent on placement locations. Time for a nap, a snack and lunch are planned as part of the program.

Parents and guardians must submit their applications by Feb. 10. Families will be notified about their lottery status on or before Feb. 13.

Students already registered in the district’s existing preschool program will automatically be enrolled for the 2023-24 school year.


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