Early Childhood Education


Preschoolers cutting with scissors

AAPS Preschool and Family Center

Free programs for eligible chidren from birth to age 5

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Preschool and Family Center serves over 400 students who participate in our Head Start, GSRP and ECDD (Early Childhood for Developmentally Delayed) programs, along with First Steps, a community based program providing play group opportunities  and home visits for infants and toddlers.  These programs are located in our state of the art preschool site located at 2775 Boardwalk Street.


We know that a child who has participated in a high quality preschool experience will be prepared for a successful transition to kindergarten and life-long success in school and beyond. Our preschool teachers are highly certified educators who are dedicated to providing the very best in early childhood programming. They work closely with their elementary colleagues and benefit from ongoing professional development.


Preschool & Family Center Brochure | Preschool & Family Center Website


allen-10-300crop.jpgPreschool at Allen and Thurston Schools

Tuition-based programs @ Allen and Thurston for 4 year olds

The Ann Arbor Preschools offer a program designed for the year preceding kindergarten. All classrooms are led by certified teachers with early childhood endorsements. Aligning with the AAPS elementary curriculum, they follow the Creative Curriculum and Everyday Mathematics (among other curricular components).

The curriculum is play-based with an emphasis on kindergarten readiness. The classroom activities, access to "specials" (such as music, gym, art, media center), and outdoor recreation areas are designed to inspire, challenge, and strengthen young minds and bodies. Every aspect of your preschooler’s early education is carefully planned, implemented, and evaluated to maximize growth and development.

A family making under $60,000/year may be eligible to attend preschool tuition-free.
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) provides high quality preschool programming to families who meet income and risk factor criteria. Contact us to see if you qualify for the GSRP program by calling our main office at (734) 994-2303.

Children from throughout the District who turn 4 no later than October 1st are eligible for the program.

Ann Arbor Preschools Website


First Steps Mom and DaughterFirst Steps - Ann Arbor

Fee-based programs for children from birth to kindergarten entry

First Steps is a community based program providing play group opportunities  and personal visits for infants and toddlers. The program offers fun and exciting classes year-round to help children socialize with others. Our mission is to provide the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.

First Steps is open to all families with children from birth until kindergarten entry.  Full and partial scholarships are available to families who live in the Ann Arbor School District.

First Steps Website | Scholarship Application


Preschool child using activity bookYoung Fives Program

Free program for students residing within the
AAPS attendance boundaries

The Ann Arbor Board of Education has approved a Young Fives Program that offers an alternative for children whose parents feel that they are not yet ready for a traditional kindergarten experience. Under the Young Fives Program, families that live within the Ann Arbor Public School district may apply to one of the identified schools offering Young Fives. Students who participate in the Young Fives program will then return to their home school to enroll in kindergarten in preparation for success in first grade.

Expanded locations! Now available at Abbot, Bryant, Dicken, Haisley, Lawton, and Logan.

Applications are accepted through the In-District Space Available Transfer systemPlease select “Kindergarten”. Young Fives prompts will follow.  

NOTE: If Young Fives is not offered at your home school, sufficient interest may result in additional Young Fives options. Our goal is always to continually seek to serve the needs of our community.

Eligibility for Young Fives is determined by birthdate - for 2015-16 child must turn five between May 1 and September 1, 2015, or by December 1, 2015 with parental waiver. | Age Waiver Form



Universal all-day kindergarten for AAPS students

The All Day Kindergarten program consists of daily literacy, mathematics, science and social studies instruction delivered in developmentally appropriate and exciting ways. Students can expect to engage in daily whole group, small group and individual activities as well as center-based explorations. AAPS Kindergarteners will have many opportunities to engage socially with peers. Rest assured that the highly qualified, nurturing teachers will love, teach and believe in your child and his/her success.

In addition to the academic benefits, All Day Kindergarten programs positively impact students’ self-confidence and the development of social/emotional skills such as playing fairly with others, sharing, and managing one’s emotions. The all day program helps to integrate children into the school culture early on. An added perk is seen in the attendance rates, which are significantly higher than those of half-day programs.

To enroll in kindergarten for the 2015-16 school year, a child must turn 5 no later than September 1st, or by December 1st with a parental waiver.  |  Age Waiver Form