Free Quality Preschool - Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs


    To apply for free preschool, there are 3 components to consider for eligibility -- Age, Income, and Residency.


    • Applicants must be at least 3 years old on or before December 1, 2021 and must turn 5 after 9/1/2021.
    • Children who turn 5 between September 1, 2021 and December 1, 2021 are eligible to apply for preschool or enroll in the district's Kindergarten or Young 5's program.  For more information on Kindergarten and Young 5's, click here.


    To be considered "Income Eligible" for Free Quality Preschool, guidelines are as follows:

    • For children born between 12/02/2017 and 12/1/2018, family income must fall below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (This program is funded through the Office of Head Start).
    • For children born between 9/2/2016 and 12/1/2017, family income must fall below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. (This program is funded through the Michigan Department of Education's GREAT START READINESS PROGRAM).

    Applicants are also considered "Income Eligible" if the family receives Supplemental Security Income, DHHS Cash Assistance, or are homeless or living in foster care.


    • Families must live either in Washtenaw County or in one of the 9 public school districts within the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.
    • Families who live outside these areas may apply to be considered for enrollment under certain circumstances.

    To start the application process for Free Quality Preschool, you will need to complete a Preschool Interest Survey for each applicant child.  You can complete the Interest Survey by visiting or calling 1-800-777-2861.

    Once you have completed the Preschool Interest Survey, your information will be pre-screened by Washtenaw ISD and then forwarded to one of the Free Quality Preschool programs offered in Washtenaw County.  If you selected Ann Arbor Public Schools as your preferred location, your Interest Survey should be sent to our team from Washtenaw ISD.  Once we receive your information, we will contact you by email or phone to complete the application process.  You should hear from us within 10 business days of your submission.  If you have submitted an Interest Survey and have not heard from us, please give us a call at 734-994-2303 to follow up.



  • As part of the application process for Free Quality Preschool, you will be required to provide proof of residency, proof of birth, and proof of income to the program to which you are applying:

    • Proof of birth (e.g. birth certificate, hospital record, baptismal record, passport, etc.)
    • Proof of Residence (electric/gas/water bill, lease/mortgage statement, etc.)
    • Verification of Income (Federal W2/1099, Federal 1040 income tax return, DHHS statement, etc.)
    • Guardianship or Custody Documents (if applicable)