AAPS Early Childhood Education

  • Michigan Kindergarten Entry Observation
    AAPS District Letter  |  Information Guide for Families


    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.

    Eligible students must turn 5 by December 1st of the school year they are enrolled in Kindergarten. Exceptions to the December 1st deadline are not allowed. Students who turn 5 after December 1st  are eligible for enrollment in Kindergarten the following school year.

  • Young Fives Program

    Free program for students residing within the
    AAPS attendance boundaries

    The Ann Arbor Public Schools is proud to offer our families excellent choices in early childhood education. In addition to incredible preschools, our expanded Young Fives programs provide students with early kindergarten birthdays a full year of preparation that sets the stage for success in kindergarten and in life. This ‘gift of time’ makes all the difference for young children just setting out on their educational journeys.

    children with blocks Developmentally designed for young kindergarten students, our Young Fives programs prepare students with a solid foundation of early literacy and math skills while providing a positive, structured environment perfect for strengthening social skills such as kindness, cooperation, and building positive peer relationships. Students learn to see themselves as capable, creative, successful learners with a positive self-image and a track record of success. AAPS Young Five students enter kindergarten prepared to learn and to lead.

    A key to the success of this program lies in its exploration-based design, providing space for self directed learning, fostering independence within a language rich, nurturing environment. Our highly qualified teachers support the growth of each student through intentional lesson and activity design.

    Young Fives is perfect for children turning five between May 1st and December 1st. With nineteen programs across the district, you’ll find a Young Fives program in every corner of our community. Upon completion of Young Fives children are promoted to regular kindergarten.

    Abbot Angell Allen Bach Bryant
    Burns Park Carpenter Dicken Eberwhite Haisley
    King Lakewood Lawton Logan Mitchell
    Pittsfield Thurston Wines A2 Open A2 STEAM

    Applications are accepted through the In-District Space Available Transfer system.

    Eligible students must turn 5 between May 1st and December 1st to be considered. Exceptions to the December 1st deadline are not allowed. Students who turn 5 after December 1st are eligible for enrollment in regular Kindergarten the following Fall. If you have questions about the Young Fives program, please call any of the school locations or the office of Elementary Education at 994-2252.

    Young Fives Brochure

  • Preschoolers cutting with scissorsWesterman Preschool and Family Center

    Free programs for eligible children from birth to age 5

    The Ann Arbor Public Schools Westerman 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, Thurston, and Westerman
    for 3 & 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 High Scope Curriculum.

    The curriculum is play-based with an emphasis on kindergarten readiness. The classroom activities are developed so that students are engaged in music, arts & crafts, imaginative play and recess as part of their regular school day. 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 for 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 December 1st are eligible for the program.

     Preschools BrochureAnn Arbor Preschools Website

  • Playing TogetherFirst 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