Information About Watertown’s Free PreK and Preschool Programs

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On Monday, the School Committee approved Superintendent Dede Galdston’s plan to provide free universal prekindergarten in the Watertown Public Schools beginning in the fall of 2024. Galdston provided more information about the program in an announcement sent out this week, see it below.

Watertown Public Schools is pleased to announce that PreKindergarten and Preschool classes will be tuition-free for children who turn 4 by August 31, 2024. Applications for the 2024-2025 school year have already begun, and we are excited to be able to offer up to 40 additional spaces for Watertown children in our prekindergarten and preschool classrooms.

Here is more information about our Early Steps PreKindergarten program and process:

  • PreKindergarten is for students who turn four by August 31.
  • The classroom has 18 students in it with 1 certified teacher and 1 instructional assistant.
  • The curriculum is age-appropriate with an emphasis on socialization, early numeracy, and early literacy skills.
  • The schedule for the day is 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Please note that there is very limited Extended Day (EDP) child care available for the 2024-2025 school year. We will send out information about the EDP to families who apply.

Here is more information about our Early Steps Integrated Preschool Program:

  • Preschool is a great opportunity for flexibility with schedules
  • Classrooms include 3- and 4-year-olds.
  • There are several options for free integrated preschool for 4-year-olds. Available preschool schedules include:
    • 2 days a week – 8 am-1 pm
    • 3 days a week – 8 am-1 pm
    • 5 days a week – 8 am -1 pm
    • 5 days a week – 9 am -12 pm
  • Classes are no larger than 15 with one certified teacher and at least one instructional assistant
  • The curriculum is age-appropriate with an emphasis on socialization, early numeracy, and early literacy skills.
  • *There is still tuition for 3-year-olds unless they have been identified for special education services.

Additional information about these programs can be found here. If more families apply than there is space available, a lottery will be used to fill the spots. Please note that priority in the lottery will be given to families who have a demonstrated financial need for the six-hour PreKindergarten program.

Application for the additional spots will be open until March 1, 2024, 3:00 pm. Please use the following application link to apply. If you feel that you are eligible for priority in the lottery based on financial need, instructions for filling out the appropriate form is here. If you have already secured a spot in our PreKindergarten program, you do not need to reapply.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Cynthia Paris, the Principal of the Early Steps Early Childhood Program at

Thank you!

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