Frequently Asked Questions about the Application Forms
I missed the PreK application deadline. Can I still submit it?
Program & Enrollment Questions
Moving & Residency Questions
Where do I send the PreK application?
Most PreK programs ask families to return their PreK applications directly to the program along with other paperwork. The PreK program can process the documents and will send them to the school district in a packet with other families' forms. In some cases, families may directly mail, fax, or drop off application forms to the school system. Due to confidentiality concerns, we prefer that families and programs do not email the forms.
Mailing addresses and fax numbers for each school district follow.
If you live in Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham, or Weybridge, mail to:
Addison Central SD, Attn Universal PreK, 49 Charles St, Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802-388-0024, Attn Darcie Arensmeyer
If you live in Bristol, Monkton, New Haven, or Starksboro, mail to:
Mount Abraham Unified SD, Attn Universal PreK, 72 Munsill Ave, Bristol, VT 05443
Fax: 802-453-2029, Attn Nicole Heffernan
If you live in Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Waltham, or Vergennes, mail to:
Addison Northwest SD, Attn Universal PreK, 11 Main St, Suite B100, Vergennes, VT 05491
Fax: 802-877-3628, Attn Rachel Cornellier
When is the application form due?
Application forms are due back to the school district by July 1st.
Most PreK programs ask for forms be returned directly to them, so that they can send all the PreK forms in to the district at once. If your family missed the PreK application form deadline, you may still submit the application to the school district, but it may result in a delay in approval or a delay in when your program receives the funds. Applications approved after the beginning of the school year will result in prorated tuition amounts.
I missed the PreK application deadline. Can I still submit it?
Yes. Application forms are due back to the school district by July 1st, but are accepted on a rolling basis. If your family missed the PreK application form deadline, you may still submit the application to the school district, but it may result in a delay in approval or a prorated amount to your program.
When will I find out if my child's application is approved?
If your complete application was returned by July 1st, you will receive an approval letter by late summer. Families whose applications were incomplete or denied will be contacted and offered the opportunity to correct any mistakes and resubmit the application.
Funding is not competitive. All eligible children who are enrolled in prequalified PreK programming will be approved for tuition funding. Applications may be returned if the information given is incomplete or if the child or the child's PreK programming is not eligible.
My application forms were returned or denied. What do I do now?
Usually application forms are returned for additional information that is easily corrected. Please check your denial letter to see why your application was returned or denied, and use that information as a guide to help you resubmit the application as needed. The most common reasons for application return or denial are:
Child was not aged 3, 4, or 5 by September 1st
Children must have turned 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1st in order to participate in the publicly funded PreK program, and not be enrolled in kindergarten. This date is aligned with the kindergarten eligibility for each school district. Even if they turn three in the fall or mid-year, they would not be eligible for funding until the following school year when they are three by September 1st. Most children have two years of funded PreK. Please consider reapplying in a future year when your child meets the age eligibility. There is no appeal process for children with fall birthdays.
Child is enrolled in Kindergarten or a school PreKindergarten program
Funding for PreK comes from state education moneys. Therefore, children in Kindergarten are not eligible for PreKindergarten funding, because they are already being supported by education moneys for their kindergarten year. Similarly, children enrolled in a school-based PreK program have already received public PreK funding to support their attendance in that setting.
The PreKindergarten program you selected is not prequalified by the State of Vermont
If your PreK program meets prequalification standards, they can apply for prequalification through the State of Vermont. Programs must be prequalified to be eligible for partnership with the school districts. To find out more, please see Why doesn't my child's PreK program qualify for partnership?
You have not enrolled your child in a PreKindergarten program
Your child must be enrolled in a prequalified program at least 10 hours/week for 35 weeks/year before tuition funding can be approved. To enroll, your family should identify the program that you would like your child to attend and contact them first. Do you know whether you would like your child to attend a school based or community partner program? If not, look at this list of current Addison County prequalified PreK programs to find a PreK program. You may also select a prequalified program outside of the county. A list of Vermont prequalified providers is at: http://education.vermont.gov/act-166 (scroll down to Prequalified Providers).
The PreKindergarten program you selected is not a current partner of our School District
If your PreKindergarten program is prequalified, they may submit a Partnership Agreement with your resident School District, and your application may be reconsidered. For more information, see: My prequalified program does not have a partnership with the school district or I am not sure if there is a partnership. What do I do?
Parent Application was incomplete
The letter should list which parts of your application need to be completed. If not, please contact your School District for more assistance. If you were missing pieces of your proof of residency, please also refer to the information below.
Child is not a resident of our School District
All Vermont school districts offer publicly-funded PreKindergarten to their district residents. Please contact your local school for more information regarding PreK funding for your town.
Some communities within Addison County are served by adjacent supervisory unions/school districts. The communities of Goshen, Leicester and Whiting are served by Rutland Northeast SU. The town of Orwell is served by the Addison Rutland SU. The town of Hancock is served by White River Valley SU. For more information on their PreK programming, please visit their websites or contact your local elementary school.
Proof of residency documents were not included or were not sufficient to prove residency in our School District
Please review the list of approved residency documents and resubmit your application with documentation attached. Possible documentation of residency includes:
A copy of ONE of the following documents showing the physical address of the residence:
□ Home Purchase Agreement or Warranty Deed*
□ Tax or mortgage bill for the property*
□ Current lease Agreement or notarized statement from landlord*
□ Voter Registration (copy of receipt or Town Clerk’s confirmation)*
□ Notarized letter from the resident of the school district with whom I am residing accompanied by proof of their residency*
□ Transitional Housing voucher*
□ Letter from DCF showing that child is in state custody and the child’s residence is in: __________ (town name)*
Or TWO of the following items which show your name and the physical address of the residence:
□ Utility bill (landline phone, cable, electricity, heating fuel, trash, etc.): can use two different types of utility bills which show the physical address of the residence*
□ Other documents which show the names and physical address of the residence, including:
□ Valid Vermont Driver’s License*
□ Valid homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy*
□ Valid Public Aid card or statement showing physical address*
□ Valid auto insurance card*
□ Bank statement for last or current month*
□ Pre-printed pay stub with employer and employee name and address)*
For example, you could provide a copy of your cable and electric bill as proof of residency. Please black out or otherwise remove any information you choose to have remain private. Please also note that credit card bills and other mail cannot be accepted as proof of residency.
Items presented for proof of residence must show the resident’s name and the 911 physical address of the residence. Physical address may be different than mailing address.
If your family or child does not have a permanent legal address, you should refer to Our family does not have a permanent legal residence. How do I complete the proof of residency form?
My child turns three in the fall. Can I enroll my child in PreK then?
In order to be eligible for PreK, your child must have turned 3 years old on or before September 1st. This is aligned with the kindergarten eligibility date for each school district. Your child will have their three-year-old year when they are nearly four, and their four year-old year when they are nearly five. They will be eligible for kindergarten in the year when they are nearly six.
There is no appeal process for eligibility for PreK for children with fall birthdays.
My child is old enough to attend kindergarten, but I have chosen not to send them this fall. Are they eligible for PreK tuition?
Children are eligible for PreK tuition payments until their 6th birthday. District payments for kindergarten-eligible children stop on the child’s sixth birthday except in extraordinary circumstances as determined by the child's special education evaluation team.
Families who choose to enroll kindergarten-eligible children in PreK will need to pay parent tuition after their child's 6th birthday. Children receiving PreK funds are expected to follow a typical grade progression into kindergarten the following year.
My child has special needs. Where will they receive services?
Children with special needs are eligible to receive a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Your child's services will be delivered by district staff as described by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Possible service locations include: the school, community PreK setting, or home. Check in with your child's case manager for further details.
Does the PreK payment affect my child care subsidy payment?
The Child Care Financial Assistance Program (better known as subsidy) may help you to pay for hours not covered by the PreK tuition if you are working, looking for work, or need additional family support. Eligibility is based on income, family size, and other factors and the payments may vary depending on the amount of child care needed.
Many families qualify who did not expect to be eligible. For eligibility information, you can visit Child Care Resource and Referral or contact the Eligibility Specialist at (802) 388-4304, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why does the PreK application ask for permission to communicate about my child? How does the school use this information?
The PreK application asks for permission for the schools to communicate with your PreK provider about your child (including obtaining child records such as enrollment, attendance, and assessment, screening, or child progress results). Information regarding child enrollment is critical for school districts to be able to pay tuition funding for your PreK child. It also helps districts work with preschool programs to deliver high quality instruction for all children.
Other data is also used by the schools for systems planning, budgeting, kindergarten transition, and curricular and professional development decisions. Data is usually used in the aggregate with no identifiable child information attached. At times, information may be used individually, for example at kindergarten transition times to inform your child's new teacher about your child's progress.
I haven't yet enrolled my child in PreK. Can I complete the application anyway?
To enroll, your family should identify the program that you would like your child to attend and contact them first. The schools can only release funding to a prequalified PreK program, so your application cannot be approved by the schools until you have enrolled in a prequalified PreK program.
My prequalified program does not have a partnership with the school district or I am not sure if there is a partnership. What do I do?
You can look to see if your prequalified PreK program is listed as an Addison County community partner program or check directly with your PreK program. If not, your PreK program can contact Meg Baker, Addison County Universal PreK Coordinator, at email@example.com to find out more about partnership with your school district. They will complete a Partnership Agreement and agree to have communication about your child with your resident school district.
My child is enrolled in more than one prequalified PreK program. Which program will receive the tuition funding?
If your child is enrolled in a school-based program, the tuition funding will automatically go to that program.
If your child is enrolled in two prequalified community PreK programs for at least 10 hours/week, 35 weeks/year, your family may select to which program you would like to have tuition funding go. Only one PreK can receive the funding. Just write that PreK program's name on the application under "PreK Provider".
Why doesn't my child's PreK program qualify for partnership?
Publicly funded PreK programs must be prequalified by the Vermont Agency of Education and Department of Children and Families as high quality programs. Prequalified PreK programs include community centers, home providers, and public school programs. They are prequalified as high quality programs based on a number of criteria that research indicates are good measures of quality. Prequalified programs must:
employ or contract a licensed Vermont teacher with an endorsement in early education or early special education
maintain at least 3 STARS with a plan to move to 4-5 STARS in Vermont's STep Ahead Recognition System, a quality recognition scale
offer a PreK curriculum that meets Vermont’s Early Learning Standards (VELS)
use Teaching Strategies Gold assessment to monitor child progress
communicate with schools as needed to ensure child enrollment and attendance information is up-to-date
meet other criteria as delineated in contracts with the schools and the State of Vermont
PreK programs offer a variety of scheduling options for families, including part-day, part-year programming and full-day, full-year programming. Some programs that are eligible have chosen not to participate or partner with Addison County school systems. Other programs have had difficulty meeting one or more of the prequalification criteria.
How much does the school system pay my provider?
School districts pay community PreK programs tuition for 10 hours/week for 35 weeks/year of free PreK services. The amount changes annually. Families are not charged for this PreK time. Your program should provide you with a regular tuition statement or annual contract demonstrating how much funding the district has contributed to your child's tuition costs.
I completed the proof of residency form last year. Do I need to complete it again?
No. If your child is re-enrolling and you have not moved in the last year, you will not need to submit documentation of residency. Proof of residency is required for all children who are newly enrolling with the district and from families who have moved.
My PreK program is located in one school district and I live in another. How do I complete the PreK forms?
Your school district of residence is the one that will pay your PreK provider. Complete the PreK application for your community and send it to your district of residence. Our communities will pay prequalified PreK providers throughout the state of Vermont, including those in Chittenden or Rutland Counties.
I'm moving this summer and don't have any proof of residency for my new home yet. Should I submit the application anyway?
Yes, it is helpful to submit even though it is incomplete. You will not be able to fully complete the PreK application until you have proof of residency in your new home. However, you will want to complete the PreK application as soon as possible after you have documentation of residency (i.e. utility bills, proof of sale, lease, etc.). The school system cannot approve your application and provide tuition funding for your child without an approved PreK application. In order to avoid delays in processing and funding, it is helpful to have this documentation finalized as quickly as possible.
I'm moving in the middle of the school year to a new home. How do I complete the PreK form?
If you currently live in Vermont, you should complete the PreK application form for the school district in which you currently reside. This district will pay your PreK provider for the beginning of the year. When you move, you must notify your PreK program immediately. Even if you remain in the same PreK program, your PreK program must complete an exit or change form to notify the departing school district of your move.
You will complete a new PreK application for your new home and a prorated payment will be paid by the new school district for the remainder of the year. You will not be able to complete the PreK application for your new home until you have proof of residency. However, you will want to complete the PreK application as soon as possible after you have documentation of residency (i.e. utility bills, proof of sale, lease, etc.). The school system cannot approve your application and provide tuition funding for your child without an approved PreK application. In order to avoid delays in processing and funding, it is helpful to have this documentation finalized as quickly as possible after your move.
I share custody with my ex who lives in another town. Which school district is my child's residence?
In shared custody arrangements, you may consider the following:
where is the child's primary residence during the week?
where is the child expected to enroll in kindergarten?
how will the child get to PreK and is transportation to PreK a factor in deciding the child's residency?
where do the child's siblings attend school?
If these questions do not assist you and both parents reside in Vermont, you may select which district is considered the child's residence for school purposes.
Our family does not have a permanent legal residence. How do I complete the proof of residency form?
Your family may be homeless, live in temporary housing such as motel, car, or campsite, be doubled up with friends/family, or live in a shelter due to economic hardship or loss of housing.
If this is the case, select the checkbox that says you have unstable housing and no proof of residency and submit without documentation.
The school systems will help determine residency and PreK placement options using the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act. Some considerations will be: where you are living and have been living, where the child has been enrolled in school, where the child's siblings attend school, where you are looking for permanent housing, and when you might find permanent housing.
For additional information, please contact your preschool program and/or Meg Baker, Universal PreK Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.