Pre-K &
Head Start

Begin the Journey

Is your 3 or 4-year-old ready to begin his or her education journey with our Early Childhood program? Our Head Start/Pre-K program is one of the most important steps families can take to ensure students are prepared for success in Kindergarten and beyond. We serve approximately 5200+ students each year at select Elementary Schools, Head Start Centers as well as multiple Community Partner sites across Shelby County. Every year, students who attend an MSCS Early Childhood Program score higher in Kindergarten readiness and outperform peers on District goals for foundational skills, literacy and more.

Pre-K Application & Qualifications

Pre-k team member at pre-k screening

Pre-K/Head Start Eligibility

  • Age for Pre-K: MSCS Pre-K is open children in Shelby County who turn 4 years-old by August 15th.
  • Age for Head Start: Head Start is open to children in Shelby County who turn 3 years-old by August 15th.
  • Eligibility: Priority is given to students who meet Federal Poverty Guidelines and who are categorically eligible:( SNAP, TANF, child receives SSI or if child is in foster care.)
  • Wait List: Students on the wait list will be considered if space is available.
  • Have questions? Call (901) 416-3450 or email [email protected].

Another pre-k team member at pre-k screening

Application Checklist & Requirements

  • Apply: Submit one online application per household even if registering for multiple children. Once you have submitted the application, check your email for an email from GoEngage to verify your email address and to activate your Parent portal account. This must be done within 24 hours of application submission. This step is important as all correspondence will be sent through GoEngage.
  • Eligibility Review: Once the application has been submitted, please use this link to schedule an eligibility interview. The required documents must be uploaded to your parent portal and brought to the eligibility interview. Interviews will be held in-person at various locations across the city.
  • Required Documents: View the list of required items for the eligibility review. (Haga clic aquí para Español.) Documents can be submitted online with the application or emailed to [email protected].
  • Acceptance: Emails will be sent to parents once the eligibility interview is completed as to the next steps in the registration process. Once all components of the registration process are completed, parents whose children meet the eligibility criteria will be sent an email to notify acceptance into the program and assigned school location beginning in mid-May. Parents whose children are not eligible will also be sent an email.
  • Orientation: Parents of accepted students must attend the mandatory orientation before the child can begin attending class. Orientation will be scheduled by the classroom teacher in August.
  • FAQs: 2024-25 Application FAQs

Online applications are open for the 2024-25 school year on March 9.
Las solicitudes en línea se abrirán el 9 de marzo para las clases de preescolar de 2024-25.

Begin the Journey to College and Career Readiness!