Credit: Credit: Charlottesville City Schools

As part of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Preschool Network, three area preschool programs are now offering one joint application. Families need to complete just one application, selecting the program(s) for which they qualify by age or residency. The application serves Albemarle County Public Schools’ Bright Stars program for four-year-olds who live in the County, Charlottesville City Schools’ preschool program for three- and four-year-olds who live in the City, or the Monticello Area Community Action Agency’s Head Start program for three- and four-year-olds who live in either Albemarle or Charlottesville. The programs serve children who face economic challenges, language barriers, or other difficulties. The three organizations encourage applications to be submitted by March 1.

“As our staffs have worked together to create additional spaces for preschool students, we’ve also worked together to streamline the application process for our families. This makes it easier for parents who formerly applied to more than one program,” explained Ann McAndrew, the Bright Stars Program Coordinator for ACPS.

The preschool programs are offered Monday-Friday free of charge for qualifying families. The hours and locations vary depending on the age of the child and the preschool program.

“Charlottesville and Albemarle are fortunate that we have extensive services for our future kindergartners. Meeting the needs of at-risk preschoolers pays dividends for the community both immediately and in the future,” stated Harriet Kaplan, Executive Director and Head Start Director for MACAA.

To learn more, call or visit your neighborhood elementary school or the MACAA offices.  You can also find applications on the schools’ web sites. Return completed applications to the schools or MACAA, either in person or by mail. Families who need assistance completing the application should contact the school or MACAA.

“We believe that our greater coordination in placing students in our programs and in developing a single application will help us serve the community,” noted Sheila Sparks, Charlottesville Schools’ Coordinator of Preschool and Family Support. “However, we need everyone’s help in getting the word out so that families in our community know that we offer these services.”