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A Great Start to Lifelong Learning

Cincinnati Public Schools provides quality, comprehensive preschool programs and collaborative services to support young children and families for lifelong learning.
Preschool is not mandatory, but children who attend preschool gain new skills, make friends, discover new feelings and have a variety of enriching experiences. Bus transportation is not provided for preschoolers.
CPS' Early Childhood Education (ECE) program recognizes that all children can learn and acquire knowledge, primarily through playful interactions with materials and people. The learning environment encourages creative exploration with a balance of child- and adult-initiated, age-appropriate activities. The program also recognizes the home and community as valuable resources. Staff and parents work together in the development of culturally sensitive curriculum.
Preschool helps children:
  • Prepare for school and classroom activities
  • Count
  • Listen and explore
  • Learn to get along with others
  • Plan ahead
  • Use new words
  • Care for themselves and belongings
  • Express themselves
  • Care for living things
  • Learn to play fair
  • Notice differences
  • Think of others
  • Protect themselves

Find a CPS Preschool or Preschool Program

Getting Your Child into Preschool

Enrolling in Preschool
Preschool Qualifications
Preschool Required Shots

Your Child's Preschool Experience


The district provides a broad and enriching learning experience appropriate for each child. The written curriculum includes activities and opportunities that support social, emotional, cognitive and physical development and is built upon the knowledge, strength and life experiences that children bring to school. Parents are valued as equal partners in the learning process. The curriculum incorporates the Ohio Early Learning Standards in the daily learning experiences, and parental input in lesson planning is welcome.

Ohio Preschool Academic Content Standards

Developmental Screening

Every child receives a complete developmental screening within the first 45 days of school, and the results are shared with parents. Follow up is provided as needed to meet the child's individual needs. Each program has a support team beyond the teacher, instructor assistant and family-service assistant. This team often includes a speech and language pathologist, mental health professional and nurse.

Hours of Operation

Preschool programs operate on both full-day and half-day schedules and align with the district's school-year calendar. The district also has collaborative agreements with several child-care centers in the community that operate full-day, year-round programs.


Following are some guidelines for dressing your child for preschool:
  1. Label all clothing. Many jackets and sweaters look alike to children as well as to parents.
  2. Provide outer garments that are easy to put on and take off.
  3. Dress your child in clothing that is washable.
  4. Choose clothing that allows for active play and is appropriate for the weather.
  5. Send one complete set of clothing to be kept on hand in the classroom in case of accidents.


Breakfast, lunch and/or snacks are provided for preschool children. The menus selected meet the standards set by the Ohio Department of Education Nutrition Section. The noon meal is served to every child present between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

A source of vitamin C is served daily, and a source of vitamin A at least two times per week. Milk is vitamin D fortified. A snack is served in the afternoon (morning for preschool special needs and Montessori classes) and includes items from two food groups.

Staff and children eat together. Children are encouraged but not forced to try unfamiliar foods or foods they have previously refused. Children gradually learn to assume responsibility for setting tables, passing food, serving themselves and cleaning up.


Children in full-day programs are expected to rest daily. Parents may send a favorite toy or blanket with the child.

Health Inspection

For the protection of staff and children, a health inspection is conducted daily upon a child's arrival using the Ohio Department of Health's Child Day-Care Communicable Disease Chart, which is posted in classrooms. Parents are encouraged to observe this process. Early Childhood Education programs are for well children only.

Children can come back to class if they have no symptoms of communicable disease for at least 24 hours or with a physician's statement saying the child poses no risk to others.

Parent Participation

Communication between home and school is a priority.  Parent involvement is encouraged both at home and at school.
Suggestions for parents include:
  1. Visit the classroom, and help the staff by reading and working with children.
  2. Welcome staff into your home for home activity visits or meet staff on a coffee break from work to discuss school-to-home learning.
  3. Become involved in the Early Childhood Education program governance by representing your program and families at our monthly policy meetings.
  4. Volunteer on a program committee.
  5. Help in the annual program review.
  6. Attend parent conferences and progress-report meetings (quarterly).
  7. Attend monthly curriculum planning with your child's teacher, and give suggestions for lesson planning and meal planning.

Resources and Links for Parents

American Academy of Pediatrics  - Children's Health 
Books in Action
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center  
Cincinnati Health Department Centers

National Parenting Center
Ohio Medicaid 
Ohio Help Me Grow

Success by Six
Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program


Each program is licensed to operate by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). This license and the most recent licensing inspection reports are posted in each classroom.

Have concerns about a CPS preschool not addressed to your satisfaction? Call CPS' Early Childhood Education Department, (513) 363-0240, or CPS' Customer Help Center, (513) 363-0123, or the Ohio Department of Education Licensing Office, (614) 644-2603.     

Preschool Contact Info

Contact Early Childhood Dept.

Call (513) 363-0240

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