CPS Preschool Offers 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 — and we've been doing it for more than 25 years. All CPS preschools are evaluated by the Ohio Department Education, the majority of which are rated five stars, the state's highest rating.
Preschool is not mandatory, but children who attend preschool gain new skills, make friends and have a variety of enriching experiences. CPS' Early Childhood Education (ECE) program recognizes that all children can learn, mainly 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.
Bus transportation is not provided for preschoolers.
Adding Preschool Classrooms
Cincinnati Public Schools is increasing the number of preschool classrooms available by opening our Rising Stars Academies (RSA), which are preschool-only locations (and, in some locations, kindergarten, too). The first RSAs opened in August 2016.
Preschool helps children:
- Prepare for school and classroom activities
- Learn to 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
Getting Your Child into Preschool
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.
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.
Full and Half Day
Preschool programs operate on both full-day and half-day schedules and align with the district's school-year calendar for holidays and breaks.
- Label all clothing. Many jackets and sweaters look alike to children as well as to parents.
- Provide outer garments that are easy to put on and take off.
- Dress your child in washable clothing.
- Choose clothing that allows for active play and is appropriate for the weather.
- 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 meet 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 food. Children gradually learn to assume responsibility for setting the table, 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.
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.
- Visit the classroom, and help the staff by reading and working with children.
- Welcome staff into your home for home activity visits or meet staff on a coffee break from work to discuss school-to-home learning.
- Become involved in the Early Childhood Education program governance by representing your program and families at our monthly policy meetings.
- Volunteer on a program committee.
- Help in the annual program review.
- Attend parent conferences and progress-report meetings (quarterly).
- 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 Help Me Grow
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 Care Center, (513) 363-0123, or the Ohio Department of Education Licensing Office, (614) 644-2603.