The 2021-2022 school year preschool application is now open!

With 600+ preschool options in Chicago, you’ll find a program to fit your family’s needs. 

CEL Workforce Scholarships open January 18. Click here to learn more.


Look What I Can Do!


    • Safe in-person and remote early learning options available for every 0-5 year old in Chicago.
    • Explore Your Options
    • Choose from 600+ early learning programs across Chicago

Enter your address (work, home, or somewhere else!) to find a preschool or early learning program near you. Choose The Best Program For Your Child & Your Family.




CPS full-day programs serve 4 year olds only.* If your child is 3 years old, please select a Community Based Early Learning Program or a CPS half-day program.

*A child is considered age 4 if they turn 4 years old on or before 9/1/2021.


Currently, applications are not able to be submitted for the Lincoln Park ELC. Continue to check here for updates on whether this site will be an option for the Fall. We apologize for the inconvenience.  


Safety Measures

Safer Classrooms For All Early Learners

There are safe-in-person early learning options available for every 0–5 year-old in Chicago. Both CPS and Community-Based preschool programs take daily precautions to protect the health of their students and their families.

      • Facemasks (provided for all staff and students ages 3+)
      • Increased safety and sanitation procedures
      • Enhanced cleaning protocols
      • Daily Health Screener
      • Smaller class sizes
      • And more!

Learn more about health and safety guidance

For community-based preschool programs contact the site directly.
For more CPS safety details, click here

Important Update

Preschool Applications Open April 21 for the 2021–2022 School Year

Enrollment for Chicago Early Learning starts soon for every 3–4 year-old in the city. Mark the date on your calendar to apply early and increase your child’s chances for getting into their top choice. 

Application Assistance

If you have questions or are in need of assistance when completing the application, call (312) 229-1690 for assistance with applications for both CPS schools and Community-Based Preschools. You can also visit any of the Family Resource Centers by appointment only located around the city, or visit a Community Early Learning Provider if you are interested in a site.

Chicago PrE-Learning

Chicago PrE-Learning is Chicago’s #1 Remote Early Learning platform (for children from birth to age 5) to easily continue their education outside of the classroom and from the comfort of their home. Chicago PrE-Learning gives families easy access to the resources they need on one platform. Our #1 goal is to support you to help your child succeed in learning at home.

Family 2

Explore Your Options!

Choose the best preschool for your family! Explore early learning programs across Chicago that offer both safe in-person and remote early learning options.

Learn More

What is the preschool application process?

WATCH: How To Apply


Are you ready to apply for a preschool program for your 3- or 4-year-old? Learn about the process here or call (312) 229-1690 with your questions. 

Learn More

Early learning doesn’t only take place in a preschool classroom.

Chicago offers a variety of stimulating children’s activities to get kids learning, moving, and playing. Learn more about what is offered by city agencies and organizations.

Learn More

Meet all our partners and learn more about Chicago Early Learning.

Read More

Dept of Family and Support Services
Chicago Public Schools