Universal Pre-K is Coming to Chicago
Universal Pre-K is Coming to Chicago!
To build programs that reflect Chicago’s diverse communities, we must provide all children – regardless of family income or demographic – with access to high-quality early learning experiences. Universal free, full-day pre-kindergarten (UPK) represents a monumental step forward for Chicago towards this goal-- ensuring every four-year-old in Chicago, regardless of their family’s resources, has access to education that they deserve.
Read More about UPK
To learn more about the UPK plan and when your community will have UPK, check out Chicago’s Roadmap to Implementing Universal Pre-K (UPK) updated 3/25/19.
Timeline for Implementation
Chicago has a four-year plan to implement UPK with the current Year 1 (2018 – 2019 School Year) focused on establishing the operational support necessary for full-day programming. Chicago will continue to expand services to provide universal access to pre-K to all four-year-olds over the next three years, and ensure adequate investments to sustain the whole early childhood landscape.
UPK will be rolled out on a community basis, with the highest need communities being targeted in the earlier years of the roll-out.
Year 1 (SY 2018 – 2019): Focus on operations and systems-building at Chicago Public Schools and Department of Family Support Services to prepare to scale
Year 2 (SY 2019 – 2020): Roll-out UPK in 28 communities, targeting community clusters with the highest levels of disadvantaged families and existing facilities to expand
Year 3 (SY 2020 – 2021): Roll-out UPK in 35 communities, targeting community clusters with the highest levels of disadvantaged families and moderate facilities needs
Year 4 (SY 2021 – 2022): Roll-out UPK in 14 communities, targeting remaining community clusters
Community Providers play a vital role in educating our city’s youngest learners. In the upcoming weeks, DFSS will release an RFP to provide targeted funding to Chicago’s community providers, particularly those that serve the most vulnerable children.