North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten is a free, high-quality state program designed to enhance school readiness for eligible four-year-old children. Studies show that children who participate in a high-quality pre-kindergarten program are more likely to succeed in grades K-12 and throughout their lives.

In NC Pre-Kindergarten, NC licensed teachers provide developmentally appropriate instruction to help children learn and strengthen a variety of skills in a classroom environment.


Children who are income eligible receive priority for placement. Children who are eligible with a factor could be placed in August or later in the school year if openings are available.

*For support and questions about assessment for speech and other concerns, call the UCPS Preschool Assessment Center at 704-282-6259 for information. Assessment is available for children ages three to five years old.


Apply for 2024-2025

For children who are 4 years old on or before August 31, 2024, apply using our online application or by downloading and printing the PDF of the application.

Your child’s application packet will be processed if all required paperwork is included. Application packets with missing documents are on hold until complete.

Apply Online
Or Print the Application

Here are some resources to make copies of documents for the application packets. These resources charge a small fee and most are open seven days a week: UPS Stores, FedEx stores, Kinkos, Office Max/Depot,  Library card holders – Union County Libraries.

Required Health Forms

Prepare Now! Health forms listed below must be given to your child’s school:

  • Child’s current shot records (due upon enrollment)
  • To print Health and Dental Assessment Form click on link below (State law requires this form to be completed)
  • Doctor completed health assessment (law requires within 30 days of enrollment)
  • Dentist or doctor completed dental screening (law requires within 30 days of enrollment)


Download the Health and Dental Assessment form


For help finding a Medical Home or for information on free or low-cost children’s health insurance, call the N.C. Family Health Resource Line at:  1-800-367-2229.


Is NC Pre-K free?

NC Pre-K class hours are free for eligible children.

How do I apply for NC Pre-K? 

Print an application from this website,


Visit 2661 W. Roosevelt Blvd. Suite A; Monroe NC 28110 for a printed form.

  • Complete the application fully, sign and date.
  • Supply copies of the documents listed at the top of the application form.
  • Return copies of the entire packet to the Alliance for Children office for processing. (Incomplete packets cannot be processed for placement).


  • Apply online through the link on this website and upload the documents.
What documents are required for proof of income?

Copies of documents that provide the best idea of your current income.

Options include:

  • Copies of a month’s worth of recent, consecutive paychecks for parents/stepparents/legal guardians and/or legal custodians in the home.
  • Worked at the same job for all of 2023? 2023 tax returns or W-2 forms
  • If a new job, a copy of the job offer letter from employer including pay details.
  • For families who only receive cash compensation, visit our office for a form or provide a signed, dated statement of how many hours you work each week and the rate of pay. Include your employer’s name and number for verification.

If a parent in the home does not work and receives no income, the parent must sign, date, and initial the application to verify their income status.

If any of these items apply, include income documentation for:

  • Copies of alimony documentation
  • Copies of child support documentation
  • Copies of disability payments (including military disability paperwork)
  • Copy of unemployment compensation letter


If the child/family receives one of the services below (families of eight or less) a copy of this documentation may replace the proof of income documentation requirement:

  • Family Food and Nutrition Letter (dated within one year of application date)
  • WIC
  • Public Housing
  • WorkFirst Benefits Letter
  • SSI
  • SNAP Benefits Letter
  • Foster Care (letter from DSS documenting foster placement)
  • Homeless (parent signed statement)
  • Child’s current Medicaid Card
What documents are required for proof of residency?

Copies of two documents with a parent’s name and the current address can include:

  • Recent utility bills, phone bills, lease agreement or mortgage statement
  • Copies of car registration, insurance, or driver’s license
  • Copies of home insurance with parent’s name and current address

Parents who live with family members: The host family will complete a certification of residency form, have it notarized, provide their proof of residency document. Provide these documents with the child’s application packet. Certification of Residence

*Keep a copy of these documents for your records.

What happens after I turn in the complete application and supporting documents?
  • Alliance for Children’s NC Pre-K staff processes applications for eligibility. If your child is four by August 31 and your family meets income eligibility, it is likely that your child will be placed in NC Pre-K (subject to state funding).
  • When you child is placed, the site director may contact you to complete site required paperwork. Your child’s teacher will call you in late August to set up a home/school visit and two Beginner’s Days for your child.
  • If your child is not eligible (child is not four years old by August 31 and family is not income eligible) you will be notified by phone or email.
Health Forms

The state requires updated immunization records and a Medical/Dental Report to be on file at your child’s school in August.  A copy of a recent physical and dental screening dated within one year of your child’s first school day is valid.  Give the doctor completed health paperwork to your child’s teacher or site director.  Make plans early to have these documents ready for August. Keep copies for your files.

Classes start in late August, why turn in my application early?
  • To plan enough classrooms and hire the most qualified teachers, we need to know how many students we will have in school.
  • The opportunity for placement at a site that is more convenient. You drop off and pick up your child each day.
  • Earlier placement allows the site to connect with you and give you site paperwork to complete and return – for an easier August!
When do NC Pre-K students start school?

NC Pre-K closely follows the UCPS calendar, but with a slower beginning to help children transition into the program. Your child will have a home or school visit with the classroom teachers, and two Beginner’s Days with small groups of classmates. Teachers will call you in late August to schedule late August dates.

Will my child attend NC Pre-K at a school or childcare site?

All staff and classrooms are required to meet the same NC Pre-K state standards for quality. Children are placed at sites by the Alliance for Children.  Classroom size and space is limited. See the application forms for site information.

My older children attend school per UCPS attendance lines. Why is my child placed at another school for NC Pre-K?

NC Pre-K state funding is provided through the Alliance for Children in Union County. Our agency subcontracts NC Pre-K services with approved four and five-star licensed childcare sites/schools who agree to meet NC Pre-K quality standards.

For kindergarten, your student will attend classes following UCPS attendance lines if attending UCPS schools.  You will register your child for Kindergarten following UCPS attendance lines, or in the charter school of your choice.  Review options here: Kindergarten Search (

What are NC Pre-K hours?

Most sites operate from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm.  Walter Bickett Education Center hours are 7:00 am to 1:30 pm.  Classes close on school workdays, holidays, and school breaks.  On-time, regular attendance helps your child get the long-lasting, positive benefits of participation in NC Pre-K!

Is there a bus? 

NC Pre-K students placed at Walter Bickett Education Center are eligible for transportation if residing within bus lines.  Enter your address here to see if you are eligible:

WBEC will give you forms to arrange bus transportation for your child.

Parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up students on time each day at all other partner childcare and NC Pre-K school sites.

For other sites, parents are responsible for dropping off and picking up students each day for NC Pre-K classes at childcare OR school sites.  If you know another family with a child who plans to attend NC Pre-K and you arrange a carpool, please note this on both children’s application forms and turn in the applications at the same time.

What if I need before or after school care for my child?

Parents arrange and pay the site for care outside NC Pre-K hours. Contact Union County Health and Human Services at 704-296-4339 to apply for an income based childcare voucher.

How should my child dress for NC Pre-K?

Weather appropriate, comfortable clothing with closed toed shoes. Children learn outdoors and paint in the art center. It helps to keep a change of clothes at school.

Will I need to purchase any supplies?

Provide a backpack to carry papers and belongings to and from school. Your child needs a light blanket and crib sized sheet for rest time.  Your teacher may ask for contributions of small, inexpensive items for classroom studies on a voluntary basis.

Why should I place my child in NC Pre-K?

Participation in NC Pre-K helps your child strengthen a variety of skills in preparation for kindergarten.  Examples include:  pre-literacy, pre-academic, learning to follow directions, persisting at new or challenging activities, interacting with other students, and learning friendship skills.

Family Involvement

In late August, your child’s teacher will call to set up a home/school family visit.  Family/teacher conferences are scheduled during the year. You will be invited to family events hosted at your child’s NC Pre-K site.  Family participation and open, honest communication with your teachers is vital to your child’s success.


Your homework is reading fifteen-twenty minutes nightly with your child!  Benefits include building vocabulary and strengthening language skills. It’s a good opportunity to have one on one time with your child.  Visit your local library to ask the children’s librarian for age-appropriate books matching your child’s interests. Ask about e-books.

NC Pre-K applications are welcomed all year for open spots or wait list, subject to availability.

Need more information? Email:


Parent Resources:

Union County NC Pre-K teachers use Conscious Discipline®  and Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning to help children develop their social, emotional and self-regulation skills. There are many free tools for parents on these websites: These tools can help you learn to support your young children’s behavior at home as well.

Watch the First Five Years Fund video: Early Learning Matters.

Resources if you have concerns about your child’s development:

Easter Seals offers a free, comprehensive, and confidential online screening tool to help guide and keep track of your child’s growth and development during these first five years. You can use this tool when your child is at least 4-weeks- old through your child’s fifth birthday. Depending on your child’s age, you may need some props – like a ball, safety scissors or a toy. The sooner you address a developmental delay or special need, the better long-term success you can expect for your child’s overall well-being. Early intervention is key.

*For the best experience, please take the screening on a desktop or laptop computer.

In addition to NC Pre-K, the Alliance for Children offers programs that support the education and well-being of children ages birth through five years old. See the programs tab on this website to learn more.

For more information about NC Pre-K, contact Suzanne Walters at 704-226-1407 or 704-238-8917.


Alliance for Children and Smart Start Logos Combinded
Alliance for Children North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Office

Mailing Address:  PO Box 988; Monroe, NC  28111-0988

Street Address: 2661 W. Roosevelt Blvd. Monroe, NC  28110-8506

Phone: 704-226-1407, ext. 30 / Español: ext. 23


Office Hours:  

Assistance is available by phone or e-mail during these hours:

Monday – Thursday: 8:00am–5:00pm; (Closed: 12:00pm-1:00pm)
Friday: 8:00am-3:00pm (Closed: 12:00pm-1:00pm)

Applications welcomed: A drop slot is located at the Alliance for Children front door on the right side.