/ Enrollment Information

Enrollment Information

In Milwaukee, parents can choose from public, public charter, independent charter, and private schools.

Public preschools

Preschool isn't mandatory in Milwaukee but it's highly recommended by education experts, as it's been shown to boost education achievement. Milwaukee offers a number of different preschool options, including subsidized full pay programs and free programs.

Most schools (district, charter, and even some private schools) offer free early education programs for 4-year-olds, known as "K4 kindergarten" programs. Some schools even offer free kindergarten for 3-year-olds who have been identified with special education needs through Head Start. Other free preschool options include Head Start and HIPPY programs for qualifying families. To attend a free K3 or K4 program, a child must be either 3 or 4 years old by September 1st. Some K3 Head Start programs accept students as soon as they celebrate their third birthday, so check with providers for more information.

Subsidized Full Pay Programs
Privately operated preschools typically cost between $1,000 and $1,400 a month in Milwaukee, depending on the child's age and number of hours attending. Parents who qualify for financial or support services from the state are generally eligible for subsidized preschool. Parents can apply for benefits using the state's online application tool, ACCESS, or in person at 1220 W. Vliet Street, between 7:30-4:30 M-F.

Head Start
Head Start is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Early Head Start is for children from birth through age 3; Head Start is for ages 3-5.

To qualify for a Head Start seat, income must be at or below poverty level, or the family must be homeless, have children in foster care, or receive Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Recruitment for preschool classes for the Head Start program starts in June and again in early January for 3, K4 and K5, but many programs enroll students year-round.

Milwaukee has four Head Start providers with many sites throughout the city, including the Next Door Foundation, Council for the Spanish Speaking (bilingual English/Spanish), Milwaukee Public Schools, and Acelero.

HIPPY
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a school-readiness program that helps parents prepare their three-, four-, and five-year old children for success in school and beyond. Parents are provided with a set of carefully developed curriculum materials designed to strengthen their children's cognitive and early literacy skills, and their social/emotional and physical development. The HIPPY program was developed by Milwaukee community organizations, in cooperation with Milwaukee Public Schools.

Assessing an early childhood program can be tricky. In Wisconsin, the Department of Children and Families created the YoungStar program to improve the quality of childcare for Wisconsin children. YoungStar evaluates and rates the quality of care at Wisconsin childcare facilities on a scale of 1-5 stars. Understanding YoungStar ratings can help you choose the best early education program for your child.

Helpful resources

YoungStar

Milwaukee Public Schools - Early Childhood
5225 W Vliet St.
Milwaukee, WI 53201
414-475-8095

Acelero's Head Start Program
11414 W Park Place, Ste 202
Milwaukee, WI 53224
414-751-8988

Centro Hispano's Head Start Program
614 W National Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-384-3700

Next Door Foundation's Head Start
2545 N 29th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53210
414-562-2929

COA Center - HIPPY Program
909 E. North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53212
414-263-8383

National Council of Jewish Women - HIPPY Program

The Parenting Network - HIPPY Program
7516 W Burleigh St.
Milwaukee, WI 53210
414-671-5575

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Browse Milwaukee public preschools 139

Key Dates

Application and enrollment deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more details.

Did You know?


Private preschools

Many Milwaukee private schools and private childcare centers also offer preschool programs. Many sites have preschool programs for 4-year-olds that serve as feeder programs for their kindergarten classes. Some schools require an assessment to see how the applicant will do in the classroom setting.

There are also many private, in-home childcare providers in Milwaukee. Quality varies, so be sure to ask about licensing, training, and experience. Ask to see examples of activities and a daily and weekly schedule. Although there are exceptions, many private in-home providers are not trained or equipped to conduct learning activities that prepare children for kindergarten.

Assessing an early childhood program can be tricky. In Wisconsin, the Department of Children and Families created the YoungStar program to improve the quality of childcare for Wisconsin children. YoungStar evaluates and rates the quality of care at Wisconsin childcare facilities on a scale of 1-5 stars. Understanding YoungStar ratings can help you choose the best early education program for your child.

Helpful resources

YoungStar

Care.com - Private Provider Network

In-home Childcare Providers Network

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Browse Milwaukee private preschools 555

Key Dates

Application and enrollment deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more details.

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