Preparing children for kindergarten and beyond
News & Announcements
June, 2018 – First Lady Pamela Northam announced a new initiative to bolster early childhood education in Virginia and improve student outcomes for youth across the Commonwealth. Governor Northam names Chief School Readiness Officer.
Quality Preschool Education in Virginia
For four-year-olds, preschool is often the first opportunity for observation of school-readiness activities and skills. High-quality preschool programs provide a foundation for learning and prepare students for success in kindergarten and beyond. School-readiness activities in high-quality preschools focus on physical, motor and social and emotional development.
Watch Video: High-Quality Preschool Seen Through the Eyes of a Child.
In addition to preschool programs operating through public schools, Virginia certifies preschool programs operated through accredited private schools.
Find Virginia certified preschools – Virginia Department of Social Services.
Locate Virginia public school divisions and schools.
Virginia provides resources to improve the quality and expand access to preschool programs for at-risk and special-needs children.
Preschool Programs for Children in High-Need Communities
VPI is a program that distributes state funds to schools and community-based organizations to provide high-quality preschool programs for at-risk four-year-olds not served by Head Start. The purpose of the program is to reduce disparities among children entering kindergarten and to reduce or eliminate those risk factors that may lead to early academic failure.
VPI+ is a four-year federal preschool expansion grant to improve upon the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) and expand services to four-year-olds and their families in high-need communities. The grant period is 2015-2019.
Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs that promote school readiness for children birth to age five. Head Start is a child-centered, family focused, comprehensive and community-based program providing high quality services to promote academic, physical, social and emotional development for income-eligible children and their families. Local Head Start programs are funded directly by the federal Office of Head Start.
Also visit Virginia Head Start Association.
Early Childhood Special Education provides services for preschool-aged children from age two through five with identified disabilities or developmental delays. Educators, along with the child's family, develop an individualized education program (IEP) with goals and objectives to meet the child’s developmental needs.
From the Early Childhood Special Education section you will also find information about:
- Early Intervention – for children from birth to age three, and
- Transitioning from toddler to preschool and into kindergarten.
Also refer to Curriculum & Instruction and Professional Development for early childhood professional standards, instruction practices and professional development resources.
- Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS).
- Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) – The national center for research on early reading, representing a consortium of educators from five universities.
- School Bus Transportation of Pre-School-Aged Children – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.