Enrolling in Oakland’s Early Childhood Education

Did you know that children can already be 18 months behind academically upon entering kindergarten? Or that students who are not reading proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school?

These are just some of the reasons why early childhood education is so important to student success. This is true not only in elementary school but in middle school, high school, and beyond.

“Quality preschool can dramatically improve high school graduation and college attendance rates for participants relative to their peers.”

–Kathy Schultz, Dean of School of Education, Mills College

What options are available to Oakland families?

The Oakland Unified School District offers a need-based preschool for three- and four-year-olds that meet California state requirements.

Oakland offers:

  • Full-day preschool programs at 15 sites
  • Three-hour preschool programs at 24 sites
  • Before and after-school care programs for school-aged kids (TK-5) at 12 sites

Does my child qualify for Oakland’s preschool programs?

To qualify, your child must be:

  • 3 years old by September 1st
  • Fully toilet trained
  • Meet need, eligibility, and health requirements for service (income based on family size, proof of income, California residency, immunization records)
  • Complete the enrollment process (fill out application and bring all required documentation)

How do I enroll my child in a preschool program?

To enroll your child, you must first complete an eligibility form and brief pre-screening interview. Applications are available at the ECE Eligibility and Enrollment Office located at 746 Grand Avenue, Room A, Oakland, CA 94610.

If you pass the pre-screening process, you will be given an enrollment packet and registration appointment date.


For more information contact Christie AndersonDirector of Early Childhood Education
christie.anderson@ousd.org | (510) 273-1616
The Enrollment and Eligibility Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30AM – 4:00PM. 

For a complete look at the preschool process, check out the district’s family handbook.

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