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Lottery Now Open for State Pre-K Program

Free, High-Quality for Early Education Available for 1,080 Students

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), in partnership with Governor Gina M. Raimondo and the Department of Human Services, announced today that the lottery for the Rhode Island Pre-Kindergarten Program is now open for the 2019-2020 school year. There are 60 State-Funded Pre-K classrooms in 11 communities, and parents and families must submit their applications by July 7, 2019, in order to be considered for one of the free, available seats.

“Pre-K is one of the most important investments we can make,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Kids who attend Pre-K are more likely to read at grade level, more likely to graduate high school, and more likely to get a good job. I’m proud that Rhode Island is a national leader in early childhood education, and I’m committed to ensuring that every family, regardless of zip code or income, has access to a high-quality Pre-K program.”

Funding for these 60 classrooms is dependent on budget approval from the General Assembly.

“In joining the team at RIDE, one of the things that really excited me about our portfolio is the national reputation for excellence that early learning programs in Rhode Island have established,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “A strong foundation is so important for our students, and that begins from birth and into quality Pre-K. Maintaining quality, with an eye towards increasing access for more Rhode Island children and families, must be a priority for our state if we want to improve student outcomes down the line.”

Adds Courtney E. Hawkins, Department of Human Services Director, “You shouldn’t have to be rich or lucky to get your child into high quality Pre-K. Every child deserves a shot at a bright future, and nothing prepares a child for their future better than high-quality education.”

In Governor Raimondo’s proposed budget, she requested additional funding to begin scaling up to universal Pre-K in Rhode Island. Her original proposal is to add 540 seats in the 2019-2020 school year. If that budget request is approved and RIDE can move forward in adding new seats, RIDE would open up another round of applications and conduct a second lottery in July.

Currently, State-Funded Pre-K is available in Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, Newport, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, West Warwick, and Woonsocket. The 60 Pre-kindergarten Program sites for the 2019-2020 school year are:

Central Falls:

  • Central Falls School District, Capt. Hunt Early Learning Center (12 Kendall Street) – 4 classrooms
  • Central Falls School District, Margaret I. Robertson Elementary (135 Hunt Street) – 1 classroom


  • The Children’s Workshop (546 Budlong Road) – 1 classroom
  • Comprehensive Community Action Program (848 Atwood Avenue) – 2 classrooms
  • Cranston Public Schools- Arlington Elementary School (155 Princess Avenue) – 1 classroom/li>

East Providence:

  • East Bay Community Action Program (70 Turner Avenue) – 1 classroom
  • Martin Middle School (111 Brown Street) – 5 classrooms
  • Oldham School (60 Bart Drive) – 2 classrooms
    (Note: Applications for the Martin and Oldham sites are available at the East Providence Administration Offices, 145 Taunton Ave.)


  • Graniteville School (6 Collins Avenue) – 1 classroom
    (Note: Applications for the Graniteville site are available at Graniteville School until June 17 and at the Johnston Central Office, 10 Memorial Dr., throughout the application period.)


  • East Bay Community Action Program Head Start (8 John Chafee Boulevard) – 2 classrooms

North Providence:

  • Tri-Town Community Action Agency (79 Waterman Avenue) – 1 classroom


  • Children’s Friend and Service (13 Legion Drive) – 1 classroom
  • Pawtucket School Department, Fallon Memorial School (62 Lincoln Avenue) – 3 classrooms
    (Note: Applications for the Fallon site are available at the Pawtucket Central Office, 286 Main St.)
  • Ready to Learn Providence @ Heritage Park YMCA Early Learning Center (333 Roosevelt Avenue) – 2 classrooms


  • Beautiful Beginnings (700 Elmwood Avenue) – 2 classrooms
  • Children’s Friend and Service (350 Point Street) – 3 classrooms
  • Children’s Friend and Service (99 Berkshire Street) – 2 classrooms
  • Children’s Friend and Service (550 Hartford Avenue) – 1 classroom
  • Genesis Center (620 Potters Avenue, Providence) – 1 classroom
  • Imagine Preschool (520 Hope Street) – 3 classrooms
  • Meeting Street (1000 Eddy Street) – 2 classrooms
  • Ready to Learn Providence @ RWU (One Empire Street) – 1 classroom
    (Note: Applications for the CCRI site are available at 945 Westminster St., Providence)
  • Smith Hill Early Childhood Learning Center (25 Danforth Street) – 5 classrooms


  • CHILD, Inc. (849 Centerville Road) - 1 classroom
  • CHILD, Inc. (160 Draper Avenue) – 2 classrooms

West Warwick:

  • Academy for Little Children (10 James P Murphy Industrial Highway) – 1 classroom
  • CHILD, Inc. (28 Payan Street) – 2 classrooms


  • Connecting for Children and Families (46 Hope Street) – 2 classrooms
  • Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association (204 Warwick Street) – 4 classrooms
  • YWCA Rhode Island (514 Blackstone Street), 1 classroom

To be eligible, children must be 4 years old by September 1, 2019, and must reside within a community that hosts a Pre-K program. The State-Funded Pre-K is fully inclusive, supporting the learning and development needs of all children. Parents of English learners and students with disabilities are encouraged to enter the lottery.

State-Funded Pre-K programs were identified through a competitive process that evaluates the organization’s ability to provide a high-quality program. Earlier this year, Rhode Island was once again recognized as a national leader in quality pre-K by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).

Families can apply for the 2019-20 Pre-Kindergarten Program online or can pick up an application at a program location. Completed applications should be returned to the program of choice. Families may apply for more than one site if multiple sites exist in their community of residence, but only one application per site will be accepted. Applications will be accepted through July 7.