Title I Preschool

Preschoolers' post office

What are Title I Preschool Programs?

Title I preschool programs are designed to improve cognitive, health and social-emotional outcomes for eligible children below the grade at which an LEA (Local Education Agency) provides a free public elementary education.  Children enrolled are provided with opportunities to prepare them with the prerequisite skills and dispositions for learning that will enable them to benefit from later school experiences.  Although Title I allows preschool programs to serve children from birth up to age five, most North Carolina Title I preschools serve four-year-olds. Children must be age eligible by August 31 of the new school year.  No child who is age eligible (5 years old on or before August 31 of the new school year) for kindergarten may be enrolled.  Title I preschool programs usually follow the school calendar and school day, and are staffed with both a licensed teacher and qualified teacher assistant. 

Curricula used in Title I preschools must be comprehensive, research-based, and aligned with North Carolina's early learning standards.  The learning experiences offered in a Title I preschool promote growth in all developmental domains.   Children’s progress is monitored by teachers in an ongoing manner.  This process of formative assessment includes multiple means such as observing, collecting work samples, and talking with families, which provides a picture of the whole child.  Teachers use this data to guide teaching and learning in order to meet the individual needs of every child. Family engagement is an integral component of all Title I preschool programs. Communication between home and school strengthens the family's knowledge and understanding of their child's development and allows parents and teachers to work together to plan appropriate learning experiences. Teachers use a variety of methods to involve parents in the education of their child, including home visits, conferences, and written/electronic communication.

Eligibility

Children living within the local program's designated attendance area are eligible to apply for enrollment in the Title I preschool program. Selection is based on academic need. To identify those with the greatest need, local programs design a selection process that utilizes multiple criteria, such as parent interviews, teacher observations, and developmentally appropriate measures of child development (developmentally appropriate measures of child development – the most commonly used in NC are the Brigance Early Childhood Screen or DIAL- Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning).  Family income may also be used to determine eligibility, but not as the sole determinant.