Montclair, NJ – Montclair Public Schools has announced plans to expand its preschool program. In anticipation of being awarded preschool aid, Montclair is accepting pre-enrollment applications for eligible 3- and 4-year-olds.

If the Preschool Education Aid is received, Montclair will expand its Preschool program to run:

● A full-day program for approximately sixty (60) 3- and 4-year-olds

● FREE to Montclair residents

● Selection will be made by lottery (families will be notified of selection status in mid-September)

● All classes will be taught by fully certified/licensed preschool teachers

● The students already registered for the existing preschool program will be automatically enrolled in the new program

Montclair Public Schools anticipates six, full-time integrated classrooms for three- and four-year-olds. PEA locations will include the established public preschool program (DLC), Nishuane School, Montclair Community Preschool (MCPK) and YMCA (Geyer Center). All classrooms will be inclusive of students with varied abilities, interests, needs and learning styles. The Montclair School District’s vision is to create a preschool program where children are encouraged to learn and grow by providing a foundation of developmentally appropriate experiences in a safe and nurturing environment.

To be considered for this program, complete the Google Form application no later than September 15, 2022*: PEA Lottery Application

*Montclair Staff will also be attending various community events in-person to ensure equitable access to this application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When will we learn if Montclair has been accepted into the free preschool program?

The district expects to be notified by the state on/about September 6.

When will we find out if our child is able to be in the free preschool program?

We will notify families of their lottery status on or before September 21. We are advertising this exciting news in ANTICIPATION of receiving the award, but cannot confirm the enrollment until award notice is received.

What is the age requirement for applicants?

Children who will be 3 or 4 years of age on or before October 1, 2022, may apply for the New Preschool Lottery.

My child is currently enrolled in the existing tuition-based preschool program, do I need to complete an application for them?

No, existing, registered preschool students will be automatically enrolled in the new program.

When will classes begin for this new preschool?

Classes are anticipated to start on Monday, October 3.

What do you mean by “lottery”?

Responses to the application Google Form will be assigned a number and the students will be chosen randomly by number for the available openings.

What does “full day” mean for preschool?

A full day of preschool will be six hours daily. School start and end times will be dependent on placement locations. Time for a nap, a snack and lunch are planned as part of the program. There will no longer be a half-day program if we receive the award.

If you still have additional questions or questions regarding preschool expansion, email Mrs. Jennifer Finnerty:

For publicly funded Montclair licensed Pre-Kindergarten opportunities, please contact staff at one of the following early learning locations. Note that an asterisk (*) indicates that the program offers financial assistance to families.

*Developmental Learning Center (DLC – Montclair School District)
49 Orange Rd., Montclair, NJ 07042
Ages: 3-5 years old
Enrollment: Approx. 70 (general and special education); See flyer for details
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (before and aftercare available for a fee)
Financial Assistance: Families eligible for free or reduced lunch and children with disabilities do not have to pay
Contact: Jennifer Finnerty by email or phone at 973-509-4208

*Montclair Child Development Center (MCDC)
33 Fulton St. Montclair, NJ 07042 and 272 Baldwin St., Glen Ridge, NJ 07028
Ages: Birth-5 years
Enrollment: 490
Hours: 8 a.m-4 p.m.; before and after school care available
Financial Assistance: Free to income-eligible families or children with special needs
Contact: Katty Quinones by email or phone at 973-783-0220

*Montclair Community Pre-K (MCPK)
49 Orange Rd. Montclair, NJ 07042
Ages: 3-5 years
Enrollment: 224
Hours: Flexible from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Financial Assistance: Sliding scale tuition based on income; no family turned away for inability to pay; Programs for Parents vouchers accepted
Contact: Amy Dorr, executive director, via email or phone at 973-509-4500

*Neighborhood Child Care Center
30 Maple Ave. Montclair, NJ 07042
Ages: 18 months-8 years
Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Financial Assistance: Programs for Parents vouchers accepted.
Contact: Avissa Beek by email or phone at 973-744-4228

If you need guidance as you consider the best Pre-Kindergarten experience for your child, please call the Montclair Public Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten parent/guardian hotline at 973-509-4020 and/or Program for Parents. You can reach Program for Parents staff by calling the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) line at 973-744-4050 or you may email your question.