Universal Prekindergarten

Act 166 of 2014 provides for universal access to publicly funded prekindergarten education. All public and private prekindergarten education programs, including Head Start and public school operated programs, must meet specific requirements to operate a PreK program in Vermont. The Agency of Education, in collaboration with the Agency of Human Services, created administrative rules to guide Act 166 implementation.


Statewide Prekindergarten Tuition Rate

This amount is adjusted each year by the New England Economic Project cumulative price index for state and local government purchases of goods and services. Districts paying tuition for prekindergarten education on behalf of a prekindergarten child to a prequalified prekindergarten education program (private or public) shall pay at the statewide rate for 10 hours per week for 35 weeks annually.

  • The statewide 2017/18 school year Prekindergarten Tuition Rate is $3,178.00.
  • The statewide 2016/17 school year Prekindergarten Tuition Rate is $3,092.00.
  • The statewide 2015/16 school year Prekindergarten Tuition Rate is $3,000.00.
  • Models Used to Arrive at Statewide PreK Tuition Rate


Implementing a Prekindergarten Education Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Fact Sheets 

Prequalified Programs

All public and private prekindergarten education programs, including Head Start and public school operated programs, must apply for prequalification status, whether the program is an existing program or a new program. Prior qualification does not apply.

Apply for Prequalification

All applications to become a prequalified provider MUST be submitted online. The Agency of Education and the Department for Children and Families will review completed applications, determine eligibility, and notify applicants within 30 business days.

Plan for Increasing Program Quality

Programs that have at least 3 Stars in Vermont's Step Ahead Recognition System may provide prekindergarten education if they have an approved 2-year plan to meet the required program quality standards. Complete the Plan to Achieve 4 STARS Form and submit to Linda Clark.

Required Prekindergarten Child Assessments

All publicly funded prekindergarten programs are required to report on the progress of children on an annual basis using the online Teaching Strategies GOLD child assessment.

District-Partner Agreements

Even though AOE and AHS monitor prequalified PreK programs compliance with Act 166, school districts will still need to establish an agreement with each of their partner programs.

Public School: Establishing Regions, Establishing Programs, Expanding Programs

Prior approval from the Agencies of Education and Human Services must be received before a school district may establish or expand a school operated prekindergarten education program or create a prekindergarten education region. This new requirement applies to all school districts and replaces the community needs assessment districts were required to complete under Act 62.

Establishment of a Prekindergarten Education Region

Act 166 provides for the establishment of geographic limitations or “Prekindergarten Regions” in which a school board may choose to propose to limit the geographic area within which it will pay tuition for prekindergarten education.

Establishment or Expansion of a Public School Operated Program

Responses to completed applications to establish or expand a program will be provided within 30 business days from submission of a complete application. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. 


Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Rebecca Holcombe
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

(802) 479-1030 | aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
Staff Directory | Division and Team Phone Numbers

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