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Universal Prekindergarten: Act 166

Welcome! The Act 166 Universal Prekindergarten Education (UPK) webpage is for prekindergarten education programs and the families of prekindergarten students. It contains information needed to operate, apply or access UPK in Vermont.

What is Act 166?

Act 166 of 2014 provides access to publicly-funded prekindergarten education for Vermont students. All prekindergarten education programs, including Head Start and public school-operated programs, must meet specific requirements to operate in Vermont. The State Board of Vermont created administrative rules to guide Act 166 implementation by the Agency of Education and the Agency of Human Services.

What is High-Quality, Effective Prekindergarten Education?

What defines Vermont Universal Prekindergarten Education is the implementation of high-quality, effective instruction by licensed educators who use evidence-based practices within intentionally designed early learning environments. Early educators align curriculum with the Vermont Early Learning Standards while adapting experiences to support the full participation of each and every child to realize their full potential and promote successful outcomes.

Act 11 PreK Study Report (July 1, 2019)

In the spring of 2018, the VT Legislature enacted Act 11 mandating a PreK study and final report be submitted to the House Committees on Education and on Human Services and the Senate Committees on Education and on Health and Welfare by July 1, 2019.

The purpose of the PreK study, as dictated by Act 11, section E.500.7, is to provide Vermont with information regarding how to more effectively and efficiently provide PreK education.

View Act 11 PreK Study Report online.

Recent Guidance and News

Here you will find the most recent guidance, memos, news and updates regarding Universal Prekindergarten. For real time updates, sign up for the prekindergarten listserv by emailing For Agency of Education-specific updates be sure to sign up for the Weekly Field Memo.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Section 504”) is a federal civil rights law that says no qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of their handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has created a number of resources, including a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Other resources are available on the US Department of Education Disability Discrimination website.  

New Resource Spring 2022: Early Learning

New Requirement: Ban on suspension and expulsion of children under 8

Memo: New Requirement - Ban on Suspension and Expulsion of Students Under Age Eight Enrolled in Prequalified Private UPK Programs

UPK Memo: Allowable Use of Publicly-Funded Prekindergarten Education Dollars (February 2020)

UPK Memo: Prekindergarten Eligibility (May 2019)

UPK Guidance: Additional Costs (March 2019)

UPK Guidance: Contract Administration and Licensed Educators (February 2019)

Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Eligibility and Enrollment

Memo: Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Eligibility and Enrollment, issued Sept. 22, 2020, clarifies prekindergarten education (PreK) eligibility in the case of a five-year-old whose parent completed the kindergarten registration paperwork process but has decided to send their child to a public or private PreK program rather than kindergarten, this school year. The guidance provides further clarification on what is meant by "enrolled" in kindergarten under 16 V.S.A. §829 and SBE Rule 2602 (7).

Memo: Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Eligibility and Enrollment