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Universal Prekindergarten Program Requirements

This page contains a list of prequalified prekindergarten providers, as well as the requirements, rules and resources needed to maintain compliance as a prekindergarten education program in Vermont.

A prequalified prekindergarten education program is a public or private program that meets quality criteria set forth in the Act 166 administrative rules.

List of Prequalified Prekindergarten Providers

2021-2022 Public and Private Prekindergarten Providers List and Prequalification Status - This list is updated on a monthly basis as applications are processed. Updated prequalification status, along with detailed program profiles, can also be found on the Bright Futures Information Systems.

Update Your Prequalification Information

Please complete the Changes to Prequalified Program form if you are an approved program and the information reported in your original application has changed. The Agency of Education will use it to verify and update your information. 

Administrative Rules

The administrative rules to establish and maintain a prequalified prekindergarten education program in Vermont are found in the Vermont State Board of Education Manual of Rules and Practices – Prekindergarten Education.

Standards, Assessment and Evaluation

Vermont Early Learning Standards

The Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) help inform families about the development and capabilities of children from birth through grade 3 and guide educators in the development and selection of program-wide curriculum and educational strategies for children from birth through grade 3. These standards are central to the shared vision of what we want for young children in Vermont and highlight the importance of high quality early childhood experiences as the foundation for school success and lifelong learning.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE): Supporting Students with Diverse Abilities

Early Childhood Special Education Services (ECSES)  support children ages 3 to 6 years. Local school districts administer ECSES to ensure access and participation for every child who is eligible for services.

ECSES enables young children with disabilities to be full participants in everyday routines and activities, whether at home with their families, in their communities, in child care or in school programs.

Student Assessment: Teaching Strategies GOLD

All publicly-funded prekindergarten programs must use the online Teaching Strategies GOLD child assessment to report on the progress of their students on an annual basis.

STARS: Step Ahead Recognition System

STARS is Vermont's quality recognition system for child care, prekindergarten and afterschool programs. Programs that participate in STARS go above and beyond state regulations to serve the needs of children and families.

Prequalified UPK programs must have 4 STARS with two points in each of the arenas in Vermont's Step Ahead Recognition System. A prekindergarten program with 3 STARS or a program with 4 STARS without two points in each arena may qualify by completing the online Plan to Achieve 4 STARS form and submitting it to Melissa Riegel-Garrett for approval.

Data Collections

2020 Universal PreK Education Annual Assurance Form Submission

As a prequalified universal prekindergarten education program, you are required to submit an annual assurance form to the Vermont Agency of Education to maintain your current prequalification status. Beginning January 2020, this data collection will be required on an annual basis in order for the state to verify that your public/private program remains in compliance with Act 166 requirements of prequalified prekindergarten education programs. Submission window for UPK Annual Assurance Form is between January 15, 2020 through March 15, 2020.

Please follow the steps below to complete the UPK Annual Assurance Form.

Step 1: The AOE has developed a Prequalified Prekindergarten Education Program Annual Assurance Checklist. This readiness checklist will assist you in preparing to complete the annual assurance form on-line.

Step 2: Complete the on-line UPK Annual Assurance Form. Please note: If your program has multiple programs, complete a separate application for EACH program.

If you require assistance please send email

Suspension and Expulsion Data Collection

All UPK programs have the obligation to collect suspension and expulsion data. Programs must complete an incident report for each child they suspend for behavioral or disciplinary reasons for two or more hours out of the ten weekly entitled prekindergarten hours.

Within five school days of the incident, submit the Prekindergarten Suspension and Expulsion Incident Report to the designated contact for the child’s school district of residence.

Enrollment and Other Student Data Collection

The Agency of Education requires all public school districts to report student enrollment and other student data in the Agency’s VT Student Census platform for each child enrolled in the town’s or district’s educational programs, including UPK and early education programs.

Memo to Business Managers and PreK Providers: Household Income Form Data Collection

Memo to Superintendents, Principals, PreK Coordinators and Technology Leads: Prekindergarten Data Requirements

Establishing Prekindergarten Regions

Act 166 provides for the establishment of geographic limitations or “Prekindergarten Regions” in which a school board may choose to limit the geographic area within which it will pay tuition for prekindergarten education. Please contact Kate Rogers for the most recent Prekindergarten Education Region Application.

List of Approved Regions 

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
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