CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Kanawha County parents can now enroll their kids in free preschool for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Kanawha County Schools (KCS) students who are four years old on or before June 30 will be put in school-based locations and other sites. The KCS preschool program offers state-approved curriculum, small class sizes (20 students or less) and transportation.

Classroom options

There are three learning categories that students may be enrolled in:

  • Pre-K: Students are put into classrooms that are academic-based or collaborative, depending on the child and family’s needs;
  • Special Needs: Children identified by the KCS Special Education Department and are ages three, four or five with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP);
  • Head Start: Priority is given to children who are income eligible under Head Start policies.

KCS says preferred classroom placement is not guaranteed.

Required documents

Parents must give a valid email address and submit certain documents for the application:

  • Certified birth certificate from Vital Statistics (NOT a county or hospital);
The correct version of a birth certificate needed for preschool enrollment. (Photo from KCS)
  • Current immunization record;
  • A physical exam or well-child checkup within the past year;
  • A dental exam within the past year;
  • Details on if the child is living with a non-parental guardian or is experiencing homelessness;
  • If applying for Head Start: Income documents (pay stub, W-2, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF] or Supplemental Security Income [SSI] letter).

All documents must be up-to-date. Children will not be enrolled until all paperwork is submitted to KCS.

Submission process

To start the enrollment process, fill out the application on the KCS website. After finishing the application, parents must submit the documents mentioned above.

The required documents can be submitted in the following ways:

  • Drop off or mail the documents to the KCS Preschool Office, 1004 Lower Midway Drive, Dunbar, West Virginia;
  • Scan or take photos of the documents in “actual or normal” size and email them to the preschool office;
  • Fax documents to (304) 348-1352.

Once everything is submitted, parents should regularly check their email for ongoing communication from KCS.

KCS has more information online about enrollment and supporting documents.

Additional help

Anyone needing help can set up an in-person meeting at the Dunbar preschool office or call to speak with staff. The office can be reached at (304) 766-0397 or (304) 348-1942.

Staff will also be able to give details about in-person application assistance events in the area.

For more information, view a brochure or video on the KCS website.