It is a local decision for a school district in Maine to develop a public preschool, also referred to as a prek or 4-year old (4YO), program. A child must be four years old by October 15th to attend a program receiving state subsidy and must meet the requirements set forth in Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards: Public Preschool Programs .
Public preschools are approved and monitored by Maine DOE and funded through its Essential Programs & Services (EPS) formula, and/or through local school budgets. Approximately 35% of Maine’s public preschools are in partnership with a Head Start agency, local child care or private preschool program.
Almost 80% of Maine school districts offer at least one public preschool classroom and approximately 40% of all eligible children are enrolled in Pre-K statewide.
The Public Pre-K Basic Approval Standards requires that every district with a public Pre-K submit an annual report by July 31.
The results of the 2017-18 annual report has been summarized into a fact sheet and is now available here.
Early Childhood Specialist
Maine Department of Education