The UPK Rush

Choosing your Universal Pre-Kindergarten, or UPK center can get so competitive, that you may feel like you are back in 1850, heading West during the Gold Rush era. Everyone is racing to get a spot at their preferred center. Feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin is usually the case, which often gives parents anxiety. Please, try to remember that this is just your first of many enrollment processes. Here is an outline of what to expect as you start on your UPK journey.

Before choosing the UPK program:

  • Check out the centers in your neighborhood to see which one is the best fit for you.
  • Identify what is important for you and your child. Some questions or ideas that you may want to consider: the curriculum; k-enrollment of prior students; the facility’s appearance; the facility’s cost for aftercare, the hours of operation; the number of kids in the facility; any extra activities the facility may offer; the staff members; interactions between the kids and staff, amongst

When you are ready to make a choice:

  • Ask for the Site ID.
  • Pick up the enrollment packet at the site of your first choice.
  • Register your child in SEMS (February).
  • Put the site of your first choice, first and mark it as
  • Bring back paperwork to the site of your first choice.
  • Wait for your acceptance letter (Spring).

When you receive your acceptance letter:

  • Identify which site your child was registered for.
  • Bring your letter to the site.
  • Fill out any additional paperwork that the site requires for DOE.
  • Make sure to receive all the information you will need for the upcoming school year.
  • Attend the orientation meeting at your site (late summer).