Prekindergarten eligibility

Free Pre-K for all

Garland ISD is now offering free Pre-K for all 4-year-olds in Garland, Rowlett and Sachse. If your child meets the state eligibility criteria, you may enroll online as normal through the campus of your choice.

If your child does not meet the usual state eligibility criteria, please read through our Pre-K for All Frequently Asked Questions for information on how to proceed for enrollment. Due to COVID-19, Garland ISD has waived state eligibility requirements for non-qualifying 4-year-old students for the 2020-2021 school year. 

We are excited to share the prekindergarten experience with you and your family. Please view the eligibility requirements below to see if your child qualifies for this education experience.

 

Getting started

We encourage you to start the enrollment process early. There may not be any space left at the schools close to your home if you wait until August. Keep in mind that turning in an enrollment card or prekindergarten application does not guarantee a spot for your child.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Prekindergarten (Pre-K) classes are available for students who meet eligibility requirements and will be four years old on or before September 1.

In addition to age, at least one of the following must apply to your child:

  • does not speak or understand English (Limited English Proficient)

  • is considered educationally disadvantaged based on family income

  • is homeless

  • has a parent who is active duty military, guard or reserve or who was injured or killed while on active duty

  • is currently or was previously under the care of DFPS (Department of Family and Protective Services)

  • has a parent or official guardian who is eligible for the Star of Texas Award

What does educationally disadvantaged mean?

A child is considered educationally disadvantaged if the family:

  • receives food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • receives Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

  • receives Medicaid benefits

  • is eligible to participate in the National School Lunch program based on household income

Does my student qualify based on family income?

If your child is eligible to participate in the National School Lunch program, then they are also eligible for prekindergarten.

Refer to the Federal income eligibility guidelines chart to determine if your income qualifies for the National School Lunch program.

What do I need to enroll?

The enrollment process is the same as the K-12 enrollment process. However, additional documentation is needed to enroll in Pre-K.

Along with the enrollment process documents, Pre-K enrollees must also provide:

  • documents that prove the child's eligibility  
  • proof of income
  • completed Pre-K enrollment forms
What is required to prove eligibility?

Documents that prove eligibility:

If you are applying….

Please provide...

as a family receiving SNAP, TANF or Medicaid benefit

your SNAP, TANF or Medicaid approval letter that contains your Eligibility Determination Group number (EDG#).

with a child that is educationally disadvantaged because of low income

a completed prekindergarten income eligibility form AND a current paycheck stub or other proof of income.

as a homeless family

a completed student residency questionnaire.

with a child whose parent who is active duty Military, Guard or Reserve

a department of Defense photo ID.

with a child whose parent was injured or killed while on active duty

a statement of service, copy of death certificate, purple heart orders or citation, line of duty determination, or official letter from a commander.

with a child who is or was under DFPS care

a verification letter of Pre-K eligibility from DFPS or other official documentation.

with a child whose parent or official guardian is eligible for the Star of Texas Award

copy of the Star of Texas Award certificate

How do I provide proof of income?

You may provide written evidence for proof of income for prekindergarten eligibility.

Documentation of income submitted by the household must provide:

  • Name
  • Date
  • Amount of income stated

Households must provide income information for a period of one month.

  • If one weekly pay stub is representative of what the household receives each week, one pay stub is sufficient to calculate a full month’s income.
  • If one weekly pay stub is not representative of what the household receives each week, pay stubs for an entire month must be submitted.
What are acceptable types of written evidence for proof of income?

Earnings—wages and salary

Total or gross earnings before the withholding for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), taxes or other deductions, such as insurance.

  • Current paycheck stub
  • Current pay envelope
  • Letter from employer stating gross wages paid and how often they are paid

Earnings of self‐employed business person or farmer

  • Business or farming documents, such as ledger books and/or self‐issued paycheck stub.
  • Last year’s tax return.

Cash income

  • A letter from the employer stating wages paid and frequency.

Child support or alimony

Only actual payments and not the amount that is supposed to be received should be reported.

  • Copies of checks or other proof of payments received (including bank statement)
  • Court decree; or
  • Agreement

Note: Any monies paid out for alimony or child support may not be deducted from a household’s reported gross income.

Retirement/pension

  • Official statement of benefits received
  • Pension award notice

R. R. Benefit or Railroad Retirement

  • Official statement of benefits received
  • Railroad retirement award letter

SNAP/TANF/Medicaid

A household that does not have satisfactory SNAP/TANF documentation may request a signed, dated letter from the SNAP/TANF office certifying that the child is part of a household currently receiving benefits.

Abbreviations:

SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps)

TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

EDG# - Eligibility Determination Group Number

Social Security retirement

  • Social Security retirement benefit letter
  • Official statement of benefits received
  • Monthly check

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • SSI eligibility letter
  • SSI check
  • Official statement of benefits received
  • Bank statement indicating deposit into account

Unemployment compensation/disability or workers’ compensation

  • Notice of eligibility from state employment office
  • Copy of the disability award letter/unemployment compensation award letter
  • Check stub
  • Agency records

What if my child isn’t eligible?

We also have a Montessori program that includes classes for Pre-K aged children. If your child is not eligible for the free Pre-K program, you may consider paying to enroll your child in the Montessori program.

Contact us

For more information about enrollment, contact:

Student Services

or visit:

Manuel & Maria Valle Student Services Center