Houston Region Pre K Programs

Houston (Gulf Coast) area school districts offer preschool and Pre-K (pre-k) programs to prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond.  Their mission is to provide planned and purposeful play in a nurturing and safe environment. From the introduction to numbers and letters to beginning math concepts and recognizing sight words, our elementary schools provide a first-rate Pre-K curriculum that is full-day and tuition free. 

Some Houston area schools can accept children as young as age 3 into their preschool programs before they are old enough to enter a pre-kindergarten program.  According to the Texas Education Agency, children must be at least 4 years old on September 1 of the current school year in order to enroll in Pre-K. Other criteria that must be met are listed here.

Pre-K Curriculum Standards

All public school districts are required to comply with certain educational standards, like the Common Core initiative.  However, Texas schools adhere to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (or TEKS) state standards. These state standards apply to grades kindergarten through 12, and they address the areas of English/ language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as health education, foreign language, physical education, technology, and fine arts.

text, learning, education

Early Intervention Through Pre-K

Parents who think their child may have developmental delays or specific health conditions may take advantage of early intervention services.  These services help children catch up to other children their age, and it increases their chances for success in school overall. Early intervention services and specialists are provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through federal grants to the state.  Children who qualify for early intervention services may receive this assistance free of charge or at low cost. Parents can contact their school district offices for further information.

Speech Therapy

Children in preschool and Pre-K from age 3-5 have the opportunity to be evaluated for speech therapy.  Speech language pathologists can help identify a child’s need for special services. In addition to speech therapy and early intervention, the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) provides services for occupational therapy and physical therapy, depending on each child’s individual needs. Houston area public schools  offer a continuum of services, which means there is a variety of services and several locations to receive services in the area.  Early identification of a child’s needs and initiation of a special education treatment plan before kindergarten is a beneficial free service parents can take advantage of during the preschool years.

Free Special Needs Testing

Houston area school districts’ preschool and Pre-K curriculum allows children to get a jumpstart on Kindergarten, which can lead to a more comfortable and successful introduction to their elementary school education.  Parents are encouraged to take advantage of no-cost early intervention and free special needs testing in order to benefit fully from these services.

Additional benefits to students involved in Pre-k:

  • Children who enroll in preschool and Pre-K programs are more likely to have an easier transition into elementary school.
  • Children in preschool and Pre-K programs are identified as special needs students earlier than those who do not enter the district before beginning elementary school.
  • Children ages 3-5 are entitled to no-cost special services through PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities).
  • Economically disadvantaged and dual language learners

    benefit more from Pre-K than their more advantaged or English-speaking peers.

Houston and Gulf Coast Pre-K Programs

Searching for “preschools near me”, “pre-k near me”, “head start near me”, or “elementary school near me” helps parents programs based on their current location.  For the easiest way to find Houston and Gulf Coast-area elementary schools’ Pre-K program locations or the Head Start Program, start here.

Pre Kindergarten Learning Environments

The best preschool classrooms allow children to feel safe. Children are valued as individuals, and their needs for attention, approval, and affection are embraced. Preschools and pre kindergarten classes give children a strong foundation needed for future success.  Pre K provides:

  • Teachers who welcome all children, including those from various cultures who speak different languages, as well as students with disabilities.
  • Teachers who work with children individually, in small groups, and with the entire class.  This practice helps students develop cognitive and social skills, language abilities, and interest in learning.
  • Instruction to develop crucial thinking, language, and early literacy skills that are needed for continued success in school.

More Pre-K Resources

Check out our main Pre-K page for information on Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 curriculum here.

Visit our Education Timeline for details on preparing for Pre-K here.

Visit our Special Needs programs page to read more about early intervention services here.

Pre K Programs

Public school Pre K programs help children transition smoothly into elementary school.