Children new to Columbia County public schools should register during the Pre-K and kindergarten registration period, Monday through March 31. However, parents moving into Columbia County can register their child up until and after school starts.
"If it's summertime and the school is closed, it's good to talk with neighbors about where you should register your child," Phyllis Means, the school system's director of elementary education, said. "You can call the Appling office (541-0650) or check the school system's Web site (www.ccboe.net) to make absolutely sure. Then they can register just like everybody else."
All but two of Columbia County's elementary schools offer a lottery-funded Pre-K program, Means said. However, slots for the program fill up fast. Parents unable to enter their pre-schooler into the Pre-K program can join a waiting list or seek other child-care centers offering the program.
"Lottery-funded Pre-K programs in child-care centers are exactly the same as in public schools. It's just in a different location," Means said. "They have the same criteria that the public schools have to follow."
Representatives from child-care centers will be at elementary schools during the March registration period to assist children not selected in the lottery for a public school's Pre-K program.
"At our registration we invite representatives from those private Pre-K's that do participate in the state lottery Pre-K program to be there, so if children are on the waiting list they still have that opportunity to see their other opportunities," Means said.
Means said parents also can conduct an online search for Pre-K program providers by zip code or county at www.decal.state.ga.us.
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