Preschool Resources

My child is ready and eligible to attend FREE Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) in Rochester, NY, what should I do? 

The following tips are designed to help as you go navigate UPK and school readiness for your child

*Children who attend a structured school setting at early ages are exposed to a foundation for learning. They develop enhanced social-emotional growth, physical skills, cognitive thinking and language.*

5 steps to preparing your child for Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK)

Step 1: 

Determine if your child is ready for UPK

Make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for a ready to grow visit. 

Your input and pediatrician visit will determine your child’s readiness to start UPK

Your pediatrician will check for your child’s development in the categories below. 

  • Health and development
  • Speech and language
  • Movement
  • Thinking and reasoning
  • Social and emotional development
  • Vision, hearing, dental, height/weight

Step 2:

Learn more about the Rochester UPK application/enrollment process  (HERE)

Step 3:

Access resources that can help you determine which UPK program is best for your child

  • Check out the Rochester community UPK school list (HERE) 
  • Attend parent fairs and open houses for UPK
  • Talk to friends and family

Step 4:

Now that you’ve done your research and determined your child is ready for UPK time to submit your family’s UPK application!

For all UPK Programs: please apply at or RCSD Central Office, 131
West Broad Street, 14614

Step 5:

Contact the schools you are interested in and make an appointment for a visit. If possible, tour the schools during regular school hours and visit a few classes. Avoid visiting schools during the first or last week of a term in order to get a realistic sense of how the school operates.

A good way to have your questions answered is to schedule an appointment with the school principal or center manager. If possible, attend an open house, parent-teacher meeting, or other school function that would also provide valuable information about the attitudes of staff, students, and parents.

After you have visited your school of choice, it’s important to capture your impression. Below are some questions to consider.

  • What did I enjoy the most about the visit?
  • What are subjects or programs could my child excel in?
  • What did I enjoy the most about the visit?
  • What did I enjoy the least about the visit?
  • Do I see my child thriving in this environment? 

Links to additional New York State early childhood resources:

Provided by the National Parents Union.