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Preschool for All: At-Risk Preschool

Two boys

Funded through a grant provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Preschool for All supports District 63 children “at-risk” for school difficulties. The goal is to provide early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive education, as well as family support services, to help prepare the children for later school success. 



Here’s what you need to know:

  • There is no cost to attend if your child qualifies.
  • Students attend Monday-Friday for two and a half hours -- either in the morning or the afternoon. 
  • There is NO bus transportation for this program.  Families must be able to drop off and pick up their child.
  • The maximum class size is 20, with a teacher and one teaching assistant. 
  • Since 2015, District 63's Preschool for All has received a Gold Circle of Quality from the Illinois State Board of Education based on the program meeting or exceeding a range of quality benchmarks.  
  • One of the classrooms is a dual language (Spanish/English) for children who are currently monolingual Spanish speakers or who have Spanish as the primary language in their home.

Qualifying for the Program

Families and children must qualify for this program, and the District prioritizes children in the greatest need. 

Screening Application Information
Complete all four steps below to be added to the screening list.  Once all materials are submitted and completed, we'll schedule a free screening during which a staff team - including a special education teacher, occupational therapist, speech/language therapist, psychologist, or social worker - will observe your child's skills through play-based activities. We will contact you with the results and, if needed, offer recommendations for further testing. 

Please note that application submission does not ensure entrance to the program. After the screening, verification of income and at-risk factors are discussed in confidence with families. 

  1. Complete the First Steps Preschool Application found HERE.  
  2. Participate in the Ages & Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ-3), and the Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional, Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2) found HERE (Espanol, Arabic).
    • As part of the ASQ-3 questionnaire, you will be asked to answer questions about some things your child can and cannot do. This includes questions about your child's communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving, and personal-social skills. As part of the ASQ-SE-2, you will be asked to answer questions about some of your child's behaviors. The questionnaire includes questions about your child's ability to calm down, take directions and follow rules, communicate, perform daily activities (e.g., eating, sleeping), act independently, demonstrate feelings, and interact with others. You will need to choose the first option and complete BOTH the ASQ-3 and the ASQ:SE-2
  3. Proof of residency (enrollment limited to District 63 residents) must be emailed to firststeps@emsd63.orgPlease put your child's name in the subject line when emailing the documents.
  4. A copy of your child's birth certificate must be emailed to