San José Unified’s free preschool program helps to fulfill our mission of elevating opportunities by building partnerships with families and providing age-appropriate curriculum that focuses on all children. We support school readiness by:
- Building on child’s current strengths and skills;
- Providing play-based learning opportunities;
- Encouraging active exploration;
- Supporting problem solving;
- Developing self-help skills;
- Building relationships; and
- Promoting self esteem.
- General Information
Our preschool program consists of half-day morning sessions from 8:00-11:00 AM and afternoon sessions from 12:00-3:00 PM. You can click here to learn more about the daily routine. (This routine may vary by classroom.)
Low income families that meet the eligibility set by the State of California and families who live in specific SJUSD attendance areas.
We pride ourselves on offering an ethnically diverse and culturally responsive environment for children to learn.
- How to Enroll
To begin the process of enrolling your child in a San Jose Unified preschool class, we first need to determine if your family is eligible for the program. Please bring the required documents and this eligibility application to the Early Education Department at our district office located at 855 Lenzen Ave., San Jose, CA 95126.
If eligible, your child will be placed on a revolving waiting list based and according to your school selection. When an opening becomes available, you will be contacted for an in-office enrollment appointment. The final step in the enrollment process is submission of your child’s Physical dated within the year of the first day of school. Priority is given to 4-year olds.
San José Unified is proud to offer our preschool program at the following elementary schools:
- Allen @ Steinbeck
- Anne Darling
- Empire Gardens
- Horace Mann
- River Glen
- Low-Income Subsidy
San José Unified is excited to be participating in a pilot program to ensure that additional Santa Clara County families have access to affordable preschool. Through legislation passed last fall, the Individualized County Childcare Subsidy Plan allows counties to determine their own eligibility criteria instead of relying on state criteria.
In Santa Clara County, this means a family of four with a maximum monthly income of $5,922 and annual income of $71,064 now qualifies for a subsidy. Previously, local districts had to abide by the state median, with a maximum monthly income of $4,877 and annual income of $58,524 for a family of four. The new county-specific threshold takes into account the exceedingly high cost of living in our region and provides more families with early education opportunities.
If your child is 3 years, 9 months through 4 years old, check this chart to find out if you qualify for a subsidy:
To learn more about San José Unified’s preschool programs and find out how you can take advantage of this new opportunity, contact our Early Education Department at (408) 535-6083 between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm.
The individualized subsidy plan in Santa Clara County is modeled on similar pilot programs in San Mateo, San Francisco, and Alameda counties that proved to be effective and were made permanent. Through careful development, our county and its partners aim to address major challenges in the child care subsidy system to better meet the needs and priorities of families and providers.
San José Unified is one of ten public school districts participating in the pilot, and we need your help spreading the word. Please forward this message to any friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers with preschool-age children and encourage them to register today.
Each child must be signed in and out by their parent or authorized guardian every day on the sheets located in the classroom. A full signature and time is required. A child can be released only to those authorized people (at least 18 years old or older) designated on the Emergency Card. Identification is required.
Children must be picked up on time at the end of their session. If you are unable to pick up your child, you need to make arrangements with someone listed on your child’s emergency card to pick them up from school at the designated dismissal time. If your child is picked up late, you will be given a late pick-up notice. You will be required to meet with the Early Education Program Manager if you have received three late pick-up notices.
Absences due to illness of the child or members of the immediate family, and doctor or dentist appointments are excused. When the child returns, the sign-in sheet must be signed with the parent’s full signature for each day of the illness and brief reason for the absence (i.e. cold, flu or cough). An absence for illness that is longer than three days requires a signed doctor’s note.
Days of school missed due to family vacations or visits from family members are considered “Best Interest of the Child” (BIC) days. Only 10 BIC days are allowed within the school year. Per state guidelines, families exceeding 10 BIC days will be dropped from the program.
Early Education Department
San José Unified School District
855 Lenzen Ave.
San José, CA 95126
Hours: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Main phone: (408) 535-6083