Free Preschool for Philadelphia Families

PHLpreK funds free, quality, pre-K at over 130 centers throughout Philadelphia. The Y is a participating partner of this program within the city!

PHLpreK is available to 3 and 4-year-olds who reside in the City of Philadelphia. You are likely eligible to enroll your child for the PHLpreK 2023-24 academic year if:

  • Your child has turned 3 or 4 by September of the next year.
  • You are a resident of Philadelphia.

There are no income or employment requirements.

Learn More about PHLpreK

Program Benefits

PHLpreK programs offer engaging, appropriate activities in settings that facilitate healthy growth and development, and prepare children for success in school.

The time from birth until kindergarten can set the course for your child’s whole life. Nearly 85% of your child’s brain is formed by the time they turn three and those first few years are the most important to their brain development and long-term success.

Children who attend quality child care and pre-K programs are more likely to graduate from high school, have steady jobs, and even own a home one day.

Children in PHLpreK benefit from:

  • a small class size (20 students per one teacher and one aide) so that your child can have plenty of one-on-one time with the teachers
  • classroom teachers with the education and expertise to teach young children
  • a curriculum that helps each child grow, academically and socially
  • selected teaching and learning activities that are best for individual learning abilities
  • regular updates about their progress throughout the school year

PHLpreK Locations

Find a location that works for your family and expand the section to get started on taking a tour.

Families interested in applying for the PHLpreK program can complete the application below. Completed applications can be emailed to our child care team.

PHLpreK Application


1724 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146




1400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19121




11088 Knights Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154




7219 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128



Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question we didn't answer below? Let's chat! Our caring and dedicated Child Care team members are here to answer any questions your family may have. 

Contact Us

PHLpreK is a free program for families who reside in the City of Philadelphia.

Children ages 3-4 are eligible to enroll, child must not turn 5 prior to September 1. Children who are of Kindergarten age must attend Kindergarten.

Daily attendance is required.

Hours of operation are 9-3, wrap around care may be available depending on location.

We follow a 1 adult to 10 children ratio for preschool.

Daily notes on the curriculum, lessons, and activities are provided through Tadpoles. Families are provided with development progress reports three times per year.

Handwashing occurs upon entering the classroom, before handling food and feeding, after handling body fluids, before and after messy play.

Surfaces in the learning center are washed and sanitized frequently. Rest mats/coats are sanitized weekly and bedding is sent home at the end of each week to be laundered. Carpets and toys are cleaned regularly.

To learn more about the health and safety precautions we follow at Y Early Learning Centers, please review our Family Manual. We also follow the standards outlined by Praesidium for child protection.

Families shall provide a seasonably appropriate change of clothing as messy play, food spills, and toileting accidents are still common at this age.

Families provide a standard crib sheet and blanket, change of seasonally appropriate clothing, sippy cup or water bottle, and possibly lunch depending on location.

All items brought from home shall be labeled with the child’s full name.

Bathroom trips are provided at least every 2 hours.

Nap time is for 2 hours after lunch on a cot or rest mat.

Preschoolers spend time outdoors daily so appropriate outerwear is necessary year round.

Closed toe and closed heel shoes, such as sneakers, are best for all age groups.

Screen time is not permitted in preschool rooms.