How to Apply for Early Childhood Programs Infants to Pre k 4

in Orleans and Jefferson Parish

By Suzette Wilkinson November 4, 2021

Early childhood programs include from Infants to Pre K 4. Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish have different options available but most are income driven or special needs based with a few Pre K3 and Pre K4 tuition based openings. For pre K 4 seats, the child must be 4 years old by September 30th.



To apply for a seat at an early childhood program in Orleans Parish, you must submit a NCAP (New Orleans Centralized Process) application during round 1. Unlike K-12th grade, publicly funded Early Childhood seats are for economically disadvantaged families and children with IEPs. There are some programs and tuition-based Prek 3 and Prek 4 programs that are not income driven but you must still apply for through NCAP. To find requirements and participating early childhood programs click here.

Your child will either receive a placement or be placed on a waitlist after Round 1 of the NCAP. Early Childhood programs do not participate in Round 2 of the NCAP, because they have waitlists. If you are placed on the waitlist, you may visit the family resource center to enroll your child in a program that has openings or to add your child to a waitlist. Children will be placed on first come first served basis except for Early Headstart and Headstart programs. Head Start programs seats and waitlists are filled based on family needs assessment rather than first come first served and your child may move up or down on the waitlist depending on needs assessments of each family that applies for the program. Your child will remain on the waitlist of your top choice program until enrollment for the type of program cease. The list of pre K programs include NSECD seats at private schools physically located in Orleans Parish. These seats are available for children outside Orleans Parish. 



To apply for a seat at an early childhood program in Jefferson Parish, you must submit an application at 

On the you will be able to apply for Child Care Assistance Program, Early Steps, Early Headstart, Headstart, Pre k4/La4 Programs, NSECD, and Special Education Programs.

Public School Pre K 4 / Cecil J. Picard La 4 Early Childhood Programs give priority to economically disadvantaged students and if any seats are available all other students will be placed on first come first served basis. Your child may be assigned to a school outside of your attendance zoning, but transportation will only be provided to students in a school in their attendance zone.  

Non Public School Early Childhood Development Program allows low income families to send their child to state-approved private pre k 4 and childcare programs. To qualify, families must meet income requirement which is 185% of Federal poverty level. This program is open to children outside of Jefferson Parish. 

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