PHLpreK at CCS

With PHLpreK, CCS can now offer free, full-time care to participating children and families!

What is PHLpreK?

PHLpreK (pronounced “Philly Pre-K”) is a city-funded program that provides free early childhood education to children ages 3–5 at participating high-quality preschools. It’s funded by Philadelphia’s beverage tax, and all families, regardless of income, can apply. (PHLpreK is different from Pre-K Counts, the state-wide program to provide free, high-quality early childhood education to low-income children.)

Families who use PHLpreK are entitled to free, full-time care during the school year. That means at least 5.5 hours per day of care (not counting nap) for at least 180 days per year, with free lunch and snacks provided. At CCS, participating families can enroll for free in our Full Day program (8:15am–3:00pm, September 6 through June 22). Participating families can also choose to enroll in Extended-Day care (3:00–6:00pm), either paying tuition privately ($550/month) or using CCW funding if they qualify.

More information can be found at

How do I enroll in PHLpreK at CCS?

All families, both currently enrolled and new, are welcome to apply, using the steps below, and applications will be processed in the order received.

  1. Fill out the 2024-25 PHLpreK Applicationwe expect the city to release the application in late May or June
    1. Notes on the form
      1. Page 2, “Income”—This information does not impact your application. PHLpreK is not an income-based program. Please enter this information as accurately as possible, to help the city track usage of the program and to help CCS be eligible for grants.
      2. Page 3, “Service Information”—If you plan to pick up at 3pm, check “Part Day”; if you would like extended-day enrollment, check “Full Day.” If you plan to attend during the summer check “Full Year”; if you plan to take summers off, check “School Year.”
      3. Page 4—Don’t fill out the “Provider Eligibility Attestation” section (that’s for our staff), but make sure you sign the “Family Attestation” (you can e-sign, or print and sign by hand).
      4. Page 5 and 6—Make sure you initial each section and sign at the end.
    2. You can email it to us or print it out—see below
    3. Available in multiple languages
  2. Fill out a 2024-25 CCS Application (only if your family does not already attend CCS)—online only
    1. At the end of the application, choose “Mail In Payment.” You will not be charged.
    2. Families already enrolled at CCS do not need to do this step
  3. Submit eligibility documents to CCS—yes, even if you submitted them last year
    1. Proof of age (child must be 3 or 4 years old on September 1)
      1. Acceptable documents include birth certificate, US passport, social security card, medical records, school records
    2. Proof of residency (proof that the parent/guardian resides in Philadelphia)
      1. Acceptable documents include state-issued ID, driver’s license, voter ID, current lease or rental agreement, social security award letter, current utility bill

How to submit your application:

  • Email (preferred)—
    • Photos or scans of printed documents are acceptable, as long as they are clearly readable
  • Mail—PHLpreK at CCS / 1212 S. 47th Street / Philadelphia PA 19143
  • In person—come by and drop them off with a staff member

Once CCS has received all required documents and verified eligibility, we will submit your application to ChildWare, the online platform for PHLpreK. Once PHLpreK has verified your application, we will notify you of your admission or waitlist status. CCS is required to process and accept applications in the order received, first-come-first-served.

A note about seats, admissions, and waitlists

While we wish this funding were available to every family, CCS has a limited number of PHLpreK seats available each year. Children who are admitted when they are 3 years old can use PHLpreK for two years; this means that some of our seats each fall go to 4-year-olds who were already enrolled with PHLpreK at CCS the previous year, and there are a limited number of seats for new 3 and 4 year olds. While admitted children retain their seats for up to two years, city PHLpreK policy is that the waitlist is not retained year-to-year; having a waitlist number for this year does not keep you on the waitlist for next year, applications are again processed in the order received.

What if I don’t get PHLpreK but I still want to come to CCS?

CCS accepts private-pay tuition. You can apply for financial aid directly from us if needed, though the timeline for that application is very different from the PHLpreK timeline. We also accept CCW subsidies.

Questions and Contact

Questions for CCS can be emailed to, or call 215-724-1740.

Questions for the PHLpreK program itself can be emailed to, or call 844-PHL-PREK.