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.

The 2023-24 application will be released by the city in late spring. Email to be added to our public mailing list if you’d like to be notified right away. (Some Philadelphia families got mail from the city saying the application would be open in January. We don’t know why you got that mail, but to the best of our knowledge it’s not true. We’re sorry for that confusing misinformation from the city. Usually the PHLpreK program is much better organized than that.)

For 2022-23 our PHLpreK seats are all full, and we have a long wait list, but you can apply using the steps below if you like.

  1. Fill out the 2022-23 PHLpreK Application
    1. Notes on the form
      1. Page 3, “Demographic Information”—Please answer all questions, they help us to be eligible for grants.
      2. Page 4, “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.
      3. Page 4, “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.”
      4. Page 6—Don’t fill out the staff section, but make sure you sign at the end (you can e-sign, or print and sign by hand).
    2. You can email it to us or print it out—see below
    3. Available in multiple languages
  2. Fill out a 2022-23 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
    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

The PHLpreK application and the eligibility documents can be submitted to CCS by:

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

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 submit applications in the order received, and to accept applications first-come-first-served.

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, though the application window for 2022-23 has passed. We also accept CCW funding.

Questions and Contact

Questions for CCS can be emailed to Please bear in mind that as we launch this program in summer 2022, we are going through a learning curve of our own, and may take a little time to get back to you.

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