(Contact the BSD Early Education Office at 864-8463 for further questions)
What is Act 166?
During the 2014 Legislative Session, Act 166 was passed and signed into law by Governor
Peter Shumlin. Act 166 provides universal publicly funded prekindergarten education for a
minimum of 10 hours per week for 35 weeks annually for all 3, 4 and 5 year old children
who are enrolled in a prequalified prekindergarten program, both public and private.
How do I know if a prekindergarten program is prequalified? How does a program
Programs become prequalified through an approval process through The Agency of Education and the Agency of Human Services. Parents/guardians can find prequalified programs by going to the Bright Futures Information Systems located at:
www.brightfutures.dcf.stale.vt.us/ and select Find a Provider.
How do I get funding for my child to participate in a PreK program?
For a child to receive PreK funding from your school district, the child must be enrolled
in a prequalified community PreK program and then register with your school district.
Will families need to enroll their child at the local school district if they are planning
on having their child attend a private prequalified program?
Yes, children who are enrolled in a prequalified community preschool partner program must also enroll in publicly funded prekindergarten education with their home school district. When they enroll, they tell the district what qualified program
their child will be attending.
How do I register my child with the School District in order to receive Act 166
Burlington parents/guardians can access this online registration by going to the school
district’s web page at: www.bsdvt.org and selecting the ‘Students and Families‘ tab in the center of the page. Within the prek registration form, families have the opportunity to choose a BSD school district program or a preschool program
within the community. (Select Community Partner Program as your school choice then make a program selection from the drop-down menu. If your program is not listed, select ‘other’ and type in your programs name in the space provided) Please remember that you must first be enrolled and accepted in the community program. Once that occurs, families can then register with the school district.
Who should I send the BSD prek registration materials to?
Pre-k registration is now completed online and will automatically be forwarded to our
district’s PreK admin. Registration documents (e.g. birth certificates and forms that verify
residency) should be sent to the Director of the BSD Early Education Program by:
— Mailing the documents to the Burlington Early Education Program, 150 Colchester
Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401
— Delivering the forms to the BSD Early ED Office at 150 Colchester Avenue,
Burlington, VT 05401
— Emailing the forms to firstname.lastname@example.org
If a child enters a prequalified prekindergarten education program after the
beginning of the school year, is the child eligible for publicly funded
Yes, with ACT 166, prekindergarten education is an entitlement for all 3, 4, and 5 year
old children starting on July 2. 2016. Annual tuition may be prorated to reflect the
number of weeks the child is enrolled.
If a child withdraws before the end of the school year or enrolls after the beginning
of the school year, does the school district have to pay full tuition for that year?
No, annual tuition will be prorated to reflect the number of weeks the child was enrolled.
Can a school district prioritize providing access to specific groups of children (e.g. low
income, dual language learners) if there is a limited number of prequalified
No, school districts may not prioritize giving access to specific groups of children. The
only group that can be prioritized is children receiving Early Childhood Special
Are school districts obligated to find an opening for every resident child who wants
to access prekindergarten?
No, school districts are not obligated to find a prequalified prekindergarten program for all
children who want to attend. However, Act 166 requires that school districts provide
tuition to all resident eligible 3-5 year olds who are enrolled in prequalified programs.
Are private prequalified programs required to accept children on a first come
first serve basis, or can they do a lottery?
Private prequalified prekindergarten education programs may use whatever
nondiscriminatory enrollment process they choose.
Can a school program prioritize serving children from their own district in their
school operated program rather than accept children from outside their district?
School districts that have school operated prequalified prekindergarten programs are not
required to accept children from other districts. They may limit enrollment solely to
resident children or decide to accept resident children first and then add non-resident
children who apply.
If a child turns 3 after the school district’s kindergarten cut-off date, does this
child qualify for Act 166 in that school year?
No, the child must be 3 by the district’s kindergarten entry date (September 1st, 2017) in
order to be eligible for publicly funded prekindergarten.
Is it necessary for a school district to partner with prequalified private programs?
If a resident child is enrolled in a prequalified private program, then under Act 166 the
school district must partner with that private program. If the district has declared a
Prekindergarten Region and the private program is outside the district’s region, then the
district has the discretion in deciding whether to partner or not. The Burlington District
has not determined a region.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Is the Local Education Agency required to provide Free and Appropriate Public
Education (FAPE) (Early Childhood Special Education Services) outside of the
school district boundaries?
No, the LEA is only responsible for the identification and evaluation of resident children
and to offer the provision of FAPE in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for those
found eligible for special education and related services within the school district
boundaries. The school district can decide to serve outside of its boundaries but is not
required to do so. Placement decisions regarding resident children served under Part B of
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must be individually determined
based on the child’s abilities and needs as described in the child’s Individual Education
Plan (IEP). Parents may choose to accept or decline the provision of Early Childhood
Special Education and Related Services as offered by the LEA.
Can a District prioritize children who have identified special needs to access a
limited number of prequalified prekindergarten education slots?
Yes, the federal IDEA requires the Local Education Agency (LEA) to offer FAPE within
a Least Restrictive Environment for resident children found eligible for special education
and related services. The district may prioritize prequalified prekindergarten education
slots for children with Individual Education Plans (IEP’s).
Can school programs prioritize serving children on IEP’s in their school operated
prekindergarten programs since they receive specific federal and state funds to serve
Yes. This is the only group that a school district may prioritize.
If the parents decide that a partner center is best for their child, is the district
obligated to provide special services at that site?
No, Under VT Special Education Rule 2361.3, Educational Placement in the Least
Restrictive Environment (LRE) placement decisions regarding resident children served
under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) must be individually
determined based on the child’s abilities and needs as described in the child’s Individual
Education Plan (IEP). The LEA of the child’s residence shall offer FAPE. Services
shall be provided at the discretion of the LEA in which the child resides. Parents may
choose to accept or decline the provision of Early Childhood Special Education and
Related Services as offered by the LEA.
What is the funding amount that a child will receive from the school district they
reside in for the 2017-2018 school year?
The state determined tuition rate for 10 hours of prekindergarten will be $3,178.00 for
the 2017-2018 school year.
Can programs charge parents for the 10 hours and then reimburse parents
when they receive tuition payments from the school district?
No, parents cannot charge parents for the 10 hours of prekindergarten education.
Is the tuition paid to prequalified programs prorated for holidays or other partial
weeks of school?
No, tuition is set at an annual rate and is not prorated when holidays or school closings
create a partial week of school.
Is there a required payment schedule to private prequalified programs school
districts must follow?
Act 166 requires school districts to establish a tuition payment schedule that will not
cause the partner program any financial hardships. It is recommended that school districts
pay their private prequalified PreK partners at least one month in advance and then on a
monthly or bi-monthly basis.