Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children, ages birth to five, from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Contact our office at 5225 W. Vliet St., (414) 777-7850, for a list of schools that offer the Head Start program.
Applications must be filled out with a Head Start staff member. Parents are encouraged to visit the Head Start office to meet with staff and complete the application and all necessary forms.
Families will need to provide the following documents in order to complete a Head Start enrollment folder:
• Proof of income (check stub, W-2 form, SSI or tax forms)
• Immunization records
• Certified birth certificate
• Proof of residence
Licensed Early Childcare ProgramsMPS schools with state-licensed early childhood programs
MPS also offers state-licensed early childhood programs that provide developmentally appropriate programming for two- and three-year-old children. The programs are designed to improve school readiness for young children and provide a seamless transition to kindergarten. The programs foster health and physical development; social and emotional development; language development and communication; approaches to learning; and, cognition and knowledge.
MPS schools with state-licensed early childhood programs
- Brown Early Childhood Center
- Forest Home Early Childhood Center
- Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood Center
- Keefe Early Childhood Center
- Kluge Early Childhood Center
- Lloyd Barbee Early Childhood Center
- Maple Tree Early Childhood Center
- Sherman Early Childhood Center
- Story Early Childhood Center
This is a fee-based program. Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy authorizations are accepted. MPS State licensed early childhood programs do not provide transportation.
Enrollment is limited. To register, call the Early Childhood Programming Manager at (414) 475-8244.
A number of Milwaukee Public Schools feature the HighScope educational approach in early childhood education. The approach integrates all aspects of child development. Using research-validated strategies, HighScope enhances each young child’s growth in the foundations of academics as well as social-emotional, physical and creative areas. MPS HighScope provides a full-time educational paraprofessional to assist children with academic and social growth. Teachers and paraprofessionals are provided ongoing professional development in the HighScope philosophy and curricular areas with classrooms supported with funding for field trips, supplies, materials and family involvement activities.
Kindergarten Registration Age Requirement
Under state law children may, but are not required to, enter K3 if they have turned three-years-old on or before September 1. There are limited seats available in K3. Head Start may also be an option for your family; see above. To enter K4, children must be four-years old on or before September 1. To enter K5, children must be five-years-old on or before September 1. Children born between September 2 and October 1 can be tested for early admission to K5 only. Ask for an early admission testing form at any MPS elementary school.
Mandatory Kindergarten Law
The State of Wisconsin has established a law requiring students to complete kindergarten before entering first grade. Schools may not enroll a child in first grade unless that child has completed five-year-old kindergarten. This rule applies to all Wisconsin schools, including charter schools. For more information on enrollment in MPS kindergarten or the Mandatory Kindergarten Law, call (414) 475-8448.