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The Application for the 24/25 Preschool Lottery and waitlist  is now closed.

If you are interested in a free preschool program please contact Butler County Educational Service Center at 513-785-6850 or go to BCESC Preschool Inquiry.


Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) | Ohio Department of Education       preschool class

About us

The Hamilton City School District  Preschool Program is an Ohio Department of Education licensed and Step Up to Quality 5-Star Rated program.  The program provides free, play-based, developmentally appropriate learning opportunities in a safe and nurturing environment for all children ages three to five years old regardless of ability or need. It is for children residing in the city of Hamilton and is governed by the policies and procedures of the Hamilton City School District as well as those set forth by the Ohio Department of Education.

The staff of the Hamilton City School District Preschool Program is certified and participates in continuous Ohio Approved Professional Development each year.  Their professionalism, creativity, and experience combine to make this program a success. Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists are also members of the preschool team. 

General Information

Hamilton City School District offers free preschool to students ages 3-5 at six of the eight elementary buildings.  All classrooms are designated as special education classrooms.   Students with a disability will have priority enrollment. 

  • Morning or afternoon programs (no full-day sessions available).
  • There is no cost associated with our preschool program. 
  • Four-day program (Monday through Thursday).
  • Transportation provided  (restrictions apply).

Preschool Locations and Session Schedule

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Bridgeport Elementary School 
Preschool Sessions
    • AM session: 9:15- 12:10
    • PM session: 1:10 - 4:05
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Fairwood Elementary School
Preschool Sessions
  • AM session: 8:45 - 11:40
  • PM session: 12:40 - 3:35
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Highland Elementary School
Preschool Sessions
  • AM session: 8:30 AM - 11:25 AM
  • PM session: 12:25 PM - 3:20 PM
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Linden Elementary School
Preschool Sessions
    • AM session: 9:00 AM - 11:55 AM
    • PM session: 12:55 PM - 3:50 PM
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Ridgeway Elementary School
Preschool Sessions
  • AM session: 9:00 AM - 11:55 AM
  • PM session: 12:55 PM - 3:50 PM
Riverview Elementary
Riverview Elementary School
Preschool Sessions
    • AM session: 9:15- 12:10
    • PM session: 1:10 - 4:05


Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Children must be three years old on or before Aug. 1 during the year they wish to enroll. 

  • Children who are five years old on or before Aug. 1 are not eligible.

  • If your child is eligible for kindergarten, he/she is not eligible for this program.

  • Children must reside within the Hamilton City School District.  We do not accept Open Enrollment for our preschool program.

Registration Information 

  • Students who are currently attending the district’s preschool program will automatically be enrolled upon the completion of the re-enrollment form which will be available each January. 
  • We are no longer taking applications for the 2023-2024 school year.  
  • The Application for the lottery will open mid February each year. 
  • Preschool openings are filled using a lottery. 
  • In order to be considered for the lottery, a developmental screening must be completed.
  • Priority for the lottery will be given to students who are 4 years old by 8/1/2024 and meet income eligibility for Ohio’s Early Childhood Education Grant.  
  • Applicants who turn 3 years old by 8/1/24 or do not meet income eligibility will be placed on a waiting list.   
  • Applications for the lottery will not be considered after March 15, 2024.  This deadline does not apply to students with a disability or a suspected disability.

After the Lottery:

  • Families who are selected in the lottery will be notified by the Preschool Department about next steps.  
  • Registration must be completed through The Enrollment Center.
  • Placement will be determined and shared with families in May.

Special Education Preschool

  • All classrooms are taught by an Intervention Specialist.
  • We offer Integrated Preschool classrooms and Special Education Resource Classrooms.
  • Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy is offered to eligible students in all of our classrooms.
  • If you have questions or concerns about your child’s development or are interested in a developmental screening, please contact one of our Preschool Psychologists.
    • Kerry Atkinson (
    • Connie Bittner ( 
Carla Castator
Director of PK-6 Curriculum & Instruction
Hamilton City Schools
513-887-5000 ext. 5011
Sarah Burdette
Preschool Special Education Supervisor
Hamilton City Schools
513-887-5024 ext. 2341