The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 encourages the use of Title I, Part A funds for preschool programs: Title I preschool programs take into account the experience of model programs for the educationally disadvantaged, and the findings of relevant scientifically based research indicating that services may be most effective if focused on students in the earliest grades at schools that receive funds under this part. [NCLB Section 1112 Local Educational Agency Plans (c)(1)(F)]
Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) may use Title I, Part A funds for eligible preschool children as follows:
- A participating school may use its Title I, Part A funds to
operate a preschool program.
- An LEA may reserve an amount from its total allocation to operate a Title I, Part A preschool program for eligible children in the district as a whole or for a portion of the district.
Children are eligible as follows:
A schoolwide program is not required to identify particular children as eligible. All children in the attendance area of that school are eligible for preschool services.
Targeted Assistance School
To be eligible, preschool-age children, like school-age children, must be failing or most at risk of failing to meet the State's challenging student academic achievement standards. The use of family income to determine eligibility is allowable, especially for the purpose of prioritizing when there are not sufficient Title I resources to serve all preschool-age children, but children should not be identified for Title I preschool solely on the basis of family income. In addition, children who participated in a Head Start, Even Start, Early Reading First, or Title I preschool program at any time during the two preceding years, homeless children, and children in institutions for neglected or delinquent children are automatically eligible for Title I preschool and to continue into Title I school programs.
- Serving Preschool Children Through Title I
Non-Regulatory Guidance (October 2012)
Early Learning Resources
U.S. Department of Education resources related to early childhood education.
Register, Volume 61, Number 78
Notice to LEAs on compliance with Head Start performance standards.
Head Start Performance
Performance standards applicable to Title I preschool programs (45 Code of Federal Regulations Section 1304.21).
for Parents and Families
Information for parents and family members about early childhood education.