Preschool is very beneficial to young children. Children who attend a high-quality preschool program are prepared for kindergarten not only academically, but social-emotionally, too. They learn how to play with others, share, and become accustomed to school routines that make the adjustment to kindergarten easier so that little ones can focus on the work of learning and growing.

The Collaboration for Early Childhood’s online Early Childhood Resource Directory is great place to start learning about local preschools. You can search for local programs by age and a variety of other criteria. Don’t forget the map at the bottom of the page to view a visual layout of where programs are located in relation to you to make pick-up and drop-off trips easy.

Oak Park and River Forest provide free, high-quality preschool to children whose families meet eligibility criteria such as veteran status, income level, disabilities or developmental delays. Prescreening for publicly funded preschool that begins this fall opens on February 1 and is ongoing. To learn more about publicly funded preschool, visit our website at

The Collaboration supports children 0-5 and the people who care for them. We are here to get you connected to information, the parenting community, and programs to support your child’s healthy development and growth. Start strong. Start with us!