Durham PreK

Durham County contracts with Child Care Services Association (CCSA) to manage the expansion of Durham PreK in collaboration with Durham’s Partnership for Children (DPfC) and many other community partners.

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Committed to equitable access

With an abundance of evidence that high-quality universal preschool could reduce the disparities in skills among sub-groups of children at kindergarten entry, Durham’s policymakers are focusing considerable resources on the development and expansion of quality preschool programs for 4 year olds. Durham has made historic local investments in preschool services in order to open access more broadly for children.


Racial Equity in Early Childhood Education

"As a Board, the investment in Durham PreK is one of the most important investments that we are making in our County. The relationship of accessible, high-quality pre-K to equity at the child and system levels is why this investment is so critical. The funding we provide for Durham PreK is a direct investment in a more equitable child care system and in more equitable futures for young children in our County."

Investing in quality education

Durham County is directly involved in a variety of ways with early education, and since 2016, has invested over $16 million in creating a universal preschool program called Durham PreK.

Key components of Durham PreK include:

  • improved pay and professional development for teachers,
  • intensive technical assistance with early educators designed to raise quality,
  • and work with local educational institutions to increase and improve the supply of early childhood teachers.

Information for families

All Durham County children who have turned 4 years old by August 31 of the school year attending are eligible for Durham PreK.

To apply, call 1-833-PREK-EDU. We have Bilingual Pre-K Application Specialists to assist you. Application appointments are available in English and Spanish (other languages available by request).

Information for early educators

Durham PreK works collaboratively with Durham County Government, Durham’s Partnership for Children, Durham Public Schools, Durham Head Start and numerous other community partners to expand access to high-quality pre-K classrooms to Durham’s 4 year olds.

Preschool programs in Durham County can apply for Durham PreK through our Request for Application (RFA) process. We are not currently accepting application for new Durham PreK sites. To be notified when the next Durham PreK RFA is available, sign up for our Teacher Talk Newsletter.


The Governance Committee serves to provide vision and direction to Durham PreK and Durham County's preschool expansion effort by advising and approving standards and policies. The goal is to establish an inclusive, community-driven initiative that will enhance public will and engagement and strengthen the resulting system of preschool services developed through the initiative.