The NC Pre-K program offers free preschool for families who qualify. NC Pre-K operates on the public-school calendar and classrooms are offered at participating Harnett County Schools and licensed four and five-star private centers. There are a limited number of openings in Harnett County each school year.  NC Pre-K services are offered at no charge to eligible children.

For detailed information on the NC Pre-K Program, visit the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education.

Your child must have turned 4-years-old by August 31 for the upcoming school year AND one of the following must also be true:

  • Your child’s family gross income is at or below 75% of the state median income, OR
  • Your child has
    • limited English proficiency
    • an identified disability
    • a chronic health condition
    • a developmental or educational need OR
  • Your child is a military dependent of an active-duty service member or a military service member who has been seriously injured or killed while on active duty

Pre-K is for children aged 4 by August 31st of the upcoming school year.

Applications for the 2024-2025 school year will be available by April 2, 2024.  Parents should submit their child’s application before the end of June in order to be considered in our first round of placements.  However, we continue to receive applications well into the school year as we keep a waiting list of eligible children.  Then as openings occur during the school year we pull names from the waiting list in order to serve more children.

Beginning April 2, 2024, parents can fill out and print the Pre-K application from our website at  Parents can also pick up an application from inside our offices during office hours, Monday – Friday from 8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m. Outside of office hours, parents/caregivers may obtain a printed application from the Information Box located right outside the front door entrances to our offices located at 170 Pine State Street or 107 W Front Street in Lillington. 

There are 3 options for submitting your NC Pre-K application.

#1 – Online by emailing the completed application and supporting documents to

#2 – You can also hand deliver your application and documents in a large envelope to our office staff in person at 107 W Front Street or 170 Pine State Street in Lillington.  After office hours, you can leave your envelope in our Front Street door mail slot or Pine State Street drop box located right outside the front door entrance. 

3# – You can mail your completed NC Pre-K application with the required supporting documents to our office:

Harnett County Partnership for Children, Attn: NC Pre-K Staff, 170 Pine State Street Lillington, NC 27546.

This is easy as 1 – 2 – 3 !  Simply provide in addition to your completed and signed application…

  1. Copy of your child’s birth certificate
  2. Address Verification – copy of water bill, electric bill, or rental agreement.
  3. Income Verification – proof of all monthly gross income for the household (4 current pay stubs or tax documents)

Please note that incomplete applications will NOT be processed.

If applicable, please provide a copy of:

  • health care provider documentation of a chronic illness (w/ frequent hospitalization or absence from participating in activities)
  • your child’s developmental evaluation and proof of services or the child’s active IEP (Individual Education Plan) for an identified developmental disability or educational need

YES!  Parents must provide the completed Children’s Medical Report (which we provide here on our website and in person when you apply for Pre-K).  Please click here to print a copy of this form.

Please note that hearing, vision, and dental screenings are all part of the NC Pre-K requirement for Health Assessments and must be filled out on this form to be considered complete.

Verification of the child’s physical must be provided on this Health Assessment form with the doctor’s signature and date and it must have been completed within the last 12 months.  Parents must also provide a copy of the child’s up-to-date Vaccination Record.

Parents can bring the Children’s Medical Report and Vaccination Record to Pre-K orientation as these documents must be on hand by the first day of attendance in Pre-K.

Once we receive your application and the required documents, the next steps are:

Quick Review – Our staff will review your application and documents.
– If further information is needed, we will contact you within five (5) business days.
– If the application is complete, and no additional documentation is needed, your application will move on to determine eligibility.

Eligibility Determination – Our staff will use the information you provided to determine eligibility.
– Meets Eligibility – we will notify you by mail with a placement letter or waiting list letter by the middle of July after our first round of placements. 
– Does not Meet Eligibility – we will notify you by phone call or letter in the mail within 2-4 weeks of placing your application. 


Pre-K classes are held in both public schools and private child care settings all over Harnett County.  Parents can list their top three site preferences on our application.  Although we cannot guarantee your first choice of placement we certainly take this and your physical address into consideration during the placement process.  Please click here for a list of our current amazing Pre-K providers in Harnett County. 

We do not provide transportation for Pre-K in Harnett County; however, the program is provided free of charge for children that qualify.

We will notify parents as to if and where their child has been placed in a Harnett County NC Pre-K class with a mailed letter by July 15, 2024.   Parents can expect to receive:

  1. a placement letter with details about the NC Pre-K location their child has been assigned to
  2. or a waiting list letter verifying that their child does qualify for NC Pre-K in Harnett County, but has been placed on our waiting list.

Placement in our Pre-K program is not on a “first come-first served” basis.  Children from low-income families are given FIRST priority for placement in Pre-K in Harnett County.  This is in compliance with North Carolina’s program requirements regarding priority and determining eligibility for Pre-K.  Children can qualify for Pre-K based on several other factors (such as when the child has:  an identified learning disability or developmental delay, a chronic illness, limited English proficiency, a parent that is an active duty military or disabled veteran).

This number is determined by funding provided by the state and can change from year to year. For this school year, Harnett County has been allotted funding for 359 Pre-K children. 

NC Pre-K classes follow the Harnett County Schools calendar and are held Monday through Friday. The daily schedule is typically from 8:00 or 8:30 am to 2:00 or 2:30 pm; however, please note that arrival and departure times vary from site to site. This information will be fully explained at your Pre-K orientation appointment.

We offer a play based creative curriculum for our young Pre-K children, focusing on developing each of them socially and emotionally, so that they will succeed in Kindergarten and beyond.

All NC Pre-K lead teachers, regardless of if they are in a public school or private site, are state-licensed professionals with degrees in Birth through Kindergarten, Early Childhood Education, or a related area of study.  NC Pre-K teacher assistants are professionals with degrees in Early Childhood Education or Child Development Associate.

You will be contacted by your child’s teacher or the site director/principal for orientation information in August.

Pre-K students will begin with a staggered entry schedule the week of August 19th

Please be sure to complete your child’s physical (if you have not done so in the last 12 months) and update your child’s vaccinations.

 Click here for the form and give to your child’s teacher or site director by the first date of attendance.

Your child qualifies for Pre-K; however, due to the limited number of openings in Harnett County your child is on our waiting list.  Our waiting list is prioritized to serve the lowest income children first.  As soon as we have an opening and your child’s name comes up on the list, you will receive a direct phone call.  We do not delay filling vacancies in Pre-K in hopes that we can serve more children.

You can also….

  • Seek other childcare resources for your 4 year old child with Child Care Networks at 1-855-231-8717.


  • Apply for childcare subsidy with the Harnett County Department of Social Services at 910-814-6651.


  • Contact our Family Support team to register for Circle of Parents or Ready to Grow Play Groups at 910-893-2344 or find additional information here.


  • Follow the HCPC Facebook page to get involved in our many activities within the county for preschool aged children and their families.