Early Childhood Program

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The Olympia School District offers a variety of Early Childhood programs. Educational and family support services are available to children from infancy to kindergarten age, through several of our elementary schools.


If you would like to make a referral to one of our programs, please complete the Referral Form (English), Referral Form (Spanish), email [email protected], or call 360-596-7539.

Infant Toddler Program

Our Infant-Toddler program is located at McKenny Elementary School and provides services to children with developmental delays between birth and age 3, with an emphasis on supporting their families. Services and supports are available to all families of eligible students who reside within the district's boundaries. A combination of home visits, Toddler Groups, therapy appointments, and parenting education programs may be provided to children and families depending on their need. We provide Family Resources Coordination and offer a variety of early intervention services. Within 90 days of the child's third birthday, he/she is evaluated to determine ongoing eligibility for special education support through our preschool programs.

For additional information or to make a referral, please contact our Early Childhood Department at 360-596-7539 or at [email protected].

Preschool Programs

Structure: We have preschools located at Garfield, Hansen, McKenny, McLane and Roosevelt elementary schools. In our eight Developmental Preschool programs the teachers have two sessions, each with about 18 students per session, and at least three adults (one teacher and two para-educators). Both students with disabilities and non-disabled peers attend our preschool programs.  Preschool classes are held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for 2.5 hours (AM and PM sessions). There is no preschool on Wednesdays or other early release days. Wednesdays are reserved for team collaboration, home visits and curriculum planning. Our Intensive Preschool Program is located at McKenny Elementary School and is designed to support students who require a more highly structured program than what is offered in our Developmental Preschool Programs. This program uses the STAR program, an ABA (applied behavior analysis) approach incorporating Discrete Trial Training, Pivotal Response Training, and Functional Routines.

Children with Special Needs:

Students with developmental concerns may be referred at any time for evaluation by family or community members. Developmental evaluations address skills in cognition, communication, motor, social and adaptive skills. Evaluations are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team. Eligibility is based on federal and state regulations. Students who qualify for specially designed instruction may receive support from special education preschool teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational/physical therapists, and other specialists based on individual needs. Students eligible for and in need of specially designed instruction will have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) describing the student's goals, supports and services. There is no tuition for preschool for students with special needs, and transportation is provided within school district boundaries. To refer a child due to developmental concerns, call 360-596-7539 or email [email protected].


We offer free developmental screenings on an on-going basis throughout the school year. The screenings are for children referred with developmental concerns. Developmental screenings help us to determine which areas may be in need of further assessment. Families with children on the referral list are contacted to schedule and confirm screening and/or assessment appointments.

Transfer Students

If you are moving to the Olympia School District and have a preschool-age child with an IEP, we will meet with you to review your child's evaluation and IEP to determine appropriate placement. Please contact our early learning line at 360-596-7539 ([email protected]) to determine the "next steps" in transferring your child's records to our district. Welcome to the Olympia School District!

Non-disabled Peers

Non-disabled peers must be 3 years old prior to Sept. 1. to enroll. Priority for peers is given to students living in each school's attendance area. Parents need to provide transportation for typically developing students. Preschool tuition will be reinstated for most non-disabled peers starting in Fall 2023. While the exact amount of tuition has not been finalized, it will be comparable to market rates. Reduced tuition is available for families who meet free and reduced lunch criteria. Parents paying tuition will sign an Agreement with the school district. Families whose students fall in the "at-risk" category, based on developmental screening, may be eligible through Title 1 resources for tuition-free enrollment. 

Waiting List

We maintain a "waiting list" of typically developing preschool-age students who are interested in preschool for both the current and upcoming  school year. If you are interested in a spot for this year, we will place your child's name and contact information on our list. Call the Office of Student Support: 360-596-7539 or [email protected] and ask to have your child added to the waiting list for peer placement in preschool.

Out of District families

At this time we are not able to offer preschool placement to children who live outside the Olympia School District boundaries.


Preschool Schedule Times

Preschool start times vary by school, matching the start times for the K-5 students. Please see the School Hours page of the OSD Website for more information.

Early Release Times

During an early release day for K-5 students, there are no developmental or intensive preschool classes.

Transition To Kindergarten

Students who will turn 5 prior to Sept. 1 are eligible for kindergarten. Most students transitioning from preschool programs to kindergarten will register and enroll in their neighborhood school. Neighborhood schools are determined by the address at which the child sleeps/resides most nights of the week. 

Kindergarten students with special education needs receive specially designed instruction and other services as part of their instructional day. Services are provided based on each child's IEP (Individualized Education Program), which is developed by the parents and school team.

Some kindergartners may require a more specialized program, as determined individually by each student's IEP team. For kindergarten students who require a more specialized program, parents will collaborate with school team members to determine the appropriate program. 


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