mom handing child lunch box

Records Request

Beginning of Year Information Updates


K-12 Enrollment

Apply for Preschool

Our preschool program is a full-day program with experienced, licensed teachers that enables children to engage in an exciting curriculum and a stimulating learning environment.

There are different preschool options: see the details below for information on all of them.

Qualifying for NC PreK and Head Start requires children to be 4 (3 or 4 for Head Start) by August 31st of the school year. See the information below for more risk factors associated with qualifying for these programs.

Families with an email address can now apply ONLINE. Click on the following links:


If you do not have online access, please contact Alison Davis to complete the application over the phone, (910) 259-7603.


Head Start

  • 3 or 4 by August 31

  • 100% of poverty level and below(see Poverty Guidelines)

  • Homeless

  • Receive Public Assistance (TANF, SSI, SNAP)

  • Family status (single, step, foster)

  • English language learner

  • Identified disability (IEP)

  • Chronic health problem

  • Family education level

Head Start classrooms are blended with NC PreK and are located at the following sites:

  • Cape Fear Elementary

  • CF Pope Elementary

  • Malpass Corner Elementary

  • Rocky Point Elementary

  • South Topsail Elementary

  • Surf City Elementary


Exceptional Children's Program

  • Must be 3 years old to start services

  • Must have qualifying Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

  • Not all IEPs require placement in a classroom, some services can be provided on site on a schedule

  • Each child's schedule is based on their needs, service time varies from child to child

Exceptional Children's Program classes are not an application process, but a qualification process through referral, testing, eligibility and placement meetings via the EC Department.


NC Pre-K

  • 4 by August 31

  • 75% state median income level

  • Identified disability (IEP)

  • English language learner

  • Educational need

  • Chronic health problem

  • Military

Classrooms which are NC PreK funded are required to be NC childcare licensed; all 8 licensed NC PreK sites are 4 or 5-star centers.


  • Cape Fear Elementary

  • CF Pope Elementary

  • Malpass Corner Elementary

  • Rocky Point Elementary

  • South Topsail Elementary

  • Surf City Elementary

SUB-CONTRACT NC Pre-K Sites (private childcare centers):

  • Creative Minds

  • EXCEL #13

  • Little Town Learning Center

We accept applications year-round! Complete your application as soon as possible.

It is not a first-come, first-served application process; families must qualify, but timing is important, do not wait until the summer to apply!

We start placing children as early as March 1st:

  • Head Start eligible 4 year olds March 1st

  • NC Pre-K eligible 4 year olds April 15th

  • Head Start eligible 3 year olds May 15th

Contact the preschool office with any questions, (910) 259-7603.

Pender County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, immigrant status, English-speaking status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal or N.C. law in its programs or activities. For questions regarding the nondiscrimination policies, call 910-259-2187, or write Pender County Schools.

The school system retains control over what links will be placed on system-related websites; however, the linked sites themselves are not under the control of the school system, its agents or its employees. The school system is not responsible for the contents or any linked site, any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites. The school system provides links as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by the school system. The school system reserves the right to remove or restrict any links.