Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP)


The Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP)
, also known as Universal Preschool, is a publicly-funded program and a joint partnership between the City of Cambridge, the Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP), and Cambridge Public Schools (CPS).

  • CPP will provide free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds.
  • A child is eligible for CPP if they live in Cambridge and are:
  • 4 years old by August 31, 2024 for 4-year-old programs; or
  • 3 years old by August 31, 2024 for 3-year-old programs (please note there will be limited seats for 3-year-olds and there may be additional eligibility requirements)
  • The universal online application (paper applications will also be available) will open this winter and be managed by the Office of Early Childhood.
    • When completing the application, families will identify the programs they are interested in.
    • Families will then be matched with a preschool program based on the information they provided and program capacity.
    • Following the matching process, enrollment will be completed by CPS, DHSP, Head Start, or the community-based program.

What does CPP mean for CPS?

  • CPP will replace our 3-year-old lottery, which was held in October, and our Junior Kindergarten lottery, which was held in January.
  • CPS will still hold its Kindergarten lottery in January for children turning 5 years old by Aug 31, 2024.

Learn more:


News Release >>

CPP Information Session (Virtual)
Thursday, October 12 | 7-8PM | Zoom
Register here >>
A recording will be made available afterward for those who cannot make it.

Application Window
Please note that the application process will be open from Friday, December 1, 2023 through Monday, January 15, 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions >> (pdf)
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Cambridge Office of Early Childhood >>
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