Early Childhood


Welcome to PreK

Virginia's Focus on School Readiness

The years before a child enters kindergarten directly impact a child’s ability to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. School Readiness means preparing all children for kindergarten by supporting birth-to-age-five programming, including the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI/Smart Start). Virginia's focus includes key classroom practices such as the use of high-quality curriculum and assessment, teacher-child interactions and individualized professional development. It also includes strengthening family engagement.

Through generous grant funding provided by the Virginia Department of Education, Amherst County Public Schools is able to provide programming for eligible four year olds.  Amherst County Public Schools also partners with Bright Beginnings Central Virginia and Lyn-CAG Head Start in order to provide various preschool opportunities for three and four year olds as well. Acceptance for all programs are based on eligibility and availability of slots. Additional information is provided below.

Amherst County Public Schools' Smart Start Preschool Program

Información general sobre el programa pre-escolar Smart Start

Free, full-day preschool program that meets all Virginia State Standards for preschool education for your 4-year-old (Child must be 4 on or before September 30th of the school year applying for).

3 Locations:

Amherst Elementary

Central Elementary

Madison Heights Elementary


No cost for Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack. All school supplies provided. Transportation available.

To learn more about our 2023-2024 Smart Start program, please see the information in the documents linked below.

English 4 Year Old 2023-2024 Preschool Flyer    Programa Smart Start de ACPS 2023-2024

We are currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year beginning February 28, 2023.  To apply for the 2023-2024 school year, please use the links below.

 If your child is accepted, you must provide:


 Are you interested in preschool for your three year old?

If so, please see the information in the documents linked below related to our coordinated enrollment partnerships with Head Start and Bright Beginnings Central VA.

English 3 Year Old Preschool Flyer

Volante español de 3 años


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Contact Information

Mrs. Julianne Albert

Supervisor of Special Education and Early Childhood Programs

(434) 946-9341

 [email protected]   

Mrs. Kelsey Dolan 

Administrative Assistant

(434) 946-9386, extension9341

[email protected] 


Information and Resources:


2023-2024 Pre-K School Calendar

2023-2024 Calendario Escolar Pre-K 

2023 Smart Start Program Description

2023 Copia deSpanish Smart Start Program Description

 VDOE Early Childhood

Bright Beginnings of Central Virginia

Lyn-CAG Head Start

Virginia's Early Learning and Development Standards