Early Childhood

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.

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:
Madison Heights Elementary
Central Elementary
Amelon Elementary

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

To learn more about our 2022-2023 Smart Start program, please see the information in the documents linked below.

English 4 Year Old Preschool Flyer    Programa Smart Start de ACPS 2022-2023

To apply for the 2022-2023 school year, please use the links below.

To apply for the current 2021-2022 school year, call the Smart Start Preschool Program office at: 946-9386, extension 9651, or download an application.  Smart Start Application (English) Descargar una aplicación de preescolar en español

 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


Info Image

Contact Information

Mrs. Julianne Albert

Supervisor of Special Education and Early Childhood Programs

(434) 946-9341

 [email protected]   

Mrs. Gwen Ellis

Administrative Assistant

(434) 946-9386, extension 9651

[email protected] 

Information and Resources:


Pre-K 21-22 School Calendar

2022 Smart Start Program Description

2022 Copia deSpanish Smart Start Program Description

 VDOE Early Childhood

Smart Beginnings of Central Virginia

Virginia's Early Learning and Development Standards