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 apply, 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:

Info Image

Contact Information

Mrs. Julianne Albert, VPI Coordinator

(434) 946-9341


Mrs. Gwen Ellis, Administrative Assistant

(434) 946-9386, extension 9651



Information and Resources:

Pre-K 21-22 School Calendar

Smart Start Program Description (English) 

Para obtener más información acerca del programa

 VDOE Early Childhood

Smart Beginnings of Central Virginia

Virginia's Early Learning and Development Standards