Universal Pre-Kindergarten

About the UPK program

Watervliet’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program is collaboration between the Watervliet City School District and Albany Community Action Partnership.


Watervliet currently operates a total of four full-day UPK classrooms. The classrooms are located at Watervliet Elementary School and employ Head Start teachers. The UPK staff consists of New York State-certified early childhood educators and certified teacher assistants. All four rooms are supervised by the district’s universal pre-kindergarten director.

The UPK program follows the regular school district calendar.


The UPK program offers free access to a high-quality, full day, early education program for all eligible children. Funding for the UPK program is provided by New York State, enabling children to participate in this excellent educational program. The curriculum is aligned with New York State standards and our local kindergarten curriculum. Before and after-care is available on a fee basis through local community agencies.


Per regulation, for a child to be eligible to attend the UPK program his or her family must live in the Watervliet City School District. Children must be 4 years old by December 1 of the year they are enrolled in the program, but may not yet be 5 years old by this date.


All four UPK classes follow the Watervliet City School District calendar, including any unplanned school closings or delays.


Enrollment for the program begins in the spring of the preceding year. A notice announcing registration dates will be sent home from the elementary school and posted on the district website and WVLT (the local access channel) in early March.  Registration takes place on March 11-12 for 2019.  Download application forms for UPK

Selection Process

If more than applications are received than available slots, a lottery will be implemented and applicants will be randomly selected by lottery. The process will continue until all slots are filled or until the list of applicants is exhausted. A waiting list will be maintained with any students not making the initial list. All parties will be notified of their acceptance by June.

If you have any further questions please contact the universal pre-kindergarten office at (518) 629-3263.

New 3-year-old Pre-K program starts January 2019

The Watervliet City School District will offer a full-day prekindergarten program for 3-year-old children (children who are three years old on or before December 1, 2018) beginning January 30, 2019. The new program is open to district residents.

The free educational Pre-K program will run from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and will follow the school district calendar. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to students. The program will be located at Kids Express/Achievements in the former Maplewood School.

You must make an appointment to register for the 3-year-old Pre-K program. Please call Danielle Mele at 518-629-3263 to schedule your registration time. Registration is held at the Watervliet Elementary School.

Please bring the following items to your registration appointment (your application cannot be processed without ALL of the following):

  • Completed application (can be completed at appointment)
  • Proof of residency – Acceptable proof of residence: Mortgage or property tax statement, Residential Unit Client Certificate (RUCC), copy of lease, or notarized statement from landlord
  • Child’s birth certificate (Child/ren must be age 3 by December 1, 2018 to attend the Pre-K 3 year old program)
  • Child’s immunization record
  • Proof of income: W-2 prior year, 4 weeks of employment pay stubs, unemployment receipts, child support payments and/or SSI documentation
  • Custody paperwork – If applicable, please attach a complete certified copy of the court decision bearing its case number, official stamp and signature. It is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian to inform Kids Express/Watervliet PK of any subsequent modifications during the child’s enrollment.

Pre-K 3-year-old program starts January 30, 2019 and ends June 26, 2019. Placements are limited and will be assigned through a lottery system if oversubscribed. Applications not initially selected will be placed on a waiting list and called when a space becomes available.

If your application is selected you will receive an acceptance letter/call.

Reminder: The program is located at Kids Express in the former Maplewood School. The hours are from 8:30 a.m.  to 1:30 p.m. and will follow the Watervliet City School District calendar. Snow days will follow the North Colonie School District school closings.

Before-and-after care is available for a fee and is provided by Kids Express.
Transportation is NOT provided.

Before your child can begin attending school in January, s/he will need:

  • A complete annual physical exam and recorded lead levels.
  • An Emergency Treatment Form
  • Day Care Registration Card (Blue card with photo)
  • Permission for exchange of information
  • Permission to apply sunscreen
  • Heath Care Plan (if needed)
  • Release from school
  • Medication consent (if necessary)

Children cannot start attending the program until ALL paperwork is completed. Forms will be provided with acceptance letter.

Download a printable copy Pre-K 3-year old application form

For more information or if you have questions, call 518-629-3263.