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.

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.