Frequently Asked Questions 

The Carteret County NC Pre-K program is a program of the Development and Early Education (DCDEE) and is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  It is designed to provide high-quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness.

What is the eligibility criteria?

NC Pre K is NOT a first come, first serve or lottery program. It is a needs based program.  A child that turns 4 on or before August 31st of the program year who has one or more of the following risk factors may be eligible:

  • Income at or below 75% of the state median income level
  • Identified developmental disability
  • Limited English proficiency (LEP)
  • An educational need indicated from an approved developmental screening or an existing Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • A chronic health condition as indicated by the diagnosis from a professional health care provider.
  • Children who are the dependent of a member of the United States Armed Forces, that was on active duty within the past 18 months, injured while serving, or killed while serving.

When will I be notified if my child has been accepted? 

Students will be selected around the end of June and parents/guardians are notified via email or phone call.  You will have 24 hours to respond to the email. Two attempts will be made before we move to the next child on the list. 


What if I miss the Carteret County NC PreK Round-Up in the spring? Fill out the online application. Please contact Carteret Preschool Center once the application is complete and a family interview appointment will then be set up. 


If a parent does not have a COMPLETE application, will the child be considered for a “slot”?  No. If a parent fails to provide any of the required documents, the application is not processed and not considered for placement. Once all paperwork is in, the child will be considered for a slot, if there are slots still available.

What is eligible as proof of income? 

  • ALL SOURCES OF FAMILY INCOME - submit all that apply
    • One of the following:
      •  Most recent pay stubs.  Please submit one of the following frequencies of pay.
        • If you get paid weekly – submit 4 consecutive pay stubs
        • If you get paid every two weeks/twice monthly – submit 2 consecutive pay stubs
        • If you get paid monthly – submit 1 month’s pay stub
      • 2023 tax return - first page only
      • 2023 W2’s
    • If applicable, award letters from the Social Security Administration and/or award letters from the Employment Security Commission
    • If you do not have any of the above, an employer statement as to your current pay rate & hours worked per week
    • If you are self employed, do not have any income to report or do not have any documentation of income, please fill out our Statement of Wages/No Income form

If I do not have all of the documents at the time I complete the application, can I still apply? 

Yes, you may submit an application without uploading documents but your application will be incomplete until all documents are submitted. Documents may be submitted online through application or by emailing them to [email protected].

What happens if any of my information changes? It is the parent’s responsibility to keep all information current by contacting Carteret Preschool Center.  If a phone number or email address is not working when assignments are being made, you may miss our communication. Two attempts will be made before moving on to the next child on the list.   

Is this a full time program?  Yes, we follow the regular public school calendar with the exception of 5 additional workdays.  The school day is 6.5 hours a day, 5 days a week.    

Can I be guaranteed a placement in my home school district?  No. If the home school site is full, other options will be presented.

What happens if there is no availability at my 1st choice site?  A parent has the right to accept a slot at another location when offered or place a child on the waitlist.  A child’s name cannot be assigned in two places.  In other words, a parent who accepts an alternate location cannot also ask to have their child placed on a waitlist at their preferred site. 

How are students on a waitlist notified of an opening?  A waitlist is maintained and updated as new students apply.  Open slots are always offered to the students with the highest need and not necessarily when the application was completed.  When a slot opens up, the parent will be notified by email or phone call.  

Are children of military parents eligible and guaranteed a slot? Children who are the dependent of a member of the United States Armed Forces are eligible without regard to income.  However, placement into the program and location is NOT guaranteed. Proof of active duty status or disability must be provided.  

How many children are accepted?  Carteret County is assigned 271 slots by the State of North Carolina. These slots are divided among our sites.

Is transportation provided?  If a child is selected for a school site, the child can ride a bus assigned to that school, at no cost, IF the child lives in that school district.  Private sites may or may not offer transportation. There may be a fee associated with transportation at any of the private sites we partner with.

Is before school and/or after school (wrap-around) care available?  Our public school sites do not offer before or after school care. There are several community programs who offer this service, for a fee, and may provide the associated transportation. Private sites may or may not offer wrap-around care for a fee.

What is the cost of NC Pre-K? There is no cost for NC Pre-K to the family.  

Any additional questions?  Contact Carteret Preschool Center at 252-223-4574.  You can also email us at [email protected] or [email protected]