Frequently Asked Questions 

The Carteret County NC Pre-K program serves those students that demonstrate a need to come to school a year early so they are better prepared to enter Kindergarten the following year. It is NOT a first come, first serve or lottery program.

How are children selected?

Parents/guardians fill out the online application and the student is then screened.  This evaluates pre-academic readiness, fine motor, gross motor, and self-help skills.  A parent must also answer questions.  After the application and screening is complete, the applications are entered into the NC PreK eligibility system.  Students will be selected around mid June and parents/guardians are notified via email or phone call.  Students are prioritized first based on academic need, income, developmental need, and whether they are already in a program.  After that, other factors may be considered.  

What if I miss the Carteret County NC PreK Round-Up in the spring? Fill out the online application.  It is available on our website  Please contact Carteret Preschool Center once the application is complete and a screening 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 the slots are still available.

What is eligible as proof of income? This can be tax forms (W2 or 1040) from the previous year, 4 consecutive pay stubs that prove average monthly income for parents or statement from employer, LES for military (also acts as proof of military service), child support, unemployment benefits, SSI,  or worker’s compensation.  This information needs to be provided for all guardians in the home.  

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, 2nd, or 3rd choice site?  A parent has the right to accept a slot at another location 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 on a “Wait List.”

How are students on a “Waitlist” notified of an opening?  A “Wait List” 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. 

Are children of military parents guaranteed a slot? Children of active duty and disabled military parents qualify for NC Pre K regardless of 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?  At this point, Carteret County is assigned 271 slots by the State of North Carolina. These slots are placed at the 8 sites.

Is transportation provided?  If a child is selected for a school site, the child can ride a bus assigned to that school IF the child lives in that school district.  At this time, Excel Learning Center does not offer transportation.  

What is the cost of NC Pre-K? Nothing, there is only a cost for children who need before or after school care in the places where this service is offered.

Any additional questions?  Please visit our website at or contact Carteret Preschool Center at 252-223-4574.  You can also email us at [email protected] or [email protected]