Early Childhood Education

Early Head Start 

Early Head Start is for infants, toddlers or expectant mothers who meet income requirements and live in the Reston, Herndon and Springfield areas.

High quality instruction in the early childhood classroom supports infants and toddlers’ social and emotional development by providing lessons that focus on improving their self-control, mental flexibility and working memory.

Spaces are limited. The application process begins January 1 for the following school year starting in September. It is important for all families to apply as soon as possible.

Note: The application eligibility, selection and enrollment process is managed centrally at the Office of Early Childhood Curriculum and Grant Management located in Falls Church; not at schools. If you a have question about the application process or status, please call the main English line: 703-208-7900 or Spanish line: 703-208-7901.

Pre Kindergarten (ages 3-5)

PreK program provides a quality preschool experience with comprehensive services at no cost to families who qualify based on family income and who reside in Fairfax County. Your family may qualify if you:

  • have a child who will be age 3, 4 or 5 (not eligible for Kindergarten) by October 1,
  • receive free or reduced-price school meals, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Social Security Income, and/or homeless per definition of the McKinney Vento Act
  • receive resources such as from a shelter and/or the FCPS homeless liaison office.

Early Childhood Class-based (ages 3-5)

Early Childhood Class-based services provide instruction in a classroom setting. The curriculum is language rich and emphasizes communication, early literacy, social development, and development of other skills as designated in the student’s IEP.

Preschool Autism Class (ages 3-5)

Dogwood ES also has a full-day Preschool Autism Class (PAC), designed to address the specific needs of preschool-age children who have been identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder or present characteristics on the autism spectrum, and who cannot benefit from the early childhood class based program.

PAC services are designed with a reduced adult to student ratio and provide systematic instruction in a highly structured setting to maximize learning.

FCPS Early Childhood Education