It’s time to apply for pre-k, and it might be free!

Do you have a child who will turn 4 before August 31? Do you want your child to be in a great pre-k program that is age-appropriate and focused on developing key skills for school and life? Are you discouraged by private pre-k’s price tag or by how hard it has been to find programs that fit your family’s needs?

Buncombe Pre-K is a community effort to make it easier for families to find pre-k programs and apply to publicly funded (no cost to families) pre-kindergarten programs. Local partners work together “behind the scenes” so that families have one website to go to, one number to call, and one application to fill out to connect with the pre-k programs and related services they might be eligible for.

Unlike some other states, North Carolina doesn’t offer “universal pre-k.” Buncombe County is lucky to have a lot of 5-star, high quality child care centers, and many of those do take child care subsidy (vouchers). We also have both Head Start and NC Pre-K, free programs for eligible families who meet income guidelines or other qualifications. Head Start and NC Pre-K (and their different locations, including Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools sites) have different eligibility, different requirements, different services, some have different schedules, and it’s a lot for families to navigate. 

We know finding the right program is complicated, but now there’s a clear place to start.,Go to Buncome Pre-K to…

LEARN about pre-k options in Buncombe County

APPLY to the two free programs–Head Start and NC Pre-K–online or over the phone (with one common application)

CONNECT with other services that their children might be eligible for–Early Head Start, Child care vouchers, services for children with delays or disabilities, etc.

Go to or call 828-419-1030

Want to help spread the word to neighbors or families you work with? 

You can find promotional materials and easily share them via social media from and 

Email or call her at 828-419-1030 to get other electronic or print promo materials (brochures, posters, blog/website text, etc.) you can share with families!