Alert: Beginning July 1, 2018, the Department of Early Learning will become the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). After June 30, 2018, this website will no longer be updated. For the latest information on early learning, visit the DCYF website at

Preschool Programs


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The Department of Early Learning (DEL) licenses child care centers and family home child care homes. Find more information about licensed child care options.


Private preschools or kindergartens offer primarily educational curriculum for no more than four hours per day. DEL does not license or oversee private preschools. However, some private preschools and kindergartens are certified with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). 


A private preschool that operates more than four hours per day is subject to child care licensing and DEL oversight. Some licensed child care providers may also offer kindergarten curriculum. You can learn more about these programs by searching DEL's Child Care Check.


Other programs may be accredited through their particular program approach, such as Montessori or Waldorf programs.