The Department works with the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) to coordinate the EOEL Public Prekindergarten Program (PreK) and partners with organizations and agencies to expand learning opportunities for Hawaii's children ages prenatal to age five. PreK application packets for the upcoming school year are now being accepted.

PreK applications

The EOEL Public Prekindergarten program serves 3- and 4-year-old children who are in the two years before kindergarten entry. Children must be 3 or 4 on or before July 31 of the current year.  Please visit the Executive Office on Early Learning's website for more information.

Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from low-income families from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.

The Head Start federal grants are managed by the following nonprofit agencies. Contact them for services:

The Community Learning Center at Māʻili

​Families on the Waiʻanae Coast can connect with the center's Preschool Complex​ to access classrooms being operated by Kamehameha Schools and a variety of community organizations including ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, HCAP – Head Start, INPEACE Keiki Steps program, Keiki o ka ‘Aina and Wai‘anae Coast Early Education Center.​

Learning to Grow

The Learning to Grow Project (LTG), under the University of Hawaiʻi Center on the Family, provides statewide educational outreach services to families with children ages birth to 5 and their Family, Friend, and Neighbor (license-exempt) child care providers. They provide parents with information about child care options and the importance of the quality of the early learning environment.


PATCH is a community service organization dedicated to supporting Hawai‘i’s child care needs. PATCH provides access to registered and licensed child care, offers child care subsidies to eligible families, provides child development training and ECE scholarship opportunities, and assists those interested in starting a family child care business. PATCH is a free resource hub for families, child care professionals and communities of Hawai‘i. 

Pre​​school Open Doors

The Department of Human Services (DHS) encourages families to apply for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program for preschool participation. POD serves more than 1,500 children statewide, provides child care subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay preschool tuition, and aims to provide children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life.​

Contact Information

Yuuko Arikawa-Cross

Phone: (808) 784-5350


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