Pathway to Seattle Preschool Program

Free or reduced preschool tuition
Time to apply
30-40 mins
Processing time
2-3 weeks
Age range
3-4 years old
Preschool aged children riding in a toy car Two girls pick flowers in a field


Pathway provides high-quality, full- and half-day preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-olds in Seattle. Tuition is offered on a sliding scale calculated by household size and income.

  • Preschools are run by community-based organizations and schools and are in or near elementary schools.
  • Full-day programs provide 6 or more hours a day for children, 4 to 5 days a week. Half-day programs provide a 3½ hour instructional day for children, 4 to 5 days a week.
  • Programs run from September to June.

Teachers provide daily opportunities for children to improve skills in language and literacy, math concepts, science, social studies, arts, physical development, and social and emotional development.


  • Children must be 3 or 4 years old by August 31st of participating year
  • Families must live within Seattle city limits


Tuition is free for children from families earning less than 94% of the state median income. Tuition is offered on a sliding scale for families earning more than that, calculated by household size and income.

View current rates for Pathway programs based on state median income levels below:

Rates for full-day programs

Rates for part-day programs

How to Apply

  1. Contact preschools directly. Each preschool location manages enrollment directly. Contact your preschool of preference to determine if they have vacancies.
  2. If they have space available, they will give you an enrollment packet to complete.
  3. You will be asked for these documents during the enrollment process:

    • Proof of your child's age
    • Proof of your address
    • Proof of family income


Pathway uses a research-based curriculum that is aligned with Washington State early learning guidelines and Common Core standards.

  • Teachers with degrees in Early Childhood Education
  • Small class sizes
  • Enriched classroom environments
  • Continuing education required for teachers
  • Help with kindergarten enrollment and transition
  • Bilingual programs and teaching staff

Both programs offer discounted or free preschool to families.

The difference is that if a preschool does not currently meet the eligibility requirements for Seattle Preschool Program (not offering a full-time schedule of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days/year, various teacher qualifications, or an unlicensed site), the preschool may offer their part-time preschool through the Pathway program.

Participating Preschools

Associated Recreation Council (ARC), part-day
Queen Anne Community Center
(206) 386-4240

Hilltop Children's Center - Fremont, full-day
3601 Fremont Ave N.
(206) 283-3100

West African Community Center, full-day
One Family Learning Center - Brighton
(206) 913-2538


Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning, Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050


Education and Early Learning

Dwane Chappelle, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 1700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94665, Seattle, WA, 98124-6965
Phone: (206) 233-5118
Phone Alt: Childcare and Preschool: (206) 386-1050
Fax: (206) 386-1900

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