Somerville Public Schools (SPS) is committed to offering high quality early childhood programming. Our overall goal in Somerville is to promote Universal Kindergarten Readiness, making sure that every child is ready for school, and working to ensure that our schools are ready for every child. Somerville's Early Education Department is under the direction of Kathleen Bailer.
We are fortunate to have talented professional early childhood teachers whose mission it is to educate the whole child. Teachers pay attention to children’s social-emotional, academic, and physical well-being. We know that supporting development in all these areas contributes to success in school and daily life.
Thinking about the whole child also means supporting families. The Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, the family engagement arm of Somerville Public Schools, coordinates programming such as new parent groups, playgroups, home visiting, and kindergarten transition activities that prepare families and children for entry to school, from infancy to school entrance, and then into the school-age years and beyond.
Registering for Preschool
There are three preschool program options across the district. SMILE, ECIP and Healey Head Start Preschool Program. Visit the Enrollment Office (formerly the Parent Information Center) page for information about registering for these programs.
The 'SMILE' Program
There are eight preschool classrooms at the Capuano Early Childhood Center and one each at the West Somerville Neighborhood School, Winter Hill, and Argenziano. The school day runs from 8:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. and includes universal free breakfast for all children. A nutritious lunch is also provided daily at a nominal cost, and available for free to eligible families. Enrollment by lottery is in May.
Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP)
This mixed-age inclusion program primarily serves children with special needs as well as typically developing peers. Enrollment by special education screening for children with IEPs and lottery for typically developing peers.
SPS/Head Start Preschool Partnership Classrooms
Somerville Public Schools partners with Head Start to offer a full-day preschool classroom at the Healey School and one at the Capuano Center. The Healey Head Start Classroom is staffed by a team teacher team that includes an SPS teacher and a Head Start teacher. The program runs from 8:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. and afterschool programming is available until 5:30 p.m. for all 4-year-olds in this classroom. The Capuano Head Start Classroom is staffed by two Head Start teachers and also runs from 8:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. Afterschool programming is available until 5:30 p.m. for all 4-year-olds in this classroom. Children and families receive the comprehensive services provided by Head Start such as home visits and family advocate support, as well as a strong curriculum influenced by both Head Start and SPS. These classrooms are open to both Head Start and non-Head Start eligible families in Somerville.
The Early Education Steering Committee
Early Childhood Initiatives are stewarded by the Early Education Steering Committee, led by the Director of Early Education with representation from the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC), local universities, Head Start, center-based programs, SPS Central Administration, and SomerPromise.
Links and Resources
- Somerville Early Education Best Practices Website
- Ready to Learn, Ready for K: Somerville's Early Education and Care Plan
- SFLC Early Childhood Programs
- Playgroups and Parent Support Groups
- Enrollment Office (formerly Parent Information Center) - Registration
- Somerville Early Education (SEE) Blog
- Somerville Early Education (SEE) Pinterest
- Somerville Hub (www.somervillehub.org)
- Beautiful Stuff
- Strategies for Children
- MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)