Funding Available for New or Expanding Pre-K Programs in 2021-2022!

Are you opening a new Pre-K program or expanding an existing program in FY22? – Maine Department of Education will provide funding for FY22 for new or expanded Pre-K programs!

If your SAU is opening or expanding a Pre-K program in the 2021-2022 school year, you are eligible to receive funding on your FY22 ED279 for children you enroll in these new or expanding Pre-K programs in 2021. This means you will receive the funding for enrollment in the same year that you enroll the Pre-K children, without a year delay.

Beginning in FY19, the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding formula added an allocation for Pre-K programs’ estimate student count. The Pre-K program estimate count allocation is intended to provide funding for Pre-K programming in advance of actual student enrollment, helping to offset the upfront costs associated with expanding or starting Pre-K programs. This Pre-K program allocation was first authorized into law on July 1, 2018 to begin in FY19 and continue indefinitely.

If you are expanding and would like to receive an FY22 estimate Pre-K allocation, please notify the Maine DOE by completing the FY22 Estimate Pre-K Count Data Form before October 30, 2020. There are 3 questions to be answered:

  1. Choose your SAU from a list
  2. Do you have an existing Pre-K program (FY21)? – Yes/No
  3. Provide your SAU’s Pre-K Estimated Increase Count (new slots available in new or expanding program)

SAUs completing the form must also complete the Pre-K Program Application with DOE’s Early Childhood Team by April 30, 2021 and obtain program approval.

The FY22 Estimate Pre-K Count Data Collection form is meant to capture the FY22 estimate for new and expanding Pre-K program enrollment. The estimate student count data, in addition to the current (FY21) enrollment in an existing Pre-K program, will be used to provide funding on the FY22 ED279. SAUs’ Pre-K total enrollment number, as reported and verified October 1, 2021, should match the combined existing and estimated increase total that was used to calculate funds in the ED279. After October 1, 2021 an audit adjustment, based on actual enrollment reported in NEO on October 1, 2021, will be made to the Pre-K allocation assigned on the FY22 ED279. Please note that this may increase or decrease funding.

For more information about establishing or expanding a Pre-K program, please check out our webpage on the topic, or please contact Paula Gravelle at 624-6792 or