U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Preschoolers playing

Apply to DHSP Preschool Programs

Human Service Programs

The Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP) has 7 high-quality preschools located throughout Cambridge. All DHSP preschools are "extended day" or full-time programs, operating 5 days a week (Monday through Friday) and 12 months each year.  All of our classrooms strive to provide children and their families with a quality, nurturing and educational preschool experience that fosters positive child-parent-teacher relationships and supports children’s healthy growth and development. 

Across preschools, daily curriculum includes breakfast, outside time, circle time and small group activities, lunch, story / nap time, afternoon outside time, and free choice activities.

All DHSP Preschools are licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

DHSP Preschool Programs are part of the Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP), a joint initiative of the City and Cambridge Public Schools, overseen by the Cambridge Office of Early Childhood

Learn more about the Cambridge Preschool Program

Eligibility

A child is eligible to apply for the 2024-2025 CPP application if:

  • They are a Cambridge resident
  • They will turn 4 years old by August 31, 2024 
  • They will turn 3 years old by August 31, 2024 

How to Apply

The Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP) Application is now closed.

DHSP Preschool Locations

Haggerty Preschool (110 Cushing St.)
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Kennedy-Longfellow Preschool
(158 Spring St.) 
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

King Open Preschool (101 Willow St.)
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool (100 Putnam Ave.) 
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Morse Preschool (40 Granite St.)
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Peabody Preschool
(70 Rindge Ave.)
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Windsor Preschool
 (119 Windsor St.)
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to attend a DHSP Preschool?

Families pay monthly tuition fees for their child to attend DHSP Preschools. Tuition rates are on a sliding scale based on income and family size.

The City of Cambridge subsidizes all DHSP preschool classrooms to offer more affordable preschool options to Cambridge families. Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, the City will additionally cover the cost of the school-day / school-year portion of DHSP Preschool Programs for Cambridge 4-year-olds through the Cambridge Preschool Program.   

View 2024-2025 DHSP Preschools Tuition Rates for 4-Year-Olds

View 2024-2025 DHSP Preschools Tuition Rates for 3-Year-Olds

Will the DHSP Preschool Program accept children who are age 2.9-3 years of age for the 2024-2025 school year?

Beginning with the application process for the 2024-2025 school year, we will no longer accept children between the ages of 2.9 and 3 years. DHSP Preschool Programs’ age eligibility will align with the Cambridge Preschool Program's age eligibility.

Children are eligible to apply the DHSP Preschool Program for the 2024-2025 school year if they will be:

  • 4 years old by August 31, 2024 for 4-year-old programs; or
  • 3 years old  by August 31, 2024 for 3-year-old programs 

Can my child attend DHSP Preschools part-time?

No. When families enroll their child in a DHSP Preschool Program, they are committing to having their child attend preschool full-time and to paying their monthly tuition rate for the 12-month program.  

See above for hours at specific preschools.

My child is 3 and is currently enrolled in a DHSP Preschool program. Will we need to reapply for a seat in 2024-2025?

3-year-olds currently enrolled in a DHSP Preschool Program during the 2023-2024 school year will have the option to re-enroll in the same program for the 2024-2025 school year. To continue in the same program next year, families will need to submit an application through the Cambridge Preschool Program application.   

Families will also have the option of applying to a different preschool program through the Cambridge Preschool Program’s application.  

Are children of City of Cambridge or Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) employees who are not Cambridge residents eligible to apply to DHSP Preschool Programs?

City of Cambridge employees and CPS employees who are not Cambridge residents are not eligible to apply. Only Cambridge residents with age-eligible children can apply to DHSP Preschool Programs through the Cambridge Preschool Program’s application.

If there are open seats at DHSP preschools after CPP placements have been made, there may be an opportunity for non-resident City of Cambridge employees to apply to our programs through a separate application process. We will share an update about seat availability in spring 2024.

If my child attends a DHSP Preschool, will they be able to attend Kindergarten at that school?

Children enrolled in DHSP Preschools will need to enter the Cambridge Public Schools’ Kindergarten Lottery to determine their Kindergarten placement. 

Will 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool through the Cambridge Preschool Program be eligible to apply to DHSP Afterschool Programs?

Afterschool programs that are run by the City’s Department of Human Service Programs operate consistent with the state’s Department of Early Education and Care licensure standards. Prior to the launch of the Cambridge Preschool Program, Cambridge children who were 4.5 years of age and older were eligible to enroll in a Junior Kindergarten program. Children enrolled in Junior Kindergarten programs were considered to be part of the school system and were classified as school-aged. With the launch of the Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP), all Cambridge children who turn 4 by August 31 will have access to high-quality preschool programs and CPP will replace Junior Kindergarten. Through this shift, children who are 4.5 years old are no longer considered school-aged by the state. Because the Department of Early Education and Care requires different staff:child ratios and qualifications for serving 4-year-olds, the City will no longer be able to operate programs for children who are 4.5 years old as part of afterschool programs.

The Department of Human Service Programs and several community-based programs will continue to operate full-day and year-round preschool programs. If families need this level of care for their 4-year-old, they should apply to a preschool program that offers extended day care. For more information about preschool programs participating in the Cambridge Preschool Program, visit https://earlychildhoodcambridge.org/cpp/.

Page was posted on 4/9/2021 11:53 AM
Page was last modified on 2/15/2024 4:20 PM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement


Service Requests

Enter a service request via SeeClickFix for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc.