Early Learning Preschool

PreK application opens on April 9th- All early childhood children in the City of Chicago must apply for preschool through Chicago Early Learning

South Loop Elementary is excited to offer preschool options for School Year 2024-25:

  • Universal PreK / Chicago Early Learning Program for 4 year olds (2 classrooms, capacity 40 students)


Quick Facts about Chicago Early Learning Preschool (Universal Pre-K)

Chicago Early Learn vision is to provide universal access to full day pre-school, ensuring there is available quality pre-k for every four-year-old in their community and comprehensive support for parents and guardians.

  • Operation is the length of the CPS school year. 
  • Operating 8:00 am – 3:00 pm on CPS school days for free
  • Utilizes Creative Curriculum Literacy Approach in all classrooms, providing a research-based structure to support student growth and learning
  • Fee based extended day options through our after school partner. This is only offered at South Loop School.
  • Participation in the UPK program does not guarantee your child’s acceptance or provide lottery/waitlist preference into the South Loop Elementary kindergarten program when you live outside the school’s attendance boundary.

How to Apply for Universal PreK

Step 1:   All early childhood children in the City of Chicago must apply for preschool through Chicago Early Learning or by calling the Family Hotline at 312-229-1690 and completing the online application. No students will be allowed to enroll in a CPS preschool program without completing the online universal preschool application.

Step 2: Families are notified via email by CEL which states their preliminary placement offer or waitlist status.

Step 3: Families that have been “offered” a placement must confirm the information submitted on the application by completing the document verification process (Age, Income & Residency) at their ‘offered’ school.

Step 4 (optional) For families that need a longer school day, South Loop School offers a fee based after school program through our partner, Youth Guidance. The program runs the length of the school year. Operating 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Registration and payment required. This option is only offered at South Loop School.