Quick Facts


2023-2024 MCPK Parent Handbook



How many students are enrolled at MCPK?


Approximately 224 students aged 3-5.


When does the school day begin and end?


We strive to meet the needs of busy families by offering flexible scheduling options. Our full-day school program is from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm, with morning and afternoon Extended Care from 7:00 am - 6:00 pm.


 Please see this complete schedule:

7:00am - 8:15am: Morning Care

8:30am - 12:30pm: Half-Day School Program (5 days)

8:30am - 2:30pm: Full-Day School Program (5 days)

2:30pm - 6:00pm: Afternoon Extended Care

We also offer a combo program consisting of 3 full and 2 half days (parents may choose their own schedule), as well as a punchcard system which provides an Extended Care drop-in option on an occasional basis.

Families may change their schedule at any time throughout the year (with two week’s notice).

When does the school year begin and end?

We follow the Montclair Public Schools (MPS) calendar. Our school year starts in early September and concludes in late June. We observe the same holidays and closings as MPS, including delayed openings and early closings due to inclement weather. For our current school year calendar, click HERE.

What education program does the school follow?


Learn more about our educational program


What programs do you offer?


The Montclair Community Pre-K is proud to offer three to five-year-olds a high quality preschool education accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The school follows a school year calendar with the children attending Monday through Friday. We offer half-day, school day and extended care schedules to meet all family's needs. We have 12 classes of three, four, and five-year-old children. All incoming students must be at least three-years-old by October 1st. We also have a transitional kindergarten class for children who either miss the cut-off date or are waiting one year before entering kindergarten as well as a dual-language immersion Spanish/English classrooms for three and four-year-olds.


Our program offers a smooth transition for your child whether he or she is coming from home, daycare or other learning environment. We provide a caring and structured experience which gradually enables your child to take on greater and greater independence.


Click here to learn more about our curriculum


What are your class sizes and ratios?

We follow the guidelines and recommendations as set forth by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in determining our class size and teacher/child ratios. In our 3-year-old program we maintain a class size of 16, with a maximum 1:8 staff/child ratio. Our 4-year-old classes have a maximum of 20 children with a maximum 1:10 staff/child ratio.

What are the staff members’ qualifications?

MCPK’s teachers possess a depth of experience and qualifications. Our teaching faculty members hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in early childhood education, humanities, psychology, educational leadership and related fields of education. Tour Teaching Associates have extensive experience and many possess the Child Development Associates Certification (CDA). Many of our faculty members are certified by the State of New Jersey in Early Childhood Education (P-3 Certification) or Elementary Education. In addition, many of our faculty members have attended educational seminars and workshops including Harvard University Project Zero Summer Institute with Dr. Howard Gardner and Bank Street College of Education Summer Institute.  

Learn more about our team


What part do the holidays play in your curriculum?  

We present a global perspective to the year demonstrating that there are holidays every day somewhere in the world. Parents are invited to share their family traditions with the classes, minus the religious symbolization. One of the most wonderful features of our school is its diversity, which gives children an opportunity to learn more about each other and respect our differences as well as our similarities.


What is the One Love Anti- Basis curriculum?

Teachers and facilitators plan and implement lessons and activities celebrating diversity, exploring world cultures and teaching the importance of  tolerance, inclusivity, acceptance and respect for all people, families and lifestyles. Families and guests are invited in to share their stories, traditions, cultures and unique experiences to enrich our school culture. This foundational anti-bias program will be infused throughout our classroom explorations, whole-school traditions and community events.  The One Love Committee of facilitators, staff members and parents will meet monthly to add to program resources and lead the planning process. Please reach out to your teaching team if you are interested in participating in the One Love Project for your child’s class or school-wide. We ask that each family limit their participation to one or two holidays or traditions per school year to ensure that all families have an opportunity to share with the class. 



How is discipline handled?

Our approach to discipline is a positive one.  We discuss feelings, possible solutions to problems, and use logical consequences for behaviors.  If a child is having difficulty in an area of the class, the teacher and child will discuss the problem, consider alternatives and redirect the child to another area if necessary.  In the rare circumstance where a child is having great difficulty, he/she may have to spend time sitting with the teacher engaged in a one-on-one activity.


Does my child have to be toilet-trained?

Yes. MCPK is designed for children who are completely toilet-trained and do not require diapers or pull-ups. Children who enter school in September must be able to take care of their own toileting needs, including wiping, flushing and re-adjusting clothing. Pull-up diapers are not permitted as underclothing.



Are children required to be Montclair residents to attend?

No. MCPK enrolls children from Montclair and the surrounding communities. However, tuition assistance is available to Montclair residents only.

When can I register my child?

Registration for the upcoming school year begins in January of that year. Registrations are accepted on a first-come first-served basis. Registrations continue until we are at full capicity. We may continue to enroll during the school year if we have space available.

What is the age requirement to enroll my child?

All children must turn 3 by October 1st of the current school year.    

What documents are required for enrollment in MCPK?

Families are required to provide four (4) proofs of residency: a lease or tax bill as well as three (3) other documents of residency (i.e., cable bill, utility bill, phone bill, etc). For those seeking tuition assistance, financial statements must be submitted including a current 1040 tax form and three (3) consecutive pay stubs from all your current employers.  In addition, the NJ universal health record, proof of immunizations and a copy of the child’s birth certificate are required and must be presented at registration.  No registration is complete until all paperwork has been received. A child’s enrollment will be in jeopardy if the enrollment packet is not complete by JULY 1.



What are the vaccination requirements for my child?

State law requires that all children be up-to-date on their immunizations before they attend school, following the recommended schedule approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, children must receive a flu vaccine between October 1st and December 15th. The state health department’s complete list is available here.

Do you have a nurse on staff?

MCPK has a full-time registered nurse during the school day who is experienced with pediatric and school health and acts as our on-site health coordinator.  Staff training in infection control, food allergies, and child safety is conducted by the school nurse.  The entire staff is certified in CPR and first aid as outlined by the American Red Cross. The school nurse reviews student health records, immunization schedules and the health needs of all students. Prescribed medications such as asthma inhalers, antibiotics, epi-pen and others are given by the school nurse. In addition, the school nurse conducts vision and hearing screenings for MCPK students, and makes follow-up referrals if needed.

What is your policy for nuts and other potential allergens?

Students are allowed to pack snacks and lunch foods without restriction, including peanuts. We offer a nut-free seating arrangement at snack and lunchtime. If you have any concerns, please contact the school nurse.


How is class placement determined and when will I find out who my child’s teacher is?

Class placements are made during the summer months prior to the start of school.  There are many factors considered in the placement of children and a great deal of time and effort is spent in doing so.  We follow the directives of the Montclair Public Schools and balance our classes by gender and race, as well as other factors such as student schedule and input from the Social History Form. The Social History Form is an opportunity for the parent/caregiver to give us their insight into the child’s personality, interests, needs, etc., all of which helps with placement.  The form also asks parents/caregivers to describe the type of educational and social environment you feel best meets the needs of your child and your family. This form is critical so please take time to complete it.   Each family will receive a packet of information in August that will include class placement. In addition, your family will be contacted by the teaching team in late August to schedule a home visit prior to or early on in the school year. This visit will allow you and your child to meet and speak with the teaching team and get to know each other. Our Family Services Director is available to answer any questions or concerns about class placement.  All packets must be complete by July 1st for a child to be placed in a classroom.

Do the children play outside every day?

Outdoor play is an essential aspect of our program and all children must be prepared to participate. The children play outside every day unless there is severe weather, i.e. extreme cold and wind, rain etc.  The children should be dressed appropriately and ready for outdoor play each school day.  This includes a warm coat/jacket, hat, mittens/gloves, boots and snow pants for play in the winter. If you believe your child is not well enough to play outside, the child should stay at home until they are well enough to participate in all school activities.


Will my child rest during the day?

The State of New Jersey mandates that any early childhood program open for more than four hours a day must offer a rest time lasting at least 30 minutes.  Therefore, all of our students who are here for a full day must have a rest period. Many children sleep during rest time; many do not. Those who don’t sleep can rest quietly with a book or listen to music.


What items must my child have at school everyday?

  • Lunch box

  • Extra set of seasonally-appropriate clothing

  • A crib sheet or beach towel for rest mat

  • A backpack

Any items sent from home, including coats, sweaters, hats, etc., should be labeled with your child’s name.

How does Extended Care work?

Families may register their children for Extended Care by the month anytime, and may choose 2, 3, 4, or 5 days per week, during the mornings, afternoons or both. Families can indicate their interest in Extended Care on their enrollment forms.

How do I use the “Punch Card” so my child can attend Extended Care on occasion?


The punch card system is intended to assist families who may need an extended day for their child on an irregular basis. It will begin the first week of October 2023. To use the system, a family must purchase a card with block “punches” on it.

The extended care program hours are 7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to purchase a punch card.

The prices are as follows:

  • 5 punches = $150.00
  • 10 punches = $275.00


For more information click here.

How does After School Enrichment work?

We offer three sessions of After School Enrichment classes each year, in the fall, winter and spring. Students dismissed at 12:30 p.m. may return for After School Enrichment. Classes are 45 minutes long and begin at 2:45 p.m. Class offerings vary from session to session and may include science, art, soccer and dance.

What transportation options are available?

MCPK provides and encourages curbside drop-off service in the morning. Children are greeted by MCPK faculty at the curb and safely escorted to class.  Families may also choose to park their cars and take their children directly to their classroom.  At the current time, no bus transportation is available.

Does the school offer a hot lunch program or do I have to pack a lunch for my child?

MCPK does not offer a hot lunch program to our families.  All children must bring in their lunch from home.  Lunches that need to be served warm must be heated at home and sent in a thermos. We do not microwave lunches as per our licensing requirements.