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Portland Parks Preschool

Portland Parks & Recreation is dedicated to providing a play-based, child-centered educational preschool program for ages 3–5 years old. Play is an important avenue for learning. It is our goal to honor where each child is in their development.

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COVID-19 related information

Learn more about closures and postponements related to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

About PP&R Preschool

Portland Parks Preschool is based on the developmental philosophy that children develop and grow at their own rate. Years of research on children's learning and development documents the many benefits of play and exploration on a child's intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and language development. In order to grow, children must play by exploring and manipulating their environment. They learn using their senses. Play is an important avenue for learning. As children imitate what goes on around them, they begin to understand how things work and how they are used. Initially, this is a process of trial and error. However, with time and repetition, they use new information to increase their understanding of the world around them.

To enhance the learning experience, our preschool programs feature learning stations that enable children to explore different areas of development such as small motor, socialization, pre-math, science, pre-reading and listening skills. Learning stations allow children to make choices, encourage active learning and hands-on experiences, and provide for individual learning styles.

Enrollment Process

To secure a spot, a $40 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of registration.Registrations are taken in-person on a first-come, first-served basis. Click the link to your community center below to learn more.

Your first choice for class day and time is not guaranteed. It is recommended that families arrive early on the appropriate registration date. Priority registration is given to current families. Learn more.


Tuition is an annual sum divided into nine equal monthly payments for ease. Tuition is not reduced or reimbursed due to scheduled school closures or absence due to personal family vacation or student illness.

Scholarship and Financial Assistance

Portland Parks & Recreation recognizes that some residents of the City of Portland may require financial assistance to participate in our programming. We believe all preschool-age children should have access to educational opportunities in their community. If the cost of Portland Parks Preschool is out of your reach, we encourage you to speak to our staff about scholarship opportunities that may align the price to your family's budget.


A day in the life

We know parents would love to be a "fly on the wall" and see what exactly goes on while their child is at school. Here is a sample of your child's day at Portland Parks Preschool.

When your child arrives, we encourage them to hang up their belongings as independently as possible. Once they've said their goodbyes, it's time to choose a free choice activity. It might be playing with playdough, building with blocks, playing dress-up with friends, exploring shaving cream, doing puzzles, or looking at books. After cleanup, it's time for a focused activity. In Pre-K, this could be tracing the letters of their name, practicing cutting on a line, or using tongs to place objects in a container. For preschoolers, this could be as simple as learning to use a glue stick and trying out scissors.

Next, it's time to wash hands and have a snack. Snack time is a great time to socialize with classmates and practice table manners. After eating, children throw away their garbage and head to the rug for circle time. If they finish before their friends, they are welcome to look at a book. Once everyone is gathered on the rug, we sing our welcome song, then read a book or two, and sing more songs. Pre-K students will practice the daily calendar and weather activities. Then it's share bag time. Each child will get several opportunities throughout the year to bring something special to share with friends. This is a chance to practice speaking in front of a group and for the other children to learn to be a good audience.

After circle time, it's time for gross motor play. We are fortunate that Portland Parks & Recreation facilities have both indoor and outdoor play areas. Rest assured, no matter what the weather, your child will get a chance to run and play each school day.

Soon enough, it's time to gather belongings and sing our goodbye song. Another busy, fun-filled day is over!


In general, Portland Parks Preschool will follow the Portland Public Schools (PPS) calendar for teacher in-service, planning days, breaks, and holidays. Please also check Portland Parks & Recreation's Inclement Weather Policy and Closures page for more information.

Important Dates for the 2019–2020 School Year

Some sites may be closed for an additional week for annual building maintenance. Please check with your community center for any additional program closure dates.

September 17All Recreation In-service: NO SCHOOL
October 11Teacher In-service: NO SCHOOL
November 1Teacher Planning: NO SCHOOL
November 11Veterans Day: NO SCHOOL
November 25–27Teacher Planning & Conferences: NO SCHOOL
November 28–29Thanksgiving Break: NO SCHOOL
Dec 23 - Jan 3Winter Break: NO SCHOOL
January 20MLK JR. Day: NO SCHOOL
January 27Teacher Planning: NO SCHOOL
February 17Presidents Day: NO SCHOOL
March 23–27Spring Break: NO SCHOOL
April 6Teacher Planning: NO SCHOOL
May 25Memorial Day: NO SCHOOL
May 28–29Last Day of School and Graduation Celebrations


Kristi Lilly

Educational Preschool Coordinator