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Thinking about preschool? You may be able to send your kid for free.

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The Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission is now accepting preschool applications for the 2018-2019 school year.

There are 360 open spots at charter schools on O'ahu, Moloka'i, Kaua'i and the Big Island. To be eligible for the free program, families have to fall within 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, a family of three making up to $47,800 is eligible. Your child's birthday must also fall between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014. 

"We are providing high-quality, Pre-K programs for children that may not have access to Pre-K at all," said Caroline Soga, a Pre-K coach at Wai'alae Elementary Public Charter School. "So they [our preschools] are located in areas where there just aren't any programs, so parents don't have to drive 45 minutes or an hour away. Or, programs are too expensive, so they can't afford it."

Soga tells Island News parents spend an average of $800-$1,000 on preschool each month. To find out if you meet the income requirements, you can contact one of the participating charter schools listed below. 

Hawai?i Island

·   Ka ?Umeke Ka?eo Hawaiian Immersion PCS, Keaukaha (808) 982-4260

·   Ke Kula ?O Nawahiokalani?opu?u Iki Lab PCS, Kea?au & Waimea (808)965-2193

·   Kua o ka La New Century PCS, Pahoa (808)965-2193

·   Laupahoehoe Community PCS, Laupahoehoe (808)962-2200

·   Na Wai Ola PCS, Mountain View (808)968-2318

·   Volcano School of Arts & Sciences, Volcano (808) 985-9800


·   Ke Kula Ni?ihau O Kekaha Learning Center, Kekaha (808)337-0841


·   Kualapu?u School: A Public Conversion Charter, Kualapu?u (808)567-6900


·   Kamaile Academy, Waianae (808)697-7110

·   Ke Kula ?o Samuel M. Kamakau Laboratory PCS, Kaneohe (808)235-9175

·   Wai?alae Elementary Public Charter School, Honolulu (808)733-4880