PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Education announced that the lottery to enroll children in free pre-K across the state is now open for the 2023-24 school year.

More than 2,300 slots are available and parents or guardians must submit their applications online at by June 18.

Children are eligible for pre-K if they are 4 years old by Sept. 1 and their parents are residents of one of the 18 cities and towns participating in the free pre-K program.

“High-quality early learning opportunities are critical because what children learn in their first few years of life – and how they learn it – can have a long-lasting impact on their success and health from childhood through adulthood,” Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said. “All Rhode Island families of eligible children are encouraged to enter the pre-K lottery for a chance to set their child up for a lifetime of success.”

There are currently 127 pre-K facilities and programs across Rhode Island, including in Bristol-Warren, Central Falls, Coventry, Cranston, East Providence, Johnston, Middletown, Newport, North Kingstown, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick, Westerly, West Warwick and Woonsocket.