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Grants to Wisconsin School Districts Support the Operation of Free Early Education Programs

Four-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K) Start-Up Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Wisconsin

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/01/22 Save

Grant Description
Grants to Wisconsin school districts to support the operation of free early education programs for children throughout the State. Funding will be awarded based on the number of students attending the program. Preference will be given to applicants using community-based approaches. Funding is intended to support the start-up of 4-year-old kindergartens.

A school district operating a 4K program funded under sub. (1) shall do all of the following:

  • Make the program open and accessible to all age eligible children of the school district at no charge.
  • Pay the full cost of the 4K program, including the costs associated with programs located on a non-school district site. Such costs include staff compensation, special education, and support services for pupils, facilities, supplies, and staff development.
  • Comply with all applicable state statutes, including the school district standards under s. 121.02 (1), Stats., and transportation requirements under s. 121.54 (1) and (2), Stats.

In awarding a grant, the department shall give priority to school districts that use community approaches to early education which establish and maintain both of the following:

  1. A collaborative committee, council, or advisory group. The collaborative committee, council or advisory group must be involved in the initial planning, public awareness, delivery models, staff development, program design, site selection, staffing patterns, policy development, program standards and curriculum, as well as the on-going implementation and administration of the program. The collaborative committee, council or advisory group shall include representatives from community based providers; the school district, which shall include an administrator, school board member, or principal and a school district employed teacher of early childhood education or kindergarten; and a representative of other relevant community interest groups.
  2. A contract or agreement that defines the partnerships between the school district and all community based providers. The school district must have at least one site of the school district's 4K program at a non-school district site, not including a private home, or on a school district site administered by a community based provider. These sites shall be within the school district's boundaries or may be offered through an interdistrict agreement under s. 66.0301, Stats. 


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
School boards of eligible school districts may apply to the department for a 4K grant under this subchapter for the following school year. A school district is eligible to apply if it meets all of the following requirements:
1. The school district did not count pupils in a 4K program for equalization aid and revenue limit purposes on the PI-1563 pupil count report collected pursuant to s. 121.05 (1), Stats., in the school year prior to the first year of the grant.
2. The school district has an existing contract or agreement with a community based provider if using a community approach or community based provider.
3. The school district completes the department's application in a timely and complete manner.

The department shall give preference in awarding grants under this subchapter to eligible school districts under s. PI 38.23 (1) (a) that demonstrate in the application that the 4K program is using a community approach to early education.

Pre-Application Information
2022-2023 Grant Application is now open and will close on May 1, 2022.

*Eligible applicants are only school districts who are not yet providing 4K programming in their districts.

Funding is based on audited child count data. Therefore, final funding is not known until June of each grant year. The DPI provides preliminary estimates of funding in July and November.

WI State Statue - 115.445:
WI Administrative Rules - State Grant Programs:

Estimated Size of Grant
The grant program designates first-year funding of up to $3,000 and second year funding of up to $1,500 for each pupil enrolled in the approved 4-year-old kindergarten program.

Term of Contract
A school board may apply to the department for a 2-year grant.

Contact Information
Complete and return a signed electronic copy to

For additional information, contact
• Grant Submission—Sherry W. Kimball, Early Childhood Consultant, (608) 267-9625 or e-mail at
• Program—Sherry W. Kimball, Early Childhood Consultant, (608) 267-9625 or e-mail at
• Fiscal—Robert Soldner, Director of School Financial Services, 608-267-9124, robert.soldner@dpi.wi. gov

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Carolyn Stanford Taylor, State Superintendent
125 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53703

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