Preschool Education - Early Intervention

The National School District Preschool Program provides a comfortable, developmentally appropriate, linguistically correct setting for what is often the child's first experience away from home.

We serve over 550 children from National City in our State-Funded, Quality Preschool initiative and Head Start preschool programs.  Twenty three preschool classes are located at eight district sites. We offer English and bilingual classes.


State Preschool and Head Start classes in National School District offer free preschool for families that meet the income-eligibility requirements. Morning, afternoon and extended day preschool classes are offered at eight elementary school sites. Classes are taught in English, or for children whose primary language is Spanish, classes are taught in both English and Spanish. Quality Preschool Initiative families that exceed the income requirements for state preschool can still attend free preschool in National City. Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) is a grant-funded program open to all three and four year old children who live in National City. Children may enroll in District preschool if they are three or four years old by September 1st of the current school year. Priority is given to four-year old children who will attend Kindergarten the following year. On a first come/first serve basis, parents may select the site, time and language component that is best for their child/family. All children are served a free breakfast and/or lunch during the preschool day.


We offer a variety of preschool schedule options depending on age and income eligibility. Preschool part-day classes (3-3.5 hours) meet four to five days per week. We offer morning and afternoon classes. Extended day preschool classes (6.5 hours) are available to some four year old students. Session start times vary by site. Morning and extended day sessions start at 8:00 am and afternoon sessions begin between 11:30 am and 12:00 pm. The calendar for the preschool program follows the district elementary calendar. Families will be given the upcoming school year calendar upon enrollment. 


National School District uses Scholastic Big Day for Pre-K Curriculum. This exciting curriculum is developmentally appropriate and combines child centered exploration with teacher–directed instruction. The program provides children with whole group, small group and individual learning experiences along with many opportunities for children to make choices and develop independence and complex thinking skills. Assessments are conducted with each student to collect data that is used to help understand and support the development of your child.


School is an important part of your child’s day, and parents are encouraged to visit and/or volunteer time on a regular basis. Frequent parent training on a variety of topics is offered at each preschool site throughout the year. Parents may also volunteer to serve on District leadership committees, work in the classroom, and attend field trips and celebrations throughout the year. All volunteers are required to complete a volunteer application.


National School District has a strict NO SHOTS – NO SCHOOL policy. State law requires that all children be inoculated against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and varicella (chicken pox). All children must receive a physical exam within 30 days of enrollment.


How do I register my child?

Visit the Student Registration page for further information.

When should my child register for preschool? How do I find out what school my child should attend?

Registration begins in early May and continues until classes are full. Children are eligible if they are 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1st.      
Registration packets are available at all school sites.

Must my child be potty trained?

Yes, your child must be fully potty trained before starting preschool.

Why do I need to share information about my family income?

National School District has preschool classes for ALL families who live in National City. However, we receive federal and state funding for low-income families. We ask for family income information so that we can receive funding to support the program.

What if I need information about other services to help my child and or family (health care, counseling, etc.)? What if I have questions or concerns about my preschool child’s development?

Preschool staff can help you get information about district and community services to help your family. If you have questions about your child’s development or school readiness, ask your child’s teacher for assistance.


National School District offers half-day and some extended day preschool classes. Families that need full-day care are encouraged to contact family childcare providers in the area who can provide before/after school care. 

Program funding provided through California Department of Education, First 5 (QPI) and Headstart of San Diego County.