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Early Beginnings


Carole Kerkin
Managing Director of Early Childhood and Special Ed.
(860) 509-3695

About Early Beginnings

Early Beginnings is the preschool and kindergarten component of Open Choice, which enrolls Hartford students in kindergarten classrooms in suburban schools, as well as suburban students in Hartford Public Schools, at no cost to the family. The overarching goal of Open Choice Early Beginnings (OCEB) is to improve the academic success and integration of our youngest learners. OCEB preschool entry is a child's pathway to a comprehensive education preschool through high school graduation. Through combined efforts of all educators involved in OCEB, students' receive a well-rounded early childhood education.


  • As of October 2014, there were approximately 198 Preschool and kindergarten students enrolled in 45 schools in 22 towns.
  • The Early Beginnings program is a full day program open to children entering preschool and kindergarten.
  • Full day preschool and kindergarten.
  • Hartford residents may apply to attend public schools in the 25 surrounding suburbs.
  • Suburban residents may apply to attend a designated Hartford Public School.
  • Free transportation is available to all Hartford resident students and suburban resident kindergarten students residing in the RSCO transportation zone.
  • All students are encouraged to apply for the program, including students who are gifted and talented, English language learners and special education.


The Open Choice Early Beginnings preschool experience will address high quality programming by including:

  • CT certified preschool teachers which are well-educated and well trained
  • Low child-teacher ratios (1 adult : 10 children)
  • Small group sizes in the classroom which are essential, creating an environment that allows for more personalized attention with the child to ensure their educational needs are being met
  • A focus on the development of the whole child, paying special attention to the child's cognitive, social, emotional and physical development

Participating School Districts

The Greater Hartford Region Open Choice Program is a free, interdistrict program managed by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). Open Choice districts that support Early Beginnings are

  • Avon
  • Berlin
  • Bolton
  • Canton
  • Cromwell
  • East Granby
  • East Windsor
  • Enfield
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Granby
  • Hartford
  • Newington
  • Plainville
  • Simsbury
  • South Windsor
  • Southington
  • Suffield
  • West Hartford
  • Wethersfield
  • Windsor Locks

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