McKinney ISD is expanding its preschool program to prepare more students for kindergarten.

The program will hold preschool classes at additional MISD schools, Director of Childcare Programs Amy Dawson said at a Dec. 18 board meeting. The classes will be licensed by the Health and Human Services Commission.

“Our goal is to support kindergarten readiness, maintain affordability for our parents and maximize our current facilities,” Dawson said.

The backstory

When starting kindergarten, 45% of MISD’s students are one to three years behind developmentally, Dawson said.

In August of the 2023-24 school year, 49 students were turned away from Lawson Early Childhood School as they did not meet state requirements, she said. Requirements include eligibility for free and reduced lunch, status as an English speaker, and parents in active military duty, according to the district’s website.

Affordability was another goal of expanding the preschool program, Dawson said. Tuition for preschool will begin at $900 a month, but can be as low as $225 a month depending on the family’s income levels and the number of dependents in the household, she said.

“They’re not going to come [to preschool] if they can’t afford it,” Dawson said.

The preschool program was recently expanded in January to allow nonemployee children to attend McKinney High School’s preschool program.


The district’s preschool program will expand to Bennett and Malvern elementary schools. Four classrooms at each school will be utilized for the program while an age-appropriate playground will be built at each school, Dawson said.

The district will begin marketing the program in January. Renovations at the schools will begin in March while registration will open in April. The programs will then open in August for the new school year, Dawson said.

“We’re thinking ahead and meeting the needs of students in a way that is adjusted so it does not become too much of a cost barrier,” MISD board President Philip Hassler said. “I tremendously appreciate the district’s vision on making this happen.”