Cuyahoga County’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program

Boy and Girl sitting at desk writing with pencil and smilingIn 2016, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish made it a priority to expand the county’s successful UPK program, and committed $10 million in new public dollars to fund the expansion. An additional $12.8 million in private funding was raised with the leadership of PNC Regional President Paul Clark, demonstrating our community’s strong support of the initiative. Providing high-quality preschool to County children is core to our strategic priority that:


Every child is ready for school on the first day of Kindergarten.

One of the primary goals of UPK 2.0 in 2017 is to increase spots for Cuyahoga County children from 2500 to 4500, and to provide enhancements of the program based upon previous evaluation results, the experience of current UPK providers, and best practices from programs across the country.

For the county’s lower income families -- those at or below 200 % of the federal poverty level -- tuition assistance will be increased from the current one-third of the parent fee to fully half. (See if you qualify)

The UPK expansion work has identified 37 new sites that will join the program with the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Starting Point has a list of available sites (registration required)

Cuyahoga County agency Invest in Children is the lead for our nationally recognized Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. Originally, the program was launched in 2007 following a year-long planning process that involved over 100 stakeholders from school districts, business, child care, philanthropy, and government.