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How to apply to a KS preschool

Kamehameha Schools has 30 preschools statewide, with 89 classrooms serving both 3- and 4-year-olds. KS has preschools on the islands of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and Kaua‘i and serves about 1,700 keiki annually. Follow the steps below to apply your keiki.

See a list of our preschool sites for school year 2024-2025.

Check your application status by logging on Admissions’ ‘Ohana portal


1
Apply online

The preschool ontime application closed Jan. 31, 2024. We are accepting late preschool applications for all preschool sites for the 2024-2025 school year starting Feb. 1, 2024, through May 31, 2024.


2
Residency requirement

Hawai‘i residency is required to apply. The applicant and his/her parents/legal guardians, must be legal residents of the island and physically residing on the island served by the preschool to which they are applying.

Note to O‘ahu parents: Because it is anticipated that KS preschools located in Honolulu will be in high demand by parents who commute to work, KS will reserve 90% of spaces at Honolulu region preschools for keiki who live from Pearl City to Hawai‘i Kai.


3
Age verification

To complete the preschool application, your child’s birth certificate must be on file with the Kamehameha Schools Ho‘oulu Verification Services (HVS) to show your child meets the age eligibility below.

  • 3-year-old class: children born on or between Aug. 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021
  • 4-year-old class: children born on or between Aug. 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020

For more information, you may contact the HVS directly at registry@ksbe.edu or visit www.ksbe.edu/verification for contact information and locations near you.


4
Ancestry verification

Kamehameha Schools’ admissions policy is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law. If you would like your child to be considered under that policy, your child’s Hawaiian ancestry must be verified by Kamehameha Schools’ Ho‘oulu Verification Services.


5
Apply for financial aid

Complete the preschool financial aid application.


Application calendar

15Aug
2023

Application opens

31Jan
2024

Application deadline


The ideal candidate for Kamehameha Schools’ preschool program

The ideal candidate for Kamehameha Schools’ preschool program, with or without accommodation, is:

  • Fully toilet trained
  • Able to dress/undress self
  • Able to feed self with fork/spoon and drink from a cup
  • Independently mobile
  • Able to understand and follow simple one-step directions
  • Able to demonstrate safe and appropriate behavior towards other children and adults
  • Able to communicate with classmates, teachers, administrators and others as needed

Tuition

ProgramTuition for school year 2023-2024
KS preschool: Full day$3,916
KS preschool: Modified day$2,610

Kamehameha preschools operate for 10 months a year (August-May). Each preschool operates either full day hours or modified day hours. See preschool locations for location and operating hour details.

  • Full day: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Modified day: 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Note: Anahola and Hāna do not charge tuition, because they are located on government property.


FAQ

Using a lottery offers several advantages. It is an unbiased and completely objective way to select students, all students are considered equally, and it simplifies the admissions process because applicants do not have to be tested or observed.

The lottery is run in early April.

All children whose applications were received by the January deadline are included in the lottery.

Late applicants (those who submitted their application on February 1 or afterwards) are not included in the lottery, but are placed at the bottom of the “on-time” lottery list for the preschool they selected in order of the date their application was submitted. Once the list of “on-time” applicants is exhausted, late applicants will be considered for any remaining spaces.

The lottery is a random computer function that is tied to Admissions’ database. It is an automated process. Lists are run by the preschool applied to, the “grade” level (e.g., P3 or P4) and gender.

All children whose applications were received by the January deadline and whose original birth certificates were submitted to the Kamehameha Schools Ho‘oulu Verification Services (HVS) to validate their age are considered complete and are included in the lottery.

Kamehameha Schools’ policy is to give preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law.

The competitive nature of admission to Kamehameha’s preschool and K-12 programs is due to the increasing numbers of children seeking enrollment. Each year the number of applications received exceeds the number of available spaces.

Since selection to the preschool program is based on a lottery process, all preschool admission decisions are made by computer, subject to applying of KS’ preference policy.

The lottery is run according to strict protocols. By policy, admission decisions, as determined by the random computer lottery ranking of applicants, may not be altered by the Admissions Office, the CEO or Trustees of Kamehameha Schools.

In addition, every summer Kamehameha Schools’ Internal Auditor audits the records of the Admissions Office. The final audit report is shared with the CEO, Trustees and the Master appointed by the Probate Court, who also reviews Kamehameha Schools’ operations annually.

Applicants not selected for admission to a Kamehameha preschool are placed in the wait pool in ranked order by the preschool to which they applied. Wait pool ranking information is confidential.

If a selected student declines the invitation to attend, or disenrolls after the school year begins, children in the wait pool will be offered admission (in order of their lottery rank). Replacements are generally made according to gender, for example, if a girl disenrolls, then a girl from the wait pool from the same preschool site is offered admission.

When filling vacancies with students from the wait pool, Hawaiian preference will be applied to students who have verified their Hawaiian ancestry. The wait pool is considered “active” through the end of January for the 4-year-old class and February for the 3-year-old class, of the school year for which the student has applied.

No, admission to a Kamehameha preschool does not guarantee admission to Kamehameha’s kindergarten program. There are several reasons for this:

  • Each year about 1,000 children graduate from Kamehameha Schools’ preschool program, however, there are only 160 kindergarten spaces available at Kamehameha’s three K-12 campuses (80 at Kapālama, 40 at Hawai‘i and 40 at Maui).
  • Admission to Kamehameha’s preschool program is determined by lottery, while admission to Kamehameha’s kindergarten program is based on a combination of testing and classroom observation.
  • There are KS preschools on five islands, but Kamehameha Schools only serves kindergarten students on the islands of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i and Maui

Absolutely! There is so much more to Kamehameha Schools than our three campuses! Kamehameha actually offers many innovative educational programs. Offerings include a variety of summer programs; distance learning; community-based family education; mentoring programs and more.

Kamehameha has also formed partnerships with public charter schools and offers post-high school financial aid.

Of particular interest to the parents of preschool-aged children is the Pauahi Keiki Scholars program, which offers need-based financial assistance to help children attend other qualifying non-KS preschools and the Kipona Scholarship program which offers need-based financial assistance to help children attending private K-12 schools other than Kamehameha.

Check our application guide for a complete inventory of KS educational programs and specific application information.

Need kōkua?

Phone:
(808) 534-8080 or 1-800-842-IMUA and press 3 (Neighbor Island/Continental U.S.)