Early Start Columbus Logo

Contact Department of Education
90 W. Broad Street, 1st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Office:  (614) 645-1688
Fax:  (614) 645-0821
Email: education@columbus.gov


Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s vision for America’s Opportunity City is universal access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten education for every 4-year-old in Columbus. 

Children who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten experiences significantly improve their early literacy, language and math skills. An investment in early childhood development helps prevent achievement gaps, reduces the need for special education, increases the likelihood of healthier lifestyles, lowers the crime rate and reduces overall social costs. Children who come to school ready to learn are more likely to succeed academically and in life. 

The City of Columbus Department of Education’s goals are that all children living in Columbus enter kindergarten ready to learn and that every child has access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten experience. 

Every child deserves a chance. 

Every child deserves hope. Early Start Columbus believes that every child—in every Columbus community—deserves the opportunity to thrive as a learner.

The Early Start Columbus program offers free or low-cost tuition access to high-quality Pre-K education to qualifying families.

Providing a Pre-K opportunity strengthens children academically and socially. They enter kindergarten ready to learn and grow. They continue on, contributing to society as stronger, healthier families and community members.

Early Start Columbus believes in every child, and every child deserves an early start.

To search for an early learning program in your area, please click here.

The City of Columbus Department of Education is now accepting letters of intent to apply for funding for the 2018-2019 school year. Please submit your letter of intent to apply, along with your payment worksheet with the amount of your request to education@columbus.gov by Monday, April 23. For more information, please contact education@columbus.gov. 

Download information and worksheets for the 2018-2019 ESC Grant below:
Early Start Columbus Grant Requirements 
Braided Formula Reimbursement Chart 
Payment Worksheet 
SAMPLE ESC Payment Worksheet