Hanover Preschool Programs

Preschool students separating puff balls by color

At Hanover County Public Schools, we address the needs of infants through preschoolers with programs designed to promote school readiness. We plan lessons to help every child reach his or her potential. Our available programs include Hanover’s Preschool Program, Early Childhood Special Education, and Infant and Toddler Connection of Hanover.

Preschool applications for the 2024-2025 school year are now being accepted. Use the pre-screening tool below to get started in this process.


Acceptance into Hanover’s Preschool Program is granted as slots become available and after a complete application has been submitted and reviewed. Invitations for enrollment are not granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Children must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 30th, 2024 and reside in Hanover County. Eligibility is also determined based on the family’s income, federal poverty guidelines and/or other at-risk factors that can be found on the online pre-screening tool.

There are no exceptions to age and residency requirements. There is no cost to families for the program. Transportation may be requested in accordance with HCPS transportation guidelines however, it is not guaranteed. Hanover County Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities.

Steps in the Pre-K Application Process

Applying for Hanover’s Preschool Program 2024-2025 is a four-step process for qualifying families:

Step 1: Screening For Eligibility
- To apply please complete Hanover’s Preschool Program Pre-Screening Tool.
- An email will be sent within 10 business days to inform you of your tentative eligibility or ineligibility. The tentative eligibility communication does not guarantee a position in the program; it is to inform you that the child has met the initial eligibility criteria and to move to Step 2 of the process.

Step 2: Complete Preschool Application
- The email will include a link to an application, a link to sign up for an interview, and the list of required documents needed for interview. Interviews will not be completed unless all documents are presented at the time of the interview.

You will need to bring the following ORIGINAL documents to your interview in order to process your application:

  1. Three current verifications of residency - One form must be a signed current lease (notarized if not through an apartment complex), a deed, a current mortgage statement from the lender, or a sales contract for the purchase of the residence (signed by seller and purchaser). And two of the following:  current bill for land-line telephone, cable, internet, satellite, water, gas/oil or electricity service; voter registration card; current automobile registration card; W-2 tax document for the most recent tax year; a combined bill and paid receipt for personal property taxes paid within the current year; bank statements, medical bills, or official correspondence from a governmental agency dated within the last two months
  2. Proof of income for all individuals contributing to the family. You may provide one of the following: Completed taxes, 3 months of your most recent paystubs, W-2, official letter from your employer indicating the period of employment and salary, Social Security benefits, TANF verification, SNAP benefits award letter, Child Support Order, unemployment documentation, and a few other legal forms of documentation may be considered
  3. Child’s certified birth certificate (original document). If in a language other than English, you must provide a translated copy in English.
  4. Child's medical insurance card
  5. Current physical on the "VA School Entry Health Form"
  6. IEP (if applicable)
  7. Custody Papers (if applicable)
  8. Driver's license
Some additional documents may be required.  

Step 3: Interview
- During your interview, you will meet with a member of the preschool team to review the required documents and to share more information about your child and family.

Step 4: Enrolling in Hanover County Public Schools
- After completing the interview process, if your child is found eligible, you’ll receive an acceptance email. Families must respond within 10 days.

Hanover's Preschool Program is an early childhood development program open to three- and four-year-old children who meet eligibility requirements. We have designed this program to promote a child's school readiness skills and social competencies through attention to health (medical, dental, and mental), education, family support, community collaboration, and parental involvement. Hanover’s Preschool Program is locally funded, stated funded through the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), and federally funded through a Head Start grant awarded to our school division. Located throughout the county, we have 17 preschool classrooms, staffed with a teacher and instructional assistant(s).

Mission Statement

Hanover Preschool will provide a program of education and comprehensive services that enriches and empowers the lives of children, families, and our community.

Program Goals

Father and daughter

The goals of the program include the following:

  • Provide a well-managed program that meets federal and state guidelines, delivers services in the most effective and efficient manner, and reflects high-quality services to children and families.
  • Provide a child-centered education program that promotes optimal development and learning for enrolled children and gives them the tools necessary for school success.
  • Deliver support services to children that focus on comprehensive growth and development.
  • Provide a smooth and effective transition into the preschool program and from preschool to kindergarten for children and families.
  • Develop strong partnerships with community resources that enhance the effectiveness of the program's service to children and families.
  • Provide opportunities for parents to achieve self-fulfillment and develop leadership skills.
  • Develop effective collaborations within the community, which enhance the healthy growth and development of all children and families.
  • Promote the maximum and efficient use of all available funding sources to serve the maximum number of eligible preschool children possible.

Education Services

Hanover Preschool is a comprehensive early childhood education program that has been specifically designed to prepare children for success in school by enhancing preschool children’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. Young children learn through purposeful and engaging interaction with materials and their environment. Hanover Preschoolers use a variety of materials, equipment, and technology throughout each day to expand their knowledge and skills in both indoor and outdoor classrooms. Research-based best practices develop healthy problem-solving, social-emotional, and school readiness skills. Hanover Preschool promotes the growth and development of preschool children and strengthens family members for their roles as parents. Learn more about our Education Services

Family Services

The Hanover Preschool Student & Family Services Specialist (SFSS) assists families in identifying family strengths, assessing needs, and identifying appropriate community resources. The specialist helps families set family goals and develop a plan for meeting these goals. The specialist will contact families regularly to work on their goals and to check the overall status of the family. The Family Services Specialist works with the entire family—not just the student!

Referrals for family counseling, winterization, clothing, food stamps, adult education, family literacy services, and emergency shelter are some of the services for which families can receive assistance. Please contact our office if you need a referral or assistance.

Health Services

A comprehensive health care program is an important part of Hanover’s Preschool. This includes medical, dental, mental health, and nutritional services. Emphasis is placed on the importance of early detection of health problems in families. A Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, consisting of professionals, parents, and staff, meets quarterly to plan and ensure that the health needs of children and their families are met. Services for children with disabilities are provided as outlined in the child's IEP. Learn more about our Health Services

Parent Involvement

We believe that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. The family and community have a powerful impact on the child’s growth and development. Therefore, parent and community involvement is essential to the success of Hanover Preschool Programs. Parent suggestions, concerns, and opinions are greatly valued. Hanover Preschool’s goal is to help families make positive changes for themselves and their children. Involvement is the first step.

Parents can:

  • Participate in the classroom as observers or volunteers
  • Plan and implement meaningful activities for parents
  • Contact other parents about upcoming events or activities
  • Participate in the process of making decisions about the nature and operation of the program by becoming active in monthly Policy Council meetings
  • Serve on a Hanover Preschool Advisory Committee


Battlefield Park Elementary School
5501 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville, VA. 23111
(804) 723-3600

Teacher: Mederise Padilla and Sarah Diaz-DeCosta

Cold Harbor Elementary School
6740 Cold Harbor Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
(804) 723-3620

Teachers: Ellen Meador and Kara Brant
Aide: Samantha Cumby

Elmont Elementary School
12007 Cedar Lane
Ashland, VA 23005
(804) 365-8100

Teachers: Lydia Gardner, Emma Oliver and Autumn Hopson
Aides: Sue Wilson, Sarah Renner, and Sarah Lopez

Henry Clay Elementary School
310 South James Street
Ashland, VA 23005
(804) 365-8120

Teachers: Julie Rixner, Amanda Seiders, Natalia Heffinger, Lauren Kidd, Michelle Maxey, and Susie Pypniowski
Aides: Glenda Hertless, Hamida Stowdah, Morgan Boyd, Elise Pyron, Tammy Williamson, Rachel Boggess, and Jazmine Jordan  

Laurel Meadow Elementary School
8248 Lee-Davis Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
(804) 723-2040

Teachers: Alyssa Brock, Meredith Vogel, Rachel Jones
Aides: Sarah Suttles, Rebecca Scheer, Julie Mouser, Karen Wandling  

Mechanicsville Elementary School
7425 Mechanicsville Elementary Drive
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
(804) 723-3640

Teachers: Emily Wedlock, Victoria Gomes, Virginia DeVaughn, Kara Brant, Meghan Byrd
Aides: Sabrina Davis, Elizabeth Ferrell, Kate Hall, Angela Batt, Kathy Talcott, Jessie Wiser, Susan Freemen  

Pearsons Corner Elementary School
8290 New Ashcake Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
(804) 723-3660

Teachers: Mary Kolster, Chavon Coley, Mackenzie Wood
Aides: Trista Rawlings, Robert Spott, Dee Bowles, and Rachel Linder

Washington-Henry Elementary School
9025 Washington Henry Drive
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
(804) 723-2300

Teachers: Jill Ratchford, Mekayla Green, Kathi Sanford
Aides: Nancy Shuck, Elaine Claiborne, Susan Blackburn, Lorraine Kenny

Annual Report 

Boy and girl students smiling

Please view our most recent Annual Report


Hanover Preschool Programs
Tel: (804) 365-4618
Fax: (804) 365-4633

- Elizabeth Verlander - Coordinator of Preschool, (804) 365-4508 or email at [email protected]
- Amy Gittman - Family Services Specialist, (804) 365-4510 or email at [email protected]
- Maureen Epps - Student & Family Services Specialist, (804) 365-4638 or email at [email protected]
- Peggy James - Federal Account Specialist , (804) 365-4506 or email at [email protected]
- Kristin Stubbe - Family Mental Health Specialist, (804) 365-4638 or email at [email protected]

Early Childhood Special Education

Early Childhood Special Education provides specialized instruction and related services to all children ages 2 through 5, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). ECSE ensures the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to all children who are found eligible at no cost to their families. The LRE means children with disabilities receive services in community-based environments whenever possible, and only receive services in a more restrictive environment when their individual needs require it. Services are based on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which is developed in collaboration with HCPS staff members and the parents of each child eligible for early childhood special education services. If eligible, HCPS provides a continuum of special education instructional services.

HCPS provides ECSE services within children’s homes, community preschools, and through preschool classrooms located within our elementary schools. Class-based ECSE services are language-based with an emphasis on motor, cognitive (pre-academic), communication, social and emotional, and adaptive skills development. Our preschool classrooms provide the opportunity for young students with disabilities to receive specialized instruction alongside their typically-developing peers.

Our Services 
Student with his arts and crafts project
  • Specialized Instruction to address child’s IEP goals
  • Parent training
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupation Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Vision services
  • Hearing services
  • Transportation

- Kristina Williams, Lead Teacher Specialist Elementary Special Education,
(804) 365-4535 or email at [email protected]
- Tiffany Johnson, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator, (804) 365-4507, or email at [email protected]

Learn more about Early Childhood Special Education in Virginia.

Infant and Toddler Connection of Hanover

Parents are often the first to know when their baby needs a helping hand. The first three years of your baby's life are very important. Infants and toddlers are learning to walk, talk, recognize people and do many other things. Parents are often the first to notice when their child is not learning or growing like other babies. We are here to help.

The Infant and Toddler Connection of Hanover (ITCH) delivers services that are child-centered and family-focused in a natural environment to children with developmental needs, from birth through age three. Families wishing to find out more information about Early Intervention Services, please visit our Infant & Toddler Connection of Hanover page.


- Bobbi Silverstein, Part C Coordinator/System Manager, (804) 723-2070 or email at [email protected]
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