McLean County Unit District 5 Early Learning Program
    Available for students ages 3 to 5
    Transportation Provided
    Eligibility is Based on Family Need

    For more information about the McLean County Unit District No. 5 Early Learning Pre-K Program,
    please call 309.557.4144
    Twitter:  @u5earlylearning
    FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL for those who qualify IS AUGUST 21
    Unit 5 offers a fun and exciting Pre-Kindergarten program for qualifying students ages three to five. This program is available free of charge to eligible students living within District boundaries. PreK staff determines eligibility and student acceptance into the program. Placement is based on student need.

    The purpose of Unit 5's Early Learning program is to provide a stimulating and nurturing environment for young children. Students are given the chance to become successful and build self-confidence. This program is designed to increase student opportunities, help prepare for future achievements, and meet individual needs and goals in eight domains of learning. These domains of learning are part of the Illinois Early Learning State Standards.

    Language Arts



    Social Studies

    Physical Development and Health

    Fine Arts

    Foreign Primary Language

    Social Emotional

    Who is Eligible?

    Children must:

    Be between the ages of three and five years of age.

    Live within the McLean County Unit No. 5 school district

    Children with developmental delays, which affect normal growth and development or who are at risk of academic failure may be eligible for services and supports. Eligibility will be based on the presence of noted delays in one or more of the developmental areas listed below. Eligibility is determined by the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team. call our office for a developmental screening.

    The Developmental Areas

    Gross Motor

    Fine Motor

    Cognitive & Readiness


    Receptive Language

    Expressive Language

    Phonological & Articulation

    Social &  Emotional

    Independent Functioning & Adaptive


    TUITION PRE-K for those families who don't meet the above criteria. 


    Daily attendance by students is very important for academic and social growth. Student attendance is as follows:
    Students attend Pre-K Monday through Friday during the school year.
    Students attend either a morning session or an afternoon session.
    There are five Early Learning sites in the district. Students are assigned a site depending on residency.
    Bus transportation is offered to all children in the program.

    What does your child need to start?

    Copy of birth certificate

    Updated immunization records

    Physical Exam

    Completed registration packet

    Backpack and an extra set of clothes

     Students will: 

    Learn how to play and work with others.

    Acquire and use language for communicating thoughts and feelings.

    Learn to feel confident and good about themselves.

    Develop skills and knowledge needed for learning.

    Love school and learning.

    The Early Learning Program practices the The Creative Curriculum. The Creative Curriculum is an environmentally based, active learning curriculum in which children learn important skills and content and develop social competence. It shows teachers how to work with children at different developmental levels, how to adapt the environment to make it increasingly challenging, and how to involve parents in taking an active role in the program. The Creative Curriculum is also aligned with the Illinois Early Learning State Standards. Not only is every aspect of The Creative Curriculum based on sound developmental theory and evidence-based research, but numerous research studies have been conducted to validate its effectiveness.

    The learning environment is the structure of the classroom that sets the context for teaching and learning. It establishes a classroom structure that includes the daily routine and schedule, choice times, a small and large group time. It also creates a classroom community that promotes positive relationships and where children make friends and learn social problem solving skills.

    A developmental approach is used to meet each child's individual needs. Many of the classroom learning activities include:

    Language Experiences

    Hands on Science

    Basic Mathematic Activities

    Dramatic Play

    Music Activities

    Cooking Experiences

    Creative Art Activities

    Indoor & Outdoor Cooperative Play

    Field Trips


    Click on Creative Curriculum for more information 

    Teaching Strategies GOLD is the authentic, ongoing, observation-based assessment system used by the early learning program. 

Upcoming Events