Boy in library The following conditions must be met to qualify to enroll in a DoD Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) school: the enrolling sponsor must be on extended active duty or a full-time Federal civilian employee, the sponsor must be residing in permanent living quarters on the installation, and the student must be the sponsor's dependent.

Stateside, DoD Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) provide a universal pre-school program to all students who are 4 years old. Overseas, DoDEA provides two specialized programs for preschool age children in overseas (DoDDS) locations:

  1. Preschool Services for Children With Disabilities (PSCD) provides specially designed instruction, support, and services to students with an identified disability requiring an individually designed instructional program to meet their unique learning needs. To be eligible for PSCD
    • the child must have an identified disability;
    • the disability must adversely (negatively) affect the child's educational performance; and
    • the child must need a specially designed instructional program.
  2. Sure Start is a preschool program modeled after the Head Start program stateside. Although the program is appropriate for all preschool children, it targets preschoolers who are “at risk” for later school failure because of economic circumstance or other health and/or family factors.
    • Sure Start’s first responsibility is to the 4-year-old child of a military or eligible Department of Defense employee whose rank is Enlisted (E) E1 to E4; General Schedule (GS) GS1 to GS4; or Non Appropriated Fund (NAF), NAF 1 to NAF 2, *rank equivalent at the date of application.
    • Any sponsor in the range of E5 to E9, GS5 to GS9, or NAF 3–4 rank equivalent who wishes to apply for the program is eligible to do so with the understanding that first priority is given to those children whose sponsor is in the E1 to E4or GS1 to GS4.
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