115C-218.115. Operation of NC Pre-K programs.

(a) A charter school may apply to a local contracting agency to participate in the NC prekindergarten (NC Pre-K) program as a local program site offering families a high-quality prekindergarten experience. A charter school that seeks to operate as a NC Pre-K program site may request administrative and technical assistance from the Office of Charter Schools with its application to the local contracting agency if the charter school meets all of the following:

(1) The charter school has operated as a charter school for at least three school years.

(2) The charter school is not currently identified as low-performing.

(3) The charter school meets generally accepted standards of fiscal management.

(4) The charter school is substantially in compliance with State law, federal law, the charter school's own bylaws, and the provisions set forth in its charter granted by the State Board.

(b) The Office of Charter Schools, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education, shall assist a charter school under subsection (a) of this section with determining whether the charter school's proposed program meets (i) the building standards set forth in subsection (c) of this section and any other State standards for the charter school to be licensed as a child care facility and (ii) the standards required to be selected as a site under the NC Pre-K program. If the charter school does not meet these standards, the Office of Charter Schools shall provide assistance to the charter school in identifying any obstacles to its participation in the NC Pre-K program.

(c) A charter school that otherwise meets all of the requirements for a child care facility license may use an existing or newly constructed classroom in the charter school for three- and four-year-old preschool students without modifications to the classroom or building if the classroom meets all of the following:

(1) Has at least one toilet and one sink for hand washing.

(2) Meets kindergarten standards for overhead light fixtures.

(3) Meets kindergarten standards for floors, walls, and ceilings.

(4) Has floors, walls, and ceilings that are free from mold, mildew, and lead hazards. (2017-173, s. 5(c).)