April 3, 2014
By Alan Schulkin
New York, NY — New York City will open a record-breaking 4,268 new full-day pre-kindergarten seats in public schools by September 2014. These seats represent the first of tens of thousands of new full-day seats funded in this year’s state budget that will soon be made available. The Department of Education is undertaking new outreach to parents to encourage them to apply.
The new seats are the first to become available as part of the city’s plan to provide high quality pre-K programs to all 73,250 eligible students by the 2015-2016 school year, and approximately 53,000 in September 2014.
With these additional new seats, the Department of Education will offer 20,387 full-day pre-K seats in public schools by September 2014, marking a 26 percent spike from the current school year—and the most full-day pre-K seats in city history. Thousands more seats will be made available through community-based organizations later this spring.
The new full-day pre-K seats will open across 140 schools, spanning all five boroughs, and reaching nearly all 32 community school districts—including many high-need neighborhoods. These new available seats represent half-day pre-K programs that have been upgraded to full-day, additional classes in existing full-day programs, and entirely new full-day programs.
“Today, we are more than 4,000 seats closer to ensuring that every 4-year-old has access to high quality full-day pre-K,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “For months, we have been planning every facet of these programs to ensure we were ready to launch the moment funding was secured. Today, the rubber hits the road, and families will have more options for their children.”