Chancellor Porter Announces Record High Percentage Of Families Receive Pre-K Programs

Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter today announced a record ninety-one percent of families received an offer to one of their top three choices for free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K. Seventy-seven percent of families received an offer to their top choice program, consistent with 2020.

There are 57,511 families receiving Pre-K for All offers today, including all families who applied by the April 19 deadline.

There are 57,511 families receiving Pre-K for All offers today, including all families who applied by April 19, 2021, deadline.

“Access to free, high-quality early education has transformed the lives of working families across the five boroughs, providing countless children with an invaluable head start in school and life,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, as we build a recovery for all of us, more kids will have the quality head start they need to grow and thrive.”


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“Pre-K for All is a national model for making high-quality early childhood education accessible and positions New York City to succeed as we recover from the pandemic,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “I’m so excited for the tens of thousands of families who are receiving their Pre-K offer letters today, ninety-one percent of whom received an offer to one of their top choice programs! We’re grateful to our dedicated teachers, staff, and providers who continue to go above and beyond for our families.”

“Access to child care and early education services is a critical component of getting families back to work and putting New York City on the path to recovery from the pandemic. I’m pleased to see thousands of more families across the city will be connected to free, safe, high-quality Pre-K for All next school year, and that the application process continues to be more responsive to families’ needs with a record ninety-one percent of families receiving an offer to one of their top three choices. We will work to ensure all families who still want to enroll their child for the 2021-22 school year can do so this summer,” said Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack.

The DOE is committed to creating greater diversity in Pre-K classrooms and, this year, the Diversity in Admissions pilot expanded to include 42 Pre-K programs, including every district program in District 1.

For the fourth year, NYC Early Education Centers – the community-based organizations that partner with the DOE to provide early childhood services – are also participating.

Programs with Diversity in Admissions pilots give priority in their admissions to children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL), are Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs), are Students in Temporary Housing (STH), who reside in public housing, and/or have been in the child welfare system or impacted by incarceration.

Eight of the 16 schools in District 1 are within their target range for offers, and all but three of the 26 programs outside District 1 met their diversity goals.

Eight of the 16 schools in District 1 are within their target range for offers, and all but three of the 26 programs outside District 1 met their diversity goals.

Every New York City family with a child born in 2017 is eligible for Pre-K for All this fall, and families can still enroll. There is a seat available for every four-year-old citywide.

Families who missed the deadline are able to explore program options and join waitlists for programs of interest through MySchools.nyc or by contacting programs directly.

Families who need additional assistance can call 718-935-2009.

Through Pre-K for All, the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality pre-K has tripled from 19,000 in 2014.

Through Pre-K for All, the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality pre-K has tripled from 19,000 in 2014.

98% of families reporting that they felt good about the way their child’s teacher helped their child adjust to 3-K or pre-K, and 96% of families indicating that their child’s teacher gives helpful ideas on how they can support their child’s learning.

Results from the 2020 NYC School Survey show families of students in 3-K and Pre-K for All continue to feel supported by their programs: 98% of families reporting that they felt good about the way their child’s teacher helped their child adjust to 3-K or pre-K, and 96% of families indicating that their child’s teacher gives helpful ideas on how they can support their child’s learning.

Parents with children enrolled in free, full-day pre-K save an average of $10,000 annually on childcare costs, and an NYU study found that Pre-K for All makes it more likely that a low-income child in New York City is properly diagnosed with asthma or vision problems, and receives screening or treatment for hearing or vision problems.

Pre-K for All is having an impact on academic performance and closing the achievement gap. The 2019 NYS 3rd Grade Test reflects the first year that test takers were in Pre-K for All, which was in its first year of expansion in 2014-15.

According to 2019 State test scores, the White-Black and White-Hispanic achievement gaps were narrower for students who attended Pre-K for All compared to those who did not, illustrating the long-term benefit of the program.

Additionally, third-grade students who attended Pre-K for All outperformed students who did not attend Pre-K for All.

Building on the success of Pre-K for All, the City recently announced the expansion of 3-K for All to every school district this fall, providing 40,000 three-year-olds with free, full-day, high-quality, early childhood education citywide and making significant progress toward achieving universal 3-K access by September 2023.

Photo credit: Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter.

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