Chancellor Fariña Announces Earliest-Ever Pre-K for All Offers

  • Posted: Mon May 02, 2016 Updated: Mon Jul 23, 2018

85 percent of families receive offer for one of their top-three choices, 71 percent get top choice

NEW YORK – Chancellor Fariña today announced the earliest-ever first round of Pre-K for All offers, with a record 85 percent of families receiving an offer to one of their top three free, full-day, high-quality pre-K program choices and 71 percent of families receiving an offer to their top choice. All 67,689 applicants received an offer for a Pre-K for All seat today, and starting today, there are thousands of additional seats available for Round 2 of admissions, which will run through May 20 and be easier than ever for all families. Additionally, all families that received an offer today are encouraged to pre-register by May 20 for their seat following the instructions in their offer letter. 

"Enrolling in Pre-K for All is one of the best choices a family can make for their child. Just ask the scores of parents and teachers who have already witnessed thousands of our youngest students flourish in free, full-day, high-quality programs available in every corner of our city," said Mayor de Blasio. "Our grassroots outreach team continues to spread the word about this invaluable opportunity for New York City's families and we look forward to welcoming even more children into our classrooms and watching them develop the educational foundation that will help set them on a course for success."

To make the process even easier for families this year, the DOE moved up the application timeline up a month: families applied more than a month earlier than last year, and today’s offer letters were sent out over a month earlier than last year. Additionally, more families than ever before received offers to one of their top choices, demonstrating strong planning to match available seats with family demand. Last year, only 82 percent of families received an offer to one of their top three choices, and 70 percent received an offer to their top choice.

Parents with children enrolled in free, full-day pre-K save an average of $10,000 annually on childcare costs. Additionally, new independent research from the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity demonstrated high satisfaction with pre-K for all: 92 percent of families surveyed rated their program as excellent or good, and 83 percent of families said their child learned “a lot” in pre-K. Across the board, the research shows that both students and families are seeing critical benefits from Pre-K for All.  

“In Pre-K for All, our 4-year olds learn thousands of new words, experience interpersonal growth, and build the foundation they need for kindergarten and beyond,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Pre-K is so critical for all students to get off to the start they need, and that’s why I’m so pleased to see that this process is earlier, easier, and more responsive to families’ needs than ever. I look forward to seeing more families enroll in free, full-day, high-quality programs across the five boroughs.”

“Pre-K for All is about serving the children and families of New York, and we are doing that by moving the application process up a month and planning to better match seats and family demand,” said Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack. “This is an exciting time for our 4-year-olds and their families. We encourage families to pre-register for their seat by May 20, and we will work tirelessly to ensure every family knows about the benefits of pre-K and is able to apply during the next round of admissions.”

Using the single, easy-to-complete, online application, families were able to easily review all district school, NYC Early Education Center, and Pre-K Center options available to them and rank up to 12 choices on their applications. Today, every family that applied by the deadline received an offer. Families who did not receive their first choice have been placed on a waitlist at every program they listed higher than the offer they received.

The second round of pre-K applications is starting today, also over a month earlier than last year, and features additional, newly awarded fall 2016 pre-K programs as well as programs with remaining available seats. This additional month provides both families and pre-K programs with more opportunity to plan for the upcoming year.

This is the first year that the single, online application for Round 2 admissions includes Round 1 programs that still have available seats. As a result, the application will include nearly 1,000 free, full-day, high-quality pre-K program options for families. In the past, families could only apply online for new programs during Round 2 of admissions, and had to individually contact other programs about availability.

All families with children born in 2012 – including those who received offers today – are eligible to apply in the second round. Submitting a Round 2 application does not affect a family’s current offer or waitlist status. Families are encouraged to pre-register by May 20 for the offer they received, and also explore the Round 2 options. Families can use a variety of resources to explore pre-K options. They are encouraged to use the online Pre-K Finder for the latest information and program updates, as well as the 2016 Pre-K for All Round 2 Program List available on the pre-K website in ten languages. Enrollment specialists will also be available to help families throughout the process.

Families can apply in one of three ways: by applying online, over the phone by calling 311, or in person at one of the DOE’s 12 Family Welcome Centers. The application will be translated into nine languages, and additional translation services are available over the phone in more than 200 languages. There are enough free, full-day, high-quality seats to meet the demand of every four-year-old in New York City.

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