Strong Push For Pre-K Sign Up By De Blasio As April 23rd Deadline Looms

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De Blasio and Chancellor Fariña push for sign ups

[City Hall/Education]

Visiting a pre-K program in Riverdale, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to urge parents to apply for free pre-K. The deadline to apply online or in person at an enrollment office for pre-K in public schools—the first in a series of admissions deadlines—is this Wednesday, April 23.

The Department of Education will open a record-breaking 4,268 new full-day pre-kindergarten seats in public schools by September 2014, bringing the total number of public school seats offered to more than 20,000. Once community-based early childhood centers are awarded additional seats this spring, more than 53,000 children will have a high-quality, full-day pre-K option this fall.

New York City children turning four in 2014 are eligible to apply for pre-K. The Department of Education will notify families about public school placements in June. The application period for community-based early childhood centers continues; families will have the opportunity to apply for additional options made available in the coming months.

“If you’ve been considering applying, today is the day to do it. If you thought there were no options in your neighborhood, check again. We have been getting the message out to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors: apply now. There has never been a better chance of your child getting into a free, high-quality, full-day program than there is right now,” said de Blasio.

“Fully funding universal pre-K marks an historic turning point in the education legacy of New York City. I urge all New York City parents to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to ensure that their toddler receives the high-quality preschool education they deserve starting this September,” said Klein.

“Families across our city have more options and opportunities to find high-quality pre-K than ever before. I urge all families with a 4-year-old to apply today—together, we can help our children achieve a world-class education, starting with this crucial extra year of expanding vocabulary and building critical-thinking skills through rich experiential learning,” added Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

“We have worked very hard over the last two decades to establish quality, full-day universal pre-K, and I am proud that working with Mayor de Blasio, we were able to secure more than $1.5 billion in the state budget over the next five years to make this a reality. Universal pre-K is a game-changer in every sense, and because of our efforts, thousands of children are now eligible for these newly created pre-K slots. That is why it is vitally important that we get the word out to parents and family members, so they can sign up for this program as soon as possible,” said Silver.

“Study after study shows that providing high-quality pre-kindergarten has a lasting impact on a child’s success both in school and in life. It is crucial that our children are given this opportunity, and that all those that are eligible are enrolled before the April 23, 2014 deadline. Together, we must make sure that this crucial program gets off on the right foot!”, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Democratic Conference Leader, said.

“Universal pre-K is a giant step forward for New York’s families, and with the online public school deadline coming up, I urge everyone to sign up for this critical program. New Yorkers should visit or text ‘prek’ to 877877 to get information on the program, along with instructions on how to enroll their children,” added City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“Universal pre-kindergarten is a major victory for the families of this city, but if we do not get our children registered, that victory will be for naught. I join Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña in their call to get more children registered for this critical program,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., said.

“I was a staunch supporter of Mayor de Blasio’s UPK proposal during the recent state budget negotiations. It is universally agreed that early childhood education makes a lifelong positive difference for our young people. Now that we have achieved this great victory for the children of New York, we must take the next step by doing everything possible to encourage parents to apply for pre-K programs for their children. This free program is available in our neighborhood and in communities throughout the city,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“I am excited that truly universal pre-K is coming to my district and all of New York City.  Having great partners, like the Riverdale Neighborhood House with proven track records, will ensure that all children will have access to high-quality pre-K,” said Councilman Andrew Cohen.

Parents can learn about and apply for public school pre-K options online at or by visiting a Borough Enrollment Office. A list of Enrollment Office locations, the Expansion Guide, which lists new full-day public school options, and the updated Pre-K Directory with new and existing options, are available at

Text “prek” to 877877 for updates and enter your zip code to find schools with pre-K near you.

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