Mayor de Blasio Speeds up 3-K For All Rollout and Announces 4 New Districts

February 2, 2018

Families Can Apply to 3-K and Pre-K Starting Monday, February 5

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that 3-K for All will expand to four more community school districts over the next three years, increasing the City’s commitment to fully funding free, full-day, high-quality 3-K from eight community school districts by 2020 to 12 community school districts. This will double the number of new districts opening this fall and next from 2 to 4 in both years. The City intends to bring 3-K for All citywide in the 2021-22 school year with additional support from partners in the State and federal government.

Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the City will expand to additional school districts each year, in addition to the previously announced districts. The new districts are: 

  • 2018-19: District 5 (Harlem) and District 16 (Bedford-Stuyvesant)
  • 2019-20: District 6 (Washington Heights and Inwood)
  • 2020-21: District 12 (Central Bronx)

3-K for All will also come to District 19 (East New York) in the 2019-20 school year, a year earlier than scheduled.

“The first class of 3-K for All started in September, and their development since then is truly remarkable. This extra year of education is giving our kids an invaluable head start in life, and helping to alleviate some of the financial strain that working families in New York City face,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.  “By accelerating and expanding 3-K for All, we are bringing this opportunity to more kids and families faster.”

“I am excited to expand 3-K for All to four more districts ahead of schedule, bringing an opportunity for thousands more three-year-olds to gain a critical educational foundation,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Starting at three years old allows us to reach children at the ideal period of development, and I encourage families to review the 3-K and Pre-K for All options available for their child and apply.”

“The 3-K programs we launched this year in the Bronx and here in Brownsville are shining examples of our commitment to achieve equity and excellence for all New Yorkers.  These programs have provided children in these communities with free, full-day, high-quality education that research shows will have a lifelong impact. I’m proud to be here today to announce that 3-year-olds and their families in even more neighborhoods will be able to benefit from programs like the one we’re in today.” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives.

3-K for All is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child, and builds on the success of Pre-K for All. Research has found every dollar invested in high-quality early education saves taxpayers as much as $13 long-term.

With the new districts, the full schedule for 3-K expansion is: 

  • 2017-18: District 7 (South Bronx) and District 23 (Brownsville). This year, over 1,500 three-year-olds are being served by 3-K for All in these two districts.
  • 2018-19: District 4 (East Harlem), District 5 (Harlem), District 16 (Bedford-Stuyvesant), and District 27 (Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Rockaways). There will be 5,000 seats across the six districts offering 3-K for All in Fall 2018. 
  • 2019-20: District 6 (Washington Heights and Inwood), District 9 (Grand Concourse, Highbridge, Morrisania), District 19 (East New York), and District 31 (Staten Island)
  • 2020-21: District 12 (Central Bronx) and District 29 (Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans)

Each district will have a two-year expansion, offering universal access in the second year. By fall 2021, the City will support approximately 19,000 3-K seats across the 12 community school districts. For the 2018-19 school year, 3-K for All will cost $66 million across six districts. At scale, the cost will be $203 million across the 12 City-funded districts. In order to achieve the vision of 3-K for All citywide, the City will need additional support from partners in the State and federal government.

Applications for 3-K for All and Pre-K for All will open on Monday, February 5. 3-K for All programs in Districts 4, 7, 23, and 27 will be available on Monday, February 5 and programs in the new districts – Districts 5 and 16 – will be added to the application in mid-April.

Families can submit an application for 3-K online at nyc.gov/3k, and for Pre-K online at nyc.gov/prek. All families can apply over the phone by calling 311 or in person at a Family Welcome Center. The online application is available in ten languages, and families can submit an application over the phone or in person in over 200 languages. 3-K and Pre-K enrollment specialists – experts on sites across each neighborhood – will also be available to help families throughout the process as they find a program that best fits their child’s needs. 

Like Pre-K for All, 3-K for All relies on the partnership of community-based organizations, including Head Start, EarlyLearn providers, child care agencies, and family child care providers.

As part of the larger effort to strengthen birth-to-five care and education across the City, EarlyLearn programs are transitioning from ACS to management by DOE by early 2019. This transition is being led by ACS and DOE, with engagement with other city agencies, such as the Human Resources Administration and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as providers, early childhood care and education experts, and state and federal regulators. Creating a unified birth-to-five early care and education system will benefit children, families, and providers. It will enable consistent, high-quality standards, greater curricular alignment from early childhood through second grade, a single contracting relationship and set of supports for early childhood education providers, integrated data collection, and seamless connections between early childhood development and 3K-12 education. In addition to programs serving three- and four-year-olds, EarlyLearn programs serving children from six-weeks-old through three-years-old are also transitioning to management by DOE, including center- and home-based programs.

Through Pre-K for All, the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality pre-K has increased from 19,000 to approximately 68,000. Independent research from the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity has 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. 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.

On Monday, the City will release an updated Pre-K Quality Snapshot, a tool introduced last year that allows families to learn about program options. The Snapshots are available online through the Pre-K Finder and are aligned to the DOE’s Framework for Great Schools and the Pre-K for All Program Quality Standards. As part of the Snapshot, the City is also releasing newly compiled nationally recognized ECERS-R and CLASS assessments for Pre-K programs. Overall, 88 percent of programs’ ECERS-R scores released are at or above the 3.4 threshold correlated with positive student outcomes, a 3 percentage-point increase from 2015-16. Complete results are available online. In addition to using the qualitative and quantitative data in the Snapshot, the Chancellor urges families to visit pre-K sites and have meaningful conversations with families and staff to learn more about each program firsthand. Pre-K admissions events, including open houses, can also be found online.

3-K for All and Pre-K for All are part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway. 

“Studies have shown that children benefit when they receive an early start on academic, emotional, and social growth. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for continuing to expand 3-K for All, prioritizing their commitment to enhance our city’s early childhood education programs and making it easier for New York’s working families to thrive,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Education.

“In 2014, Mayor de Blasio charted a very aggressive course to ensure educational opportunity was universally accessible to all of New York City’s children, regardless of the neighborhood in which they lived. At the beginning of 2014, there were 20,000 free, full-day pre-K seats available to 4-year-old New Yorkers. Today there are 70,000, and with this expansion thousands more young New Yorkers will have access to early childhood education. I commend the Mayor for making universal pre-K, and now 3-K, a reality in New York City, particularly in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood I am proud to represent,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.

“3-K for All moves our city in the right direction. I’m pleased to have seen this program begin in Brownsville and now grow out into Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York; all of these are neighborhoods in need of enrichment. Unfortunately, disparities begin early in life — and often even before birth. Early childhood education is critical to closing the gap,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L Adams.

"Pre-K for all has been one of the most significant accomplishments of this administration, and I am impressed with the Mayor's Office's continued commitment to early-childhood educational equity. Thanks to the city's 3-K for All initiative, the children of Washington Heights and Inwood will be placed on an even firmer footing for future academic, professional, and personal success. I look forward to working with the City to ensure equity for all of New York City's children,” said State Senator Marisol Alcantara.

“As the mother of a 3 year old daughter, I know how important it is to give our children access to quality early education. The expansion of 3-K in our city will give unprecedented access and opportunities to our youngest learners, across communities and irregardless social economic status. I applaud the de Blasio administration for making the education of our children a top priority and look forward to welcoming 3-K uptown to District 6,” said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa.

“As I have done in Albany and will continue to do, I am in full support of funding for Mayor de Blasio's 3-K for All program. It is so important, especially for children in our inner city, to get that extra step up in life, as well as to help so many parents, especially single mothers, trying to juggle their time between work and parenting. I hope the city beats its own timetable. It can't fully be in place soon enough,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda.

"It's exciting to see the rapid expansion of 3-K in our community schools. Pre-K provides all children with a jump-start on their educations, but the gains are all the more dramatic among those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We salute the mayor and the chancellor for their historic efforts to advance Universal P-K over recent years and particularly now as they open the doors of opportunity for children as young as three,” said Mark Cannizzaro, President of CSA.

"This expansion will bring high-quality, affordable education to thousands more families across the city. We are delighted to partner with the Department of Education to serve children and support families, and we look forward to helping make sure families have the information they need to enroll in 3-K and Pre-K," said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell.

"We are pleased that 3-K For All is expanding ahead of schedule. Child care programs want to continue to be part of this expansion with the commitment from the Administration that quality programming requires staff stability and the expertise of community-based educators who have set high standards for our youngest learners. We must be recognized as equal partners in this endeavor," said Andrea Anthony, Executive Director of the Day Care Council of New York.

"Aim High Leadership Centers are proud to be a part of this ground-breaking learning initiative that will positively impact our earliest learners and the communities they live in. Families from all socioeconomic backgrounds will now have the opportunity to obtain a free, high-quality education for their earliest learners. Adding 3-K for All at our program will allow all families in our community greater access to a quality education from the start. The earlier we reach our children, the greater the opportunity they have to be socially and academically successful," said Stacey Lindsay, Executive Director of Aim High Leadership Academy.

"This expansion will bring high-quality, affordable education to thousands more families across the city. We are delighted to partner with the Department of Education to serve children and support families, and we look forward to helping make sure families have the information they need to enroll in 3-K and Pre-K," said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell

“We are pleased that 3-K For All is expanding ahead of schedule. Child care programs want to continue to be part of this expansion with the commitment from the Administration that quality programming requires staff stability and the expertise of community-based educators who have set high standards for our youngest learners. We must be recognized as equal partners in this endeavor,” said Andrea Anthony, Executive Director of the Day Care Council of New York.

“Aim High Leadership Centers are proud to be a part of this ground-breaking learning initiative that will positively impact our earliest learners and the communities they live in. Families from allsocioeconomic backgrounds will now have the opportunity to obtain a free, high-quality education for their earliest learners. Adding 3-K for All at our program will allow all families in our community greater access to a quality education from the start. The earlier we reach our children, the greater the opportunity they have to be socially and academically successful,” said Stacey Lindsay, Executive Director of Aim High Leadership Academy.

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