More Than 53,000 Children Learning in High-Quality, Full-Day Pre-K

November 12, 2014

City reaches 2014 target and enrolls 53,230 children

In first two months, children have been exposed to wide range of books, learned new vocabulary and early math skills, grown socially through interactions with other students and teachers

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced New York City has successfully enrolled 53,230 children in high-quality, full-day pre-K this fall. Since the first day of school, children have been exposed to a common-core aligned curriculum that focuses on developing social interactions, learning language, early literacy and counting skills through reading and self-directed play, and engaging in thematic lessons on topics like transportation and members of their community.

Children are learning at nearly 1,700 sites at public schools and community-based early childhood centers (CBECCs) in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Teachers have received significant support to ensure the highest quality instruction, with 6,000 educators participating in the city’s first-ever Citywide Professional Development Training specifically for pre-K. Instructional coaches and supervision teams from the Department of Education have visited every community-based program since the first day of school, to ensure programs are maintaining high standards as the school year continues.

“We are well on our way to providing every child with the right start in their education, so they can succeed in school and in life. We made pre-K for all the centerpiece of our agenda to fight inequality and give every family opportunity. We are working every day to ensure these programs fulfill their potential and meet the highest standards. Two months in, high-quality, full-day pre-K is changing children’s lives,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We know that universal pre-K is the launching pad to the long-term academic achievement that each and every one of our children needs and deserves. That is why, in 1997, under my leadership, we established the first statewide universal pre-K program. Mayor de Blasio has been a critical advocate and partner to help finally establish full day universal pre-K in New York. Today’s announcement is a victory for all our children, and I thank the Mayor and his entire team for their tremendous efforts in helping us realize our goal,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“Pre-K offers a critical and irreplaceable academic foundation for our 4-year-olds, and that’s why this expansion is so important,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “In pre-K classrooms across the City, 4-year-olds are developing social and literacy skills, expanding their vocabulary, experimenting with science projects, being exposed to new books and materials—new worlds—that they just can’t get if they’re not in school. As we move forward with this expansion, we must renew our focus on supporting our pre-K teachers and assistant teachers and creating an atmosphere of engaging and fun learning and play that puts our youngest learners on the path to success in kindergarten and their continuing education.”

“Today marks a major milestone for our children, our families, and our plan to offer all 4-year-olds in New York City full-day, high-quality pre-K,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Buery. “Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated teachers, staff, parents, and advocates, we’re now another step closer to opening the doors of learning for all kids, putting them on a pathway of lifelong success and a brighter academic future for years to come. These latest enrollment numbers are a testament that our work is paying off for our youngest learners, and that it is ever more important to keep expanding pre-K across the five boroughs until we reach every child.”

“Children’s Services is proud to contribute to the Citywide effort that ensures our children are receiving the critical early learning and development skills necessary, and providing the platform for them to reach their full potential. The teachers and staff across our contracted EarlyLearn network are dedicated to ensuring that this initiative is a success and are excited to be playing a crucial role in laying the foundations for future success,” said Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Gladys Carrión.

“With more than 53,000 pre-K students citywide at nearly 1,700 facilities around the city, we are truly investing in our most precious resource: our children,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

Of the children enrolled in full-day pre-K:

  • 17,152 are in Brooklyn
  • 13,576 are in Queens
  • 12,127 are in the Bronx
  • 7,255 are in Manhattan
  • 3,120 are in Staten Island

All programs are under the ongoing supervision of the Department of Education, with additional oversight by the Administration for Children’s Services, Fire Department, Buildings Department, Department of Investigation, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

To analyze the expansion of pre-K, promote best practices, and improve implementation for next year, the City is partnering with New York University and an independent evaluator to track the system’s progress and engage students, parents and educators.

Next year, the City plans to offer free, full-day, high-quality pre-K for every child in New York City.

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