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In First Wave of UPK Implementation, Mayor de Blasio Announces More Than 4,200 New Full-Day Pre-K Seats Added to Public Schools

April 2, 2014

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With state funding secured, Department of Education brings first wave of new public school seats online as part of expansion to all 73,000 eligible 4-year-olds

Parents can apply for new options at

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced that New York City will open a record-breaking 4,268 new full-day pre-kindergarten seats in public schools by September 2014. These seats represent the first of tens of thousands of new full-day seats funded in this year’s state budget that will soon be made available. The Department of Education is undertaking new outreach to parents to encourage them to apply.

The new seats are the first to become available as part of the city’s plan to provide high quality pre-K programs to all 73,250 eligible students by the 2015-2016 school year, and approximately 53,000 in September 2014.

With these additional new seats, the Department of Education will offer 20,387 full-day pre-K seats in public schools by September 2014, marking a 26 percent spike from the current school year—and the most full-day pre-K seats in city history. Thousands more seats will be made available through community-based organizations later this spring.
The new full-day pre-K seats will open across 140 schools, spanning all five boroughs, and reaching nearly all 32 community school districts—including many high-need neighborhoods. These new available seats represent half-day pre-K programs that have been upgraded to full-day, additional classes in existing full-day programs, and entirely new full-day programs.

“Today, we are more than 4,000 seats closer to ensuring that every 4-year-old has access to high quality full-day pre-K,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “For months, we have been planning every facet of these programs to ensure we were ready to launch the moment funding was secured. Today, the rubber hits the road, and families will have more options for their children.”

“For decades, families have clamored for more high quality full-day pre-K seats in their communities,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Today, this becomes reality. Families are eager, teachers are ready, and we have an unprecedented commitment that will ensure the highest quality pre-K that every 4-year-old so deeply deserves.”

In order for a school to be considered for additional or new pre-K seats, principals needed to submit a comprehensive proposal demonstrating how they plan to offer high quality instruction and family engagement in space suitable for young children. The Department of Education reviewed each proposal to ensure children entering full-day pre-K classrooms in September have an enriching and supportive pre-K experience.

Children born in 2010 who live in New York City are eligible to apply to the variety of offerings available for September 2014. The application deadline for public school options is April 23, and the Department of Education will notify families about public school placements in June. Families will also have an opportunity to apply for slots at community-based organizations later this spring.

Parents can learn about and apply for public school pre-K options online at or by visiting a Borough Enrollment Office.

The Pre-K Expansion Guide, which lists the new public school options, is also available at

Additional information and updates can be found by texting “prek” to 877877.

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Transcript: In First Wave of UPK Implementation, Mayor de Blasio Announces More Than 4,200 New Full-Day Pre-K Seats Added to Public Schools