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Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza Announce Four Times More Children Receiving 3-K for All Offers

May 23, 2018

Four Times More Applicants Compared to Last Year, and Universal Access in Districts 7 and 23

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced 3,257 families are receiving offers to free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All across six community school districts –up from 793 offers across two community school districts last year. There will be over 5,000 students attending 3-K for All this fall, up from over 1,500 during the 2017-18 school year and including approximately 2,000 additional existing seats for three-year-olds in EarlyLearn programs. All families who applied from Districts 7 and 23 will be able to attend 3-K for All this fall, fulfilling the City’s commitment to provide universal access in every district in its second year of expansion.

Families received 3-K for All offers two months earlier than last year. A total of 9,468 families across all 32 community school districts applied for a 3-K program, demonstrating high demand and the need for additional support from the State and Federal government to bring 3-K for All citywide by the 2021-22 school year.

“The first year of 3-K for All has been a resounding success and the demand shows it has transformed the lives of families in the South Bronx and Brownsville,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we expand to new districts in 3-K’s second year, we will give more of our youngest New Yorkers an invaluable head start in life and make our City fairer.”

“Four times more 3-K offers means four times as many children who will get a critical start to their education, but it’s clear that we need more seats,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “The research is clear – high-quality 3-K and Pre-K for All are the foundation of our students’ long-term academic success – and parents want their children to benefit. I hope we will receive more support from our State and federal partners to meet New York City families’ demand for free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education.”

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio increased the City’s commitment to fully funding free, full-day, high-quality 3-K. With this increased commitment, 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 over 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)

DOE outreach specialists will continue to work with families who received an offer throughout the summer, to ensure their children are able to attend 3-K for All this fall. Families without an offer are receiving information today on 3-K programs – including EarlyLearn – for which they may be eligible, and will receive ongoing support from the DOE outreach team to find a program that meets their needs. Families can continue to learn about available 3-K seats online at, over the phone by calling 311, or in person at a Family Welcome Center.

3-K for All is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for all three-year-olds, 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.

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.

There is extensive research supporting the transformative value of free, full-day, high-quality3-K for All, including the following:

  • Several studies have found that students who attend two years of preschool compared to one are better prepared for kindergarten, and that they perform significantly higher on academic and social outcome measures.
  • A study of the two-year Abbott Preschool Program in New Jersey found persistent gains in language arts and literacy, mathematics, and science through 4th and 5th grade, with larger test score gains for children who participated in two years of preschool. In addition, Abbott Preschool Program participation was linked to lower grade retention rates and fewer children needing special education.
  •  A study of Head Start found that families of children who attended for two years were more likely to engage in recreational activities together that supported child development, and were likely to spend more hours reading together at home.
  • A Chicago study found that children who attended two years of public preschool were significantly less likely to receive special education services, to be abused or neglected, or to commit crimes in adulthood.

The 3-K for All expansion builds on the success of Pre-K for All. Parents with children enrolled in free, full-day pre-K save an average of $10,000 annually on childcare costs. Additionally, an NYU study last year 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. 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. 

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 in 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 3-K-through-12 education. In addition to programs serving three- and four-year-olds, EarlyLearn programs serving children from six-weeks-old through four-years-old are also transitioning to management by DOE, including center- and home-based programs.

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. 

"The statistics make clear that 3-K for All is resonating with New York City’s working families, easing the financial burden and giving our children the early start that is critical for development,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. “I commend Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for continuing to invest in positive academic, social, and economic outcomes of our city's students and families."

"I am pleased that thousands of families are taking advantage of all that 3-K For All has to offer," said Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. "3-K For All provides our children with the foundational education they need to thrive in elementary school and beyond. I celebrate these results and will continue to work alongside the administration to enhance early childhood education in our city."

“I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for their commitment to expand 3-K for All in District 8, where there is a need for early childhood services. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of early childhood education, such as higher academic success, improved social skills, and heightened self-esteem.  This expansion will greatly benefit South Bronx and East Harlem families and positively impact the academic outcomes of both communities,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.

“As a longtime supporter in Albany of Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to expand Pre-K education, I am heartened that so many more families will now be able to benefit from free, full-day 3-K opportunities for their children, said Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “Children at this early age have such fertile minds, open to experiencing and learning so much that will serve as a strong foundation for future learning. This program also takes a big burden off parents, many of them single moms, struggling to juggle parenting and working to pay the rent. I pledge to continue to work vigorously in Albany for the continued expansion of this so critically important program.”

Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell, Chair of Arts and Tourism said, “Four times as many children getting a decisive start to their education is great for all of New York City. It's undeniable that quality 3-K and Pre-K educations will give NYC students the tools to succeed throughout their entire academic careers. I hope we will see the New York City Board of Education continue to expand these wonderful programs to ensure all our children benefit." 


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