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Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Administration Leaders Fan Out Across Five Boroughs in Final Push to Sign Up Kids for Pre-K

August 29, 2015

Mayor hits barber shops and beauty salons in East Flatbush, Commissioners speaking at churches, organizers canvassing streets and congregations in all five boroughs

Still time left to sign up: parents can visit or call 311 to find pre-K programs with available seats

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, elected officials and administration leadership are fanning out across the five boroughs this weekend in a last big push to enroll children in Pre-K for All. With classes beginning on September 9th, families still have an opportunity to apply and secure a free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seat for their child. All children who turn four years old in 2015 are eligible, and every child will be offered a placement.

Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery will join organizers on Saturday at barber shops and beauty salons in East Flatbush to urge parents who haven’t yet applied for pre-K to do so. Five other leaders from the administration will speak at major churches, and organizers will set up tables at 22 more congregations to answer parents’ questions and help them apply for pre-K on the spot. Their efforts are targeted at communities where there are still four-year olds not yet enrolled in a program.

Families can apply by:

  • Calling 311. A dedicated enrollment specialist will walk parents through options convenient for them that provide programming tailored to their child’s needs.
  • Texting ‘PREK’ to 877877. Parents will receive a response text identifying convenient local programs.
  • Visiting Parents can easily search through programs with available seats and file a simple application in minutes.

“We’re not leaving a single stone unturned. The response we’ve received from parents so far has been extraordinary, but we are going to work street by street, family by family, until we reach every four-year old,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “My message to parents, as a father who saw his own kids benefit from pre-K firsthand, is to seize the opportunity now. It will change your child’s life.”

Last fall, New York City enrolled more than 53,000 children in full-day pre-K at district schools, charter schools, and NYC Early Childhood Centers. This year’s expansion is expected to reach approximately 70,000 children in more than 1,900 programs across every borough and neighborhood. Because of free Pre-K for All programs, the average family saves more than $10,000 each year in childcare costs.

Weekend Organizing Activities


  • Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery will canvas barber shops and beauty salons in East Flatbush, Brooklyn
  • HRA Commissioner Steve Banks will speak at New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church in Brownsville
  • Young Men’s Initiative Director W. Cyrus Garrett will speak at Greater Allen AME in Jamaica
  • Organizers will set up tables and meet parents at 12 Seventh Day Adventist congregations across the city


  • Corporation Counsel Zach Carter will speak at New Tabernacle Baptist Church in East Tremont
  • DORIS Commissioner Pauline O’Toole will speak at Christ the Rock World Restoration Church in East New York
  • DDC Executive Director Maria Centeno will speak at New Gospel Temple C.O.G.I.C. in Crotona Park East
  • Organizers will set up tables and meet parents at 10 congregations across the city

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