The city will expand free schooling for 3-year-olds by 16,500 seats in the Fall, Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday.
The Department of Education’s 3-k program will soon provide seats in all 32 districts and enroll 40,000 kids, he announced during a visit to Phyls Academy in Flatbush.
“You can see the energy, you can feel the parents, the kids are so happy to be here,” he said. “This is an example of what we’re going to be able to do all over the city.
The program’s expansion — which was stymied by the pandemic over the last year — will be funded through federal stimulus money.
“The stimulus bill had a lot of education funding in it too and we’re taking full advantage of that,” de Blasio said. “One of the best ways to help families is to give them 3-k for free.”
Newly minted schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter said that the DOE wanted to become a presence in the lives of city children as young as possible.
“We know our amazing parents are doing great work from birth to three and we want to jump in as soon as we can and get things going so we can do the real work of making sure we can close achievement and opportunity gaps for our students,” she said.
The 3-k program — which currently serve about 23,500 kids — operates through private operators funded by the city, DOE-operated preschools, and other venues.
The city began accepting new applications in February and will extend the deadline through the end of May.