Universal Pre-K Update


Subway and bus ads, PSAs and materials in nine languages urge parents to apply

Parents can apply for new options at schools.nyc.gov/prek

NEW YORK— Joining Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at a public school’s pre-K program today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a major media and community organizing push urging New Yorkers to sign their children up for pre-K. The outreach campaign follows the announcement this week that the city has secured the funding necessary to expand pre-K to 53,000 children this September.

The outreach includes $300,000 of ads on bus shelters, buses and subways urging parents to register their children for pre-K, as well as public service announcements, promotions in taxicabs, robocalls to families in public housing, and a multilingual canvassing effort in partnership with community groups.

“This is about reaching parents where they live,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It’s going to take a mix of new media and old-fashioned community organizing to reach every family. From our Taxi and Limousine Commission to community groups in immigrant neighborhoods, we’re working with every partner we can find to get the word out about new pre-K options opening up. But the most important pieces of this equation are everyday New Yorkers. Talk to your family. Talk to your neighbors. Help us get the word out.”

“I and the Assembly Majority have long maintained that pre-K is the critical jumpstart our children need to be successful. I am so pleased that we have a powerful partner in Mayor Bill de Blasio, who knows that this program can be truly transformational and will provide new hope for working families and their children. It is critical that we spread the word as quickly as possible, and I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and his team to make this program a huge success,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

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.

The Department of Education is printing 70,000 Pre-K Expansion Guides that detail the new public school pre-K options. The guides are being mailed to 5,000 NYCHA families with eligible 4-year-olds and distributed through libraries, community partners and elementary schools. The Pre-K Expansion Guide will be translated in nine languages and available online.

For more information and updates on the pre-K application process, visit: schools.nyc.gov/prek or text “prek” to 877877.