If your four-year-old didn't get a seat in a pre-kindergarten program in Round 1 or Round 2 of admissions this year -- and thousands did not -- there are many seats still available, especially at daycare and child care centers. A district by district listing of schools and CBOs (community based organizations) that still have slots is on the Department of Education's website
A handful of popular schools are on the list -- including PS 3 in Greenwich Village and the Spruce Street School in Tribeca -- but you'll need to contact the schools directly to see what's available. The deadline to apply is Oct. 28. According to the DOE, openings will be filled on a "first come first serve basis." Register directly at the school or CBO. You'll need to bring along your child, two documents showing proof of address, your child's passport or birth certificate and immunization records.
Last week, an audit by City Comptroller John Liu charged that the DOE was not doing enough to find and fill pre-kindergarten seats, especially at community organizations. It calculated that the city returns about $30 million in unused pre-k funding to the state every year. The state only provides enough funding for half day (2 1/2 hour) programs which are not as popular with parents. Liu's office recommended that the city lobby the state for full day funding and do more outreach to recruit new providers.
The DOE responded to the audit "under protest," GothamSchools reports, saying that the problem lies with the state regulations, not with the Department's effort to reach out to families to enroll their children. Read the audit and the city's response here.