Some highly sought-after schools that lacked pre-kindergarten programs will now have them. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today the city will add more than 4,200 new full-day pre-k seats at 140 public schools in September, thanks to $300 million in funding from the state that was approved over the weekend.
There are three new programs in popular midtown Manhattan schools: Midtown West, PS 116 and PS 40. In Chinatown, PS 130 is offering a full day instead of a half-day program, and PS 124 will house three classes. In Brooklyn's District 15, the new Maurice Sendak Community Schoolwill have 66 seats, up from the 30 originally planned. PS 15 in Red Hook is offering 84 slots. PS 20in Fort Greene will have two classes, instead of one.
In the Bronx, perennially popularBronx New School will offer two full-day classes, not one and PS 23 in Fordham will have 48 seats. In Queens, new programs will open at PS 290 in Maspeth and PS 63in Ozone Park and at two new schools that will open in the fall, PS 343 in Corona and PS 316 in South Ozone Park. PS 175 in Rego Park will also offer three classes. In Staten Island, 15 schools have either created new programs, added additional seats or are expanding half-day programs to full-day.
For a complete listing of the new and expanded programs, see the city's supplement to the pre-kindergarten directory. Programs that were approved before the new budget deal are included in the original 2014-2015 directory, published last month and linked here. To find a list of all schools, it's important to look at both directories.
Still to come: Thousands more seats are being created in community centers and organizations and will be announced in June, the mayor's office said. The mayor encouraged families to "apply, apply, apply" to both types of programs to better their chances of gettig a slot.
The new seats make a total 20,387 full-day pre-k seats in public schools. In announcing the expansion today, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said, "For decades, families have clamored for more high quality full-day pre-k seats in their communities. Today, this becomes reality."
All children who turn 4 years old in 2014 are eligible for pre-kindergarten, although there is no guarantee of space. Programs are held in both public schools and in community centers such as Y's or Head Start programs. In the past, many programs have been only half-day — 2.5 hours long — which is inconvenient for parents. The city has pushed hard for funding to offer full-day seats.
Apply by April 23 for public school applications, either online or at a borough enrollment center. Parents apply separately, in person, to the community-based programs, but you can download the application here.
Be sure to visit a school before applying. The DOE has posted someopen house dates. If you don't see an open house date for the school you're looking for, call the parent coordinator.