If you're still uncertain what to do with your 4-year-old in September, you're in luck. There's still space available in many of the city's pre-kindergartens in schools and community organizations. To be eligible, your child must turn 4 by Dec. 31, 2014.
On Tuesdays in August, beginning today in Brooklyn, parents can meet with officials from the Department of Education's enrollment office at Brooklyn Borough Hall to find out how to enroll their 4-year-old in a pre-kindergarten for September. Enrollment officials have the list of schools and early childhood centers such as libraries, YMCAs or Head Starts that may still have openings. Community organizations enroll students on a rolling basis so enrollment numbers are changing throughout the summer.
The Brooklyn sessions are on Aug. 12, 19 and 26 from 4 to 7 pm in the lobby of Brooklyn Borough Hall at 209 Joralemon Street. We've asked the DOE whether there will be information and sign-up sessions in other boroughs but there is no centralized list. Many sessions are organized by legislators as part of the city's push to enroll children in 53,000 pre-kindergarten slots by September so contact your borough president's office or local council members or go to a DOE enrollment office for help.
See the directory of schools that had pre-k openings as of the end of the school year and visit the school to enroll or ask to be placed on a waiting list. Many schools are closed—or otherwise hard to contact—in August, so you may have better luck at the end of the month. The DOE does not have a specific list of all schools with space. Even if you were closed out of a school in the spring, slots may open up as families move or choose to enroll their child at a community center which offers longer hours (for child care) than most schools.
There is a directory of Community-Based Early Childhood Centers (known as CBECCs). To find a center near you, enter your address on the DOE's website. Enrollment officials around the city are following up with parents of 4-year-olds who may have signed up online but don't know how to enrolll. Families can get more information by texting "prek" to 877877.
See also our tips on what to look for in a good pre-k.
(Updated August 13, 2014)