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Chancellor Carranza Announces Record High Percentage of Families Receiving Top Pre-K Choice

  • Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 Updated: Mon Jul 02, 2018

Families still interested in a Pre-K seat should call 718-935-2009 or fill out a Get In Touch form at

NEW YORK— Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced a record 75 percent of families received an offer to their top free, full-day, high-quality pre-K choice. 88 percent of families received an offer to one of their top three choices, also a new record. All 66,756 students who applied by the March 30 deadline received an offer for a Pre-K for All seat today. Admissions results for families continue to improve: in 2016, 71 percent of families received an offer to their top choice, compared to 70 percent in 2015. In 2016, 85 percent of families received an offer to one of their top three choices, compared to 82 percent in 2015.

“Pre-K for All has transformed our school system by giving all of our kids the foundation they need to succeed. Regardless of what neighborhood they live in or how much their parents make, every four-year-old has access to free, full-day, high-quality pre-k which will help make our City fairer for years to come,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m so excited for the class of 2032 to have such an invaluable head start in life.”

“Tens of thousands of families will begin their education career this fall in free, full-day, high-quality pre-K programs. Through Pre-K for All, students develop vocabulary skills, make friends, and build a lasting foundation for kindergarten and beyond,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “A strong early education is transformative for families and is key to our Equity and Excellence agenda. We are leveling the playing field for all families, including our immigrant population, and are empowering parents to set their children on the pathway to success.”

“During my time as a professor at MIT, a common thread that I saw in all my students was that their education started early,” said Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson. “The payoff of investing in pre-k now will have long lasting benefits for families and our entire society, and I am thrilled for all the families receiving an offer today.”

This year’s results reflect the DOE’s efforts to make pre-K admissions simpler and more effective for families. Approximately 2,400 families participated in a survey about the Pre-K for All application process, and 95 percent reported having a positive experience submitting their program choices. Since 2014, the DOE has launched a pre-K quality snapshot, enhanced Pre-K Finder, conducted new trainings for staff, added seats in high-demand areas, and solicited and incorporated parent feedback. In response to parent input, the DOE extended the timeframe of the main round application to its longest ever this year. The Pre-K for All outreach team made 35,000 calls during the main application round to eligible families, and the DOE increased the amount of foreign language advertising and informational sessions for parents in all five boroughs.

“Pre-K for All provides the foundation for all of our children to succeed in the classroom and beyond,” said Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack. “Our team has worked tirelessly to make this process easy and simple for families through continued parent and community engagement, and I am pleased that we continue to see high satisfaction among parents.”   

Support for students in temporary housing, including one-on-one counseling and training sessions for staff, continued this year, and the DOE doubled its visits to shelters during the application period. 48 percent of students in shelter submitted an application by the March 30 deadline, an increase from 38 percent prior to the targeted outreach, which began for the fall 2017 admissions cycle. We will continue our engagement with students in shelter to ensure every family who wants a pre-k seat has access to one.

The DOE is focused on creating a diverse pre-k classroom experience, and our Diversity in Admissions pilot expanded to 29 schools or programs—including every district program in District 1 and 13 schools outside District 1—an increase from nine total participants last year. This diversity pilot now includes NYC Early Education Centers for the first time. Schools outside of District 1 prioritized a portion of their seats for students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) are English Language Learners (ELLs), Students in Temporary Housing (STH), live in subsidized housing and/or have been in the child welfare system or impacted by incarceration. 12 of the 13 schools outside District 1 either nearly met, met or exceeded their targets. All District 1 schools gave priority to students who applied to at least one District 1 school and were identified as FRL, ELL, and/or STH. We are encouraged that nine of the 16 schools in District 1 are within their target range for offers.

Every child born in 2014 who lives in New York City is eligible to apply and attend Pre-K for All this fall, and families can still apply and receive offers to programs. There is a seat available for every family in the City. Families that submitted an application after the deadline are placed on the waitlist for all programs on their application, and could begin getting waitlist offers today. These families will receive a call from an Outreach Team specialist to walk them through all available options and will be placed into programs over the next several weeks and months, depending on seat availability. Families who need additional assistance can go to and fill out a Get in Touch Form, call 718-935-2009, or visit one of DOE’s 12 Family Welcome Centers. Families of children born in 2015 can apply to 3-K for All through May 11 at and will hear from the DOE with offer information in late May.

Parents with children enrolled in free, full-day pre-K save an average of $10,000 annually on childcare costs. Additionally, an NYU study last year found that Pre-K for All makes it more likely that a low-income child in New York City is properly diagnosed with asthma or vision problems, and receives screening or treatment for hearing or vision problems. Additionally, independent research from the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity demonstrated high satisfaction with Pre-K for all: 92 percent of families surveyed rated their program as excellent or good, and 83 percent of families said their child learned “a lot” in pre-K. Across the board, the research shows that both students and families are seeing critical benefits from Pre-K for All. 

Pre-K for All is part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier with Universal Literacy and Algebra for All. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework with Computer Science for All and AP for All. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

“A tell-tale indicator of a truly successful City program is its reach and accessibility to every day New Yorkers. When we look at the Pre-K for All application process – and the record number of families who have been able to receive their top Pre-K choice this year – the numbers speak for itself,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Thank you to Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for giving families the tools to more effectively navigate the public school system and access quality early education for their children. 

Contact:  Chancellor’s Press Office (212) 374-5141