New Independent Research Shows High Family Satisfaction with Pre-K For All Programs

  • Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 Updated: Mon Jul 23, 2018

92% of Families Surveyed Rated Their Child’s Pre-K for All Program Good or Excellent

NEW YORK – Chancellor Fariña today announced that the pre-K application deadline has been extended until March 9, and highlighted the results of an independent evaluation of families’ perception of the program, which shows high levels of satisfaction. Overall, 92% of families surveyed rated their program as excellent or good, and 83% of families said their child learned “a lot” in pre-K. Across the board, the research shows that both students and families are seeing tangible benefits from Pre-K for All. 

"Our dedicated, Pre-K for All enrollment outreach team has worked tirelessly to sign up thousands of families who are already witnessing the invaluable benefits of high-quality, early childhood learning. Whether it’s children learning numbers or ABCs for the first time or easing the financial burden on working families, the advantages of this critical program cannot be ignored. Families should act fast by signing up today,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio

“Pre-K for All is a game-changer for families across New York City, and our free, full-day, high-quality programs are putting students on the path to long-term success. This survey shows the important economic benefits, behavioral improvements, and overall satisfaction families across the City have had with their Pre-K for All program. I urge families to go online, call or visit a Family Welcome Center and apply today,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. 

Among the findings are: 

High-Quality Programs 

  • 92% of families surveyed rated their child’s program as good or excellent
  • 96% of families surveyed reported that their child always, almost always, or usually likes going to pre-K
  • 83% of families surveyed said their child learned “a lot” in Pre-K
  • 54% of Families surveyed said their child’s behavior improved as a direct result of pre-K

Economic Benefits for Families

  • 41% of respondents said that they would have had to work fewer hours had full-day pre-K not been available
  • 56% of respondents reported a decrease in childcare spending from last year

Increased Family Engagement

  • 77% of families reported regularly receiving resources from their pre-K program to support learning at home
  • 91% of families who tried suggested activities reported they were moderately or very effective in helping with their child’s learning or behavior.

Easy to Apply

  • 93% of respondents reported it was easy or very easy to apply to pre-K

The study was conducted in partnership with the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). Working in conjunction with City Agencies and other partners, CEO develops, manages and evaluates program and policy initiatives to help the City improve its systems and identify effective responses to poverty and its related challenges. 

"Evidence shows that NYC parents are overwhelmingly happy with their Pre-K for All program. This is important, because every parent wants what’s best for their child. Access to Pre-K for All is easy, but parents have to apply first! We’ve extended the application deadline to next Wednesday, March 9 to give parents more time to find a Pre-K for All program that’s a good fit for them. I want to encourage every parent with a child born in 2012 to take advantage of free, high-quality, full-day pre-K. For our children, opportunity starts now," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery

“Quality has been the top priority since the start of this expansion, and I am encouraged to see that the overwhelming majority of families have seen pre-K have a real impact on their child. Applications are open now. Families should review the directory, visit pre-K programs and apply to the programs that best meets their needs,” said Deputy Chancellor for Strategy and Policy Josh Wallack. 

“CEO has been proud to partner with DOE in bringing independent research into the historic expansion of pre-K from the start. This research is helping DOE gauge progress, surface promising practices and apply continuous efforts to ensure quality. We applaud DOE’s commitment to bring families’ voices into our understanding of Pre-K for All as a vital source of information and feedback,” said Matt Klein, Executive Director of the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity. 

The survey was conducted by Westat Research between March and May of 2015. In total, around 1,100 families from across the City were surveyed. In addition to the survey, Westat held focus groups in every borough to solicit additional feedback. The focus groups included families from all five borough with students enrolled in district schools, NYC Early Education Centers and DOE Pre-K centers. The complete report can be found here. 


The fall 2016 pre-K application period has been extended and will now close March 9. All New York City families with a child born in 2012 are eligible to apply to pre-K for the 2016-17 school year. Families can complete the single application process online at the pre-K website, over the phone at 718-935-2067, or in person at a Family Welcome Center

The single application allows families to list up to 12 full-day pre-K programs – including DOE district schools, DOE-run Pre-K Centers, and NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs) – ranking programs of interest in order of preference. The online application is translated into all nine of the DOE’s languages, and families can submit an application over the phone or in person in over 200 languages. 

To learn more about pre-K programs, families are encouraged to use the 2016 Pre-K for All Directory available on the pre-K website in ten languages. The Pre-K Directory contains detailed admissions information and program lists. Families are also encouraged to use the online Pre-K Finder for the most up-to-date information and a searchable map. Enrollment specialists will also be available to help families throughout the process to ensure they find a program that best fits their child’s needs. You can reached the enrollment specialists by calling 212.637.8000. 

You can read the full report online. 

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