Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Fariña Announce Opening of Pre-K Applications

  • Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 Updated: Thu Feb 25, 2021

All Families with Children Born in 2013 Can Apply to Free, Full-Day, High-Quality Pre-K Starting Today. City Introduces New Pre-K Quality Snapshot to Give Families a Clear, Concise Resource on Each Program. 2015-16 Assessment Data Shows NYC Programs’ Improvement on Par with Nationally Recognized Pre-K Programs

NEW YORK – Chancellor Fariña today announced the opening of 2017-18 Pre-K for All Applications. All New York City families with children born in 2013 are eligible to apply for Pre-K for All starting today, and the main round of applications closes February 24. There are free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seats for every four-year old in New York City and a record 70,430 students registered for free, full-day, high quality pre-K as of the first day of the 2016-17 school year.

The Chancellor also introduced the Pre-K Quality Snapshot, a new tool for families to learn about pre-K program options. Snapshots are now available for nearly 1,800 full-day pre-K programs, and provide an accessible, clear, concise resource to help families learn more about their options and make decisions about which program is the right fit for their child. The Snapshots are available in libraries and community organizations across the City. They are aligned to the DOE’s Framework for Great Schools and the Pre-K for All Program Standards . Every program’s Snapshot will be published annually, and the introduction of this tool reflects the City’s commitment to partnering with families to support their children’s learning. In addition to using the Snapshot the Chancellor urges families to visit pre-K sites and have meaningful conversations with families and staff to learn more about the program firsthand. 

“We have made Pre-K for All a reality in New York City, and it is transformative for tens of thousands of students and families,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio . “All families with children born in 2013 should apply – not only are our 4-year-olds getting an invaluable foundation for their education, this program is also easing the financial burden of child care for hard-working New Yorkers.”

“First and foremost, I encourage all families with children born in 2013 to apply for free, full-day, high-quality pre-K by February 24 – this is a critical year where students will build the foundation they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond,” said  Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña . “The release of the Pre-K Quality Snapshot also represents an important step forward, and reflects our commitment to family engagement. Families are our partners in the work of educating New York City’s children – from pre-K through 12 th grade – and the new Snapshot is one more way of getting them clear information on pre-K programs and helping them make the best decisions for their child.”

“We know that the foundation of a quality pre-k program can increase a child's likelihood of attending college, and even lifetime earning potential. That's why creating equity in New York City -- not just today, but years from now -- demands ‎that all families have access to early childhood education. I'm ecstatic that once again New York City can offer a free, full-day, high quality Pre-K program to every four year old.  I encourage all parents of children born in 2013 to sign up today,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives.

“As we’ve more than tripled the number of free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seats in the City, we’ve always been committed to doing it the right way – and the release of the Pre-K Quality Snapshot as well as our pre-K programs’ strong results and steady progress on national assessments reflect that,” said  Deputy Chancellor for Strategy and Policy Josh Wallack . “We’ll continue to work to support families by getting them clear, quality information about our pre-K programs.”

“Districts around the country can look to New York City’s Pre-K Quality Snapshot as a model for communicating information about pre-k program quality with families, because it focuses on metrics that really matter and presents information in a meaningful way,” said Elliot Regenstein, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at Ounce of Prevention Fund.  

“The Snapshot is another cutting-edge initiative that demonstrates New York City’s commitment to use data and research to support and communicate about pre-K program quality. Parents are now receiving important information about program quality that reflects research on practices that contribute to positive student outcomes,” said Pamela A. Morris, Professor of Applied Psychology Vice Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs at Steinhardt, New York University, and C. Cybele Raver, Vice Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs at New York University.

All New York City families with children born in 2013 are eligible to apply to pre-K for the 2017-18 school year. This includes children with disabilities and children whose home language is not English. 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 – across the unified system of 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 available in ten languages, and families can submit an application over the phone or in person in over 200 languages. Families interested in half-day, 5-hour NYCEEC pre-K programs or charter school pre-K programs should contact those programs directly to apply.

In addition to using the brand-new Pre-K Quality Snapshot, there are additional resources for families to identify and learn about pre-K programs that fit their child’s needs. Families can use the online Pre-K Finder to find programs near them, and for the latest information and program updates. Families can use the 2017 Pre-K for All Directory, which is available in ten languages and at all elementary schools, pre-K programs that are part of Pre-K for All, Family Welcome Centers, libraries, and other community centers. The Pre-K Directory contains detailed admissions information and updated program lists. Pre-K enrollment specialists – experts on sites across each neighborhood – will also be available to help families throughout the process as they find a program that best fits their child’s needs. 

A second round of applications will begin on April 20 and will feature any new Fall 2017 pre-K programs; families will be able to explore new options and apply to more programs of interest.

To guide families through the application process, the DOE will host information sessions in every borough between January 18 and January 31. There will be presentations at 6 pm and 7 pm at each site. Details and times below:


Queens – January 18, 6 – 8 PM

Forest Hills High School 
67-01 110th Street 
Queens, 11375


Manhattan – January 19, 6 – 8 PM

P.S./M.S. 161 Pedro Albizu Campus 
499 West 133rd Street Manhattan, 10027


Staten Island  – January 23,6 – 8 PM

Staten Island Technical High School 
485 Clawson Street 
Staten Island, 10306


Bronx – January 25, 6 - 8 PM

P.S. 65 Mother Hale Academy 
677 East 141st Street Bronx, 10454


Brooklyn – January 31, 6- 8 PM 

Clara Barton High School 901 Classon Avenue Brooklyn, 11225

Quality Assessments

To ensure that every student has access to a high-quality program, the City has assessed Pre-K for All programs using two rigorous, research-based, nationally recognized tools: the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ECERS-R) and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). The Department of Education is releasing newly compiled ECERS-R and CLASS assessments for over 1,600 sites over the past three school years: 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. New York City’s scores are comparable to other nationally recognized model pre-K programs at this point in their implementation, and these results are included in programs’ Pre-K Quality Snapshots. Additionally, the number of sites assessed on ECERS-R and CLASS has increased since the last release of ECERS-R and CLASS data.  

The ECERS-R assessment focuses on the quality of pre-K programs’ learning environments and has been used in NYCEECs, district schools, and Pre-K Centers, dating back to 2010-11. Of the 1,538 ECERS-R scores released, New York City pre-K programs’ performance increased on all ECERS-R quality indicators. Overall, 84 percent of programs’ ECERS-R scores released are at or above the 3.4 threshold correlated with positive student outcomes, a 7 percentage point increase from the 2014-15 average. These most recent ECERS-R scores – reflecting ECERS-R assessments conducted over 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 – for pre-K programs citywide are 4.2 out of 7.0.  

Citywide ECERS-R Results: 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16


2014-2015 DOE Average Score(2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15)

2015-16 DOE Average Score (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16)


Overall ECERS-R Score




Space and Furnishings




Personal Care Routines




Language - Reasoning












Program Structure




The CLASS assessment focuses on the interactions between students and adults in pre-K classrooms, and reports across three sub-scales: Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support. Of the 1,134 programs with CLASS assessment scores over the last three years, scores averaged 6.2 out of 7.0 on Emotional Support, 6.1 out of 7.0 on Classroom Organization, and 3.3 out of 7.0 on Instructional Support. Programs performed above the national pre-K Head Start averages from 2015 in Emotional Support (6.0), Classroom Organization (5.8) and Instructional Support (2.9). The NYCDOE first implemented the CLASS assessment in NYCEECs and began last school year, 2015-2016, to use CLASS in all pre-K programs (DOE district schools and NYCEECs).

Citywide CLASS Results: 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16

CLASS Sub-score

DOE Average Score

2015 National Head Start Average Score

Emotional Support



Classroom Organization



Instructional Support



ECERS-R scores, CLASS scores and other data are used to provide differentiated support to all pre-K programs, such as the type and frequency of coaching that a program receives from the DOE’s 100 instructional coaches and 125 social workers. Program leaders use assessment results and other information to target professional development and identify changes that can be made to improve quality in their pre-K programs. Scores are also used as part of our data-driven approach to hold pre-K programs accountable.

Complete ECERS-R and CLASS results are available on the Pre-K website.

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