3-K

A 3-K student in the classroom smiles at the camera and holds an orange building block

Happening Now: 3-K Results and Waitlists 

3-K results are here! Families with children born in 2017 can now view and accept your child's results online with MySchools. If your child received a 3-K offer, you can also accept your offer on MySchools. A printed copy of this results letter has also been mailed to your child’s home address. This letter includes: 

  • Your child’s 3-K results
  • Information about any programs where your child is waitlisted—learn more about waitlists
  • What to do next and how to accept your offer

What You Can Do Without Leaving Home

Your family’s health is important to us! Here's what you can do online with MySchools:

  • Get your child’s results letter
  • See the waitlists your child is on
  • Add your child to additional waitlists
  • Check your child’s position on each waitlist

Don’t have a MySchools account? You can also get your child’s results, learn about waitlists, and accept or decline offers by calling 718-935-2009 or emailing ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.

Questions? We’re Here to Help

We appreciate your patience and partnership as we transition to virtual learning and service across New York City. For updates, please keep checking this page and sign up for our 3-K admissions email list.

**New to NYC and need a 3-K placement now? Learn what to do on our New Students page.** 

Who Can Apply?

Apply to 3-K for All the year your child turns three. Children born in 2017 will begin 3-K in September 2020.

In fall 2020, we will offer 3-K for All programs to three-year-old children in all five boroughs. In 12 school districts (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 19, 23, 27, 31, and 32), we will offer free, full-day 3-K programs that all NYC families are eligible to apply for if your child was born in 2017. Children who live in these districts have priority to attend, find your school district at Find-a-School or by calling 311. In all school districts, we have 3-K programs that are available to families that qualify based on their income and needs. These programs, including Head Start, are free or low-cost and offer care all year round for up to 10 hours a day.

Read the How to Apply section below to learn more about the application process and whether your child is eligible to begin 3-K right now.

All children of this age who are also current New York City residents are welcome to apply, including children currently attending EarlyLearn or other preschool programs, children with disabilities, children with accessibility needs, children learning English, students in temporary housing, LGBTQ and gender nonconforming children, and children who move to NYC during the admissions process.

Find Programs

3-K for All brings free, full-day, high-quality education to three-year-old children in New York City—learn more about the benefits of 3-K

Your 3-K Choices

Use MySchools to search for and learn about 3-K programs. During the application period, you can also use MySchools to submit your child's application.

3-K Program Settings

Families can choose from four types of settings for 3-K programs:

1. NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs). These are community-based organizations with early childhood expertise. They partner with the DOE to provide 3-K programs.

Consider NYC Early Education Centers if your child currently attends the center, has a sibling also attending the program, or your family receives social services from the organization that runs the center.

Some NYC Early Education Centers also offer up to 10 hours of 3-K programming, all year round for families that qualify: see the Enrollment for Head Start & Other 3-K Extended Day/Year Programs section to find out more about whether your family may be eligible.

  • Head Start: Free services are available for at least 8 hours per day, all year long, including the summer. Head Start programs help families achieve their own goals, including employment, housing, and adult education.
  • 3-K Extended Day/Year: Free or low-cost services are available for up to 10 hours a day, all year long, including the summer.

2. District Schools. Some public elementary schools offer 3-K programs. Consider DOE public schools if your child has an older sibling already attending the school, or you want your child to attend a program in an elementary school setting.

3. Pre-K Centers. Pre-K Centers are run by DOE staff and only offer grades before kindergarten. Consider Pre-K Centers if you want your child to attend a program with only young children.

4. Family Child Care (Home-Based Programs). Home-based programs, also known as family child care programs, offer 3-K in a home setting by a licensed, qualified, child care provider.

  • In this setting, 3-K children are served in mixed-age groups with other children from birth to three years old.
  • These programs are consistent with 3-K programs offered in center-based and district school settings, and are overseen by the Department of Education and a Family Child Care Network organization that provides instructional resources, coaching, and family support.
  • Families may choose to enroll their children in home-based early childhood programs because of their many unique strengths:
    • Children can form strong relationships with caregivers by continuing in the same program from six weeks to three years old.
    • Children can interact with other children, including siblings, in a mixed-age setting.
    • Children can begin their early education in a familiar setting before transitioning to center- or school-based pre-K, if that is the family's preference.
    • Families can have access to programs that offer longer days and years to meet the needs of work or school schedules.
    • Families can find programs that are conveniently located close to home, work, or school.
    • Families may find that home-based programs best reflect the language and culture of their community.
  • Like center- and school-based programs, home-based 3-K programs help children learn, grow, and explore the world around them. Home-based programs use DOE-approved curriculum, and the providers receive professional learning and coaching to support quality play-based instruction.

Voucher Options

Interested families can apply for a child care assistance voucher from the Administration for Children's Services (ACS). Child care assistance vouchers have the same eligibility requirements as extended day/year programs.

Voucher availability is dependent upon funding. At this time, due to high demand, eligible families requesting vouchers will be placed on a waitlist. If your family is interested, you should complete the Voucher Waitlist Request form.

Families on the voucher waitlist will be notified by ACS when additional funds are made available and are encouraged to consider additional options if your child needs care now, such as 3-K programs. Enrolling your child in another program will not impact your place on the voucher waitlist.

Visit Programs 

*Please note that NYC public school buildings are currently closed. During this time, we encourage you to visit programs' websites to learn more about them.*

When school and program buildings are open, visiting a 3-K program is the best way to explore if it may be the right place for your child. It's also a great way to see how long the trip is from home. During the school year, contact programs directly to find out if they have special events or tours, or to set up a visit.

When visiting, consider asking staff members questions about the program, such as:

  • How will the teachers learn about my child's interests, strengths, and needs?
  • How will your program help children get to know the teachers and the other staff?
  • How would you describe the community of teachers and families here?
  • How do teachers work with families?
  • How do teachers guide children's behavior?
  • How will staff members make sure my child feels safe and cared for?
  • What are your program's strengths? What are you working on improving?
  • How do teachers support children who speak a language other than English at home?

Find open house dates in the calendar below, and contact programs directly for the most recent information, such as whether they will hold virtual open houses or information sessions.

How to Apply

Families of children born in 2017 can apply to 3-K starting now between February 5 and April 24, 2020 .

During the application period, families can apply online with MySchools or by phone at 718-935-2009. Interpretation services are available in more than 200 languages for over-the-phone applications. You can ask questions and request information about admissions in any language when you call.

Need care now? Some 3-K programs can enroll children at any time throughout the year, if their family is eligible based on income and needs. See the Enrollment for Head Start & Other 3-K Extended Day/Year Programs section to learn more.

If you have questions about 3-K admissions, email ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.

Learn How Children Get Offers

All New York City families who submit a 3-K application by April 24, 2020 will get a 3-K results letter in May. How can you know your child's chances of getting an offer from one of your favorite programs? It helps to start by learning how offers are made. Children get 3-K offers based on three key factors:

  1. Your application choices
  2. Program's seat availability
  3. Admission priorities

3-K admissions is not first come, first served, and you can make changes to your application any time before the April 24 deadline.

Admissions Priorities for Each 3-K Setting

DOE Public Schools (Zoned Schools)

Applicants receive offers to 3-K programs at zoned DOE public schools in the following order:

  1. Children who live in the zone and will have a sibling at the school
  2. Other children who live in the zone
  3. Children who live in the district and will have a sibling at the school
  4. Children who live outside the district and will have a sibling at the school
  5. Other children who live in the district
  6. Other children who live outside the district

DOE Public Schools (Non-Zoned Schools)

Applicants receive offers to 3-K programs at non-zoned DOE public schools in the following order:

  1. Children who live in the district who will have a sibling at the school
  2. Children who live outside the district who will have a sibling at the school
  3. Other children who live in the district
  4. Other children who live outside the district

Pre-K Centers

Applicants receive offers to 3-K programs at Pre-K Centers in the following order:

  1. Children who live in the district and who will have a sibling at the Pre-K Center
  2. Children who live outside the district and who will have a sibling at the Pre-K Center
  3. Other children who live in the district
  4. Other children who live outside the district

NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs)

Applicants receive offers to 3-K programs at NYC Early Education Centers in the following order:

  1. Children currently enrolled at the NYC Early Education Center
  2. Children who have siblings enrolled at the NYC Early Education Center
  3. Children whose families currently get free or subsidized social services from the organization running the center's 3-K program
  4. Other children who live in the district*
  5. All other children

*The priority is not applicable at programs with Extended Day/Year and Heard Start seats.

Watch this animation to learn how students of all ages get offers to NYC public schools:

Get Your 3-K Results Letter

Families that submit an application by the deadline will get their 3-K results letter in late May. This letter will also tell you where your child is waitlisted.

Pre-Registration

If your child gets a 3-K offer, you must accept the offer by pre-registering with the program where you got the offer. Pre-registration secures your child's 3-K seat at that program. Contact the program to schedule a time to pre-register . Be sure to accept your offer even if you are waitlisted at another program.

Then provide all required documents at pre-registration. Use the Pre-Registration Checklist to learn what you need to bring.

Waitlists

A 3-K program has a waitlist when there are more students that apply to it than 3-K seats available. Your child will be automatically added to the waitlist for any program you ranked higher on your 3-K application than the program where your child got an offer, or for all programs on your application if you did not get an offer. Programs will contact you directly if they are able to offer your child a seat from the waitlist.

Students Who Move During the Admissions Process

If your family moves during the admissions process, call 718-935-2009 or contact a Family Welcome Center to update your information and talk about changes to your 3-K application or program. Your child’s priority to attend certain programs may change if you move.

Enrollment for Head Start & Other 3-K Extended Day/Year Programs

Who is Eligible?

In all school districts, 3-K programs are available to families who qualify based on their income and needs. These programs, including Head Start, are free or low cost and offer care all year found for up to 10 hours a day. If your family qualifies, you can enroll your child at any time throughout the year.

These programs are offered in NYC Early Education Centers and may also serve infants, toddlers, and four-year-olds. To learn more, visit our Infant & Toddler and Pre-K pages.

Head Start

The best way to find out if your family is eligible for Head Start is to contact a program directly. Your family may qualify for Head Start if at least one of these categories applies to you:

  • You live in temporary housing
  • You receive HRA Cash Assistance
  • You receive SSI (Supplemental Security Insurance)
  • You are enrolling a child who is in foster care
  • Your family income falls below a certain amount

Other 3-K Extended Day/Year Programs

Your family may qualify for other 3-K extended day/year care if at least one of these categories applies to you:

  • You are enrolling a child who is in foster care
  • You are enrolling a child with an active Child Welfare case, preventive and/or protective
  • You receive public assistance and are compliant with HRA's work activities
  • Your family's income falls below a certain amount AND have an approved "reason for care":
    • You work 20+ hours per week
    • You are in an educational or vocational training program
    • You have been looking for work for up to 6 months
    • You live in temporary housing
    • You are attending services for domestic violence

These 3-K extended day/year programs are funded by the Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant. Because of the requirements of this Federal funding, you must provide proof that your child is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident or refugee to be eligible for these particular programs. Documentation is only needed for the child in need of child care; you will not be asked for the immigration status of anyone else in your household, including your status. Documentation for the child in need of care can be one of the following: a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, alien registration card (including permanent resident or green card), or Form FS-240 (report of birth abroad of a U.S. citizen).

The DOE is committed to welcoming all children and families, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, into our schools and programs. Families do not need to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status to attend any other 3-K, Pre-K, Head Start or Early Head Start programs. If your family is unable to meet the extended day/year documentation requirements listed above, the DOE will help you explore any available program alternatives that meet the needs of your family.

How to Apply

Head Start and other 3-K extended day/year programs can enroll children at any time throughout the year, if your family is eligible.

  • Visit MySchools to find a program near you. Go to the "More Filters" tab and select the "Head Start or Other Extended Day/Year" option.
  • For Head Start, apply directly at the program.
  • For other 3-K extended day/year programs, you can apply through the program or by contacting a DOE Family Welcome Center. Completed applications for extended day/year programs can also be mailed to one of the following DOE Family Welcome Centers:
    • 1 Fordham Plaza, 7th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458
    • 333 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor, Room 1211, New York, NY 10001
    • 90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, 1st Floor, Jamaica, NY 11435

Special Referrals

There are a few instances where a different process is needed to apply:

  • Families applying for or receiving cash assistance must apply for care at their Human Resources Administration (HRA) Job Center.
  • Families with an active Child Welfare case, preventive and/or protective, must contact their case worker to make a Child Care subsidy referral.
  • Employed foster parents must contact their case worker to make a Child Care subsidy referral.

All families, including families that may need one of these referrals, can contact a DOE Family Welcome Center or call 311 to get help with finding a program and completing the Child Care subsidy application.

Plan for Pre-K

Pre-K for All helps ensure that all children have a strong start in school and life!

Start thinking about pre-K programs when your child is enrolled in 3-K or another three-year-old preschool program, or when they are three years old. In New York City, children are eligible to apply to pre-K in the calendar year they turn four. Every child in NYC whose family submits a pre-K application is guaranteed a pre-K offer.

Students enrolled in certain 3-K or three-year-old programs may have priority to attend pre-K at the same center or school. Learn more on the Pre-K page.

If your child is currently in Early Intervention, to learn more about your preschool options click here.

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