Kindergarten

Kindergarten students in class, raising their hands

Get Ready for Kindergarten

If your child was born in 2015, apply to kindergarten this winter.

If your child was born in 2014 and needs a kindergarten placement now, visit our New Students page to learn how to enroll.

Questions? We're here to help—email us at ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.

Who Can Apply?

Every five-year-old in New York City is guaranteed a seat in a public school kindergarten program. Children start kindergarten in the September of the calendar year they turn five. If your child was born in 2015, you will apply to kindergarten this winter, and your child will start kindergarten in Fall 2020.

We welcome all of the following to apply to kindergarten: current pre-K students at DOE public schools, Pre-K Centers, NYC Early Education Centers, charter schools, and private and parochial schools; students with disabilities; students with accessibility needs; students learning English; students in temporary housing; and LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students.

Learn How Students Get Offers

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

Find Elementary Schools

Start exploring kindergarten programs around the time your child starts pre-K.

Two Paths to Elementary School

There are two paths to elementary school admissions.

  1. Kindergarten During the application period, submit a kindergarten application online, by phone, or in person at a Family Welcome Center.
  2. Gifted & Talented Children applying to kindergarten can also test to apply to Gifted & Talented (G&T) programs. The registration period to schedule the test for the 2019-2020 school year has closed.

School Types

There are two types of schools that you can add to your kindergarten application.

  1. Zoned Schools If you live in an area zoned for a specific school, your children have priority to attend that school.
  2. Non-Zoned Schools These schools do not have a zone. Families who live anywhere in the district or borough can attend them. Districts 1, 7, and 23 have no zoned schools—students living in District 1, 7, or 23 have priority to attend all schools in their district.

Diversity in Admissions

Elementary schools across the city are participating in a pilot initiative to increase diversity within their schools.

Charter Schools

Charter schools have a separate admissions process. Contact charter schools directly to learn how to apply.

Your Kindergarten Choices

  • MySchools During the application period, use MySchools to learn if you have a zoned elementary school, find choices for your child’s application, and apply to kindergarten. Year-round, you can call 311 to learn your district and zoned school.
  • 2020 Kindergarten and Gifted & Talented Admissions Guide - COMING THIS FALL. Learn more about kindergarten admissions and view maps of the kindergarten programs in each district. Find information about each school, such as grades served, accessibility, any Dual Language or G&T programs, and whether non-zoned students got offers to that school last year. Contact schools directly to get the most up-to-date information about their programs and services.

Visit Elementary Schools

Visiting a school 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. Find open house dates in the calendar below, and contact schools directly to find out if they have special events or tours.

How to Apply

During the application period, you can add up to 12 schools to your child's kindergarten application. Submit only one application per child. If your child has a zoned school, it is a good idea to add it to their kindergarten application—your child has priority to attend their zoned school.

The application period for kindergarten in September 2019 is currently closed. This winter, families with children born in 2015 will be applying to attend kindergarten for fall 2020. During the application period, you can apply one of three ways:

  • Online with MySchools in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Russian, Arabic, Urdu, Haitian Creole, Korean, or French. We’ll let you know when the application opens and you can apply online!
  • By phone at 718-935-2009
  • In person at a Family Welcome Center

Interpretation services will be available in more than 200 languages for phone and in-person applications. You can ask questions and request information about admissions in any language when you call or go to a Family Welcome Center.

Kindergarten admissions is not first come, first served—all applications submitted online, by phone, or in person by the deadline will be treated the same based on admissions priorities.

Get Your Kindergarten Offer

Kindergarten offers are made in the early spring. Your offer letter will tell you where your child will go to kindergarten next fall. It will also tell you where your child is waitlisted.

Waitlist Offers

A school has a kindergarten waitlist when there are more students that apply to it than kindergarten seats available. Your child will automatically be added to the waitlist for any school you ranked higher on your kindergarten application than the school where your child got an offer. Schools will contact you directly if they are able to offer your child a seat from the waitlist.

G&T Offers

If your child was also eligible to submit a G&T application, you will get a G&T results letter in the late spring. This letter may or may not include an offer for your child to attend a G&T program. If you get an offer, you will have to choose to accept the G&T program or your kindergarten placement.

Pre-Registration

Pre-register at the school to accept your offer and secure your child's seat.

  • Contact the school directly to set up an appointment to pre-register.
  • Bring your child and all required documents to pre-registration - use Pre-Registration Checklist to learn what you need to bring.

Students Who Move During the Admissions Process

If your family moves during the admissions process, call 718-935-2009 or contact your new zoned school to update your information and talk about changes to your kindergarten application or program.

  • If you're unsure what your new zoned school is, call us at 718-935-2009.
  • If you don't have a zoned school, visit a Family Welcome Center.
  • Your child’s priority to attend certain programs may change if you move.

Documents

Find checklists and guides to help you with your pre-K admissions and registration.

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