Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the expansion of 3-K for All to six school districts citywide including two in Queens and an additional one in Brooklyn and Queens.
The program, which upon full rollout, will offer free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every New York City three-year-old, is currently introduced in the Bronx and in District 23 (Brownsville).
Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the City will expand to two additional school districts each year. These districts include:
- 2018-19: District 4 (East Harlem) and District 27 (Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Rockaways).
- 2019-20: District 9 (Grand Concourse, Highbridge, Morrisania) and District 31 (Staten Island).
- 2020-21: District 19 (East New York) and District 29 (Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans).
Each pair of districts will have a two-year expansion, offering universal access in the second year. In order to achieve the vision of 3-K for All citywide, but the city will need state and federal funding support additional support from partners in the State and federal government.
“These six new districts will give kids across the five boroughs the strongest possible start in life and ease the financial burden for their families. As a parent and your Mayor, there is no more worthwhile cause than expanding opportunity for all our kids,” said de Blasio.
Now in its first year in Districts 7 (the Bronx) and 23 serving Brownsville, Ocean Hill, and East New York, there are currently, over 1,500 three-year-olds are registered for seats in the program. The City is on track to provide a seat for every three-year-old living in Districts 7 and 23 that wants one by fall 2018.
There is extensive research supporting the transformative value of free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All, including the following:
- Several studies have found that students who attend two years of preschool compared to one are better prepared for kindergarten, and that they perform significantly higher on academic and social outcome measures.
- A study of the two-year Abbott Preschool Program in New Jersey found persistent gains in language arts and literacy, mathematics, and science through 4th and 5th grade, with larger test score gains for children who participated in two years of preschool. In addition, Abbott Preschool Program participation was linked to lower grade retention rates and fewer children needing special education.
- A study of Head Start found that families of children who attended for two years were more likely to engage in recreational activities together that supported child development, and were likely to spend more hours reading together at home.
“The expansion of 3-K for All into District 19 will help us close the inequality gap in East New York through the powerful force of early childhood education. There is more than enough evidence to show the impact that high-quality learning in the critical formative years has on future life outcomes. I am excited to see the early results of our City’s efforts in District 23, and the impact it will have on the children and families of Brownsville and Brooklyn as a whole,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Extensive studies have shown what we already know: a quality early education is crucial for the development of adolescents. More children in NYC will receive early education due to this expansion, which will yield benefits for years to come. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his efforts regarding education and send my gratitude to all the teachers who give children the opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in life,” said U.S. Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Valley Stream, Rockaway).
As part of a larger effort to strengthen birth-to-five care and education across the City, EarlyLearn programs are shifting from ACS (Administration of Childrens Services) to management by DOE (Department of Education) by early 2019.
The planning process for this transition is being led by ACS and DOE, with engagement with other city agencies, such as the Human Resources Administration, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as providers, early childhood care and education experts, and state and federal regulators.
In addition to programs serving three- and four-year-olds, EarlyLearn programs serving children from six-weeks-old through three-years-old are also shifting to management by DOE, including center- and home-based programs.
“This is great news; I am extremely pleased that the three-year old in the district would benefit from 3-k for all. Parents do understand the importance of early childhood education; therefore, having access to this opportunity will lessen the burden of having families travel very far to acquire resources to enable their children to have a bright and sustainable future,” said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.
State Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “I am pleased that the Universal Pre-K program is expanding in my district and that more children will be able to benefit from this early boost to their education. Universal Pre-K has so many benefits including ensuring equal access to education for children of all backgrounds and creating potentially diverse classrooms. This expansion is also a positive step forward in spreading the notion that early education is important for the public good.”
Assemblymember Latrice Walker said, “This extra year of instruction provides our children with a level of academic and social development that they cannot get later on in life. As a parent I’m ecstatic to hear that 3-K For All program is expanding to six more community school districts to continue the path of providing universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child.”
Assemblymember Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Glendale) said, “I support 3-K for All. Bringing children together at an early age will give them additional support in developing their social and communication skills. 3-K for All will help put more kids on the path to a brighter future and invest in the future of our state.”