Nearly 8,000 Queens families—the most of any borough—on Monday applied for seats as the second phase of the city’s expanded Pre-K for All program got underway, according to the de Blasio administration.
Queens boasted 7,700 applicants by Tuesday afternoon, roughly 1,500 more than the closest borough, Brooklyn. In all, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, 21,938 families applied on Monday for the free, full-day program—up from 6,500 in the first day of applications last year. The administration indicated that it expects approximately 70,000 children to enroll by the April 24 closing date.
Last fall, the city registered more than 53,000 children in full-day pre-K at district schools, charter schools, and NYC Early Childhood Centers. This year’s expansion, de Blasio said, means more programs, seats and opportunities in every borough and neighborhood, ensuring enough capacity to accommodate every child, regardless of ZIP code or means. The average family saves more than $10,000 each year in childcare costs as a result of Pre-K for All, de Blasio noted on Tuesday.
“College readiness starts in pre-K, and with the expansion of this critical program, we are putting more students on the path to higher education and a meaningful career,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina. “Four-year-olds are learning new vocabulary, experimenting with science and making friends. Every child deserves this opportunity, and we are delivering for all families across the city.”
The application process is open through April 24 at nyc.gov/prek, by calling 311, or at a Family Welcome Center.
By Michael V. Cusenza firstname.lastname@example.org