The application period for 2016-17 pre-kindergarten is officially open. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña stopped by Bambi Day Care in Brooklyn on Monday to launch the application period for children born in 2012.
“This is all about an extra year of school where students learn socialization skills and they learn extra vocabulary,” Fariña said. “The learning centers in this classroom expose kids to all kinds of dialogue.”
Fariña said this year there are a record-setting 68,500 students enrolled in free, full-day pre-kindergarten programs across New York City and she expects that number to climb for the 2016-17 school year.
There will be no cap on the number of students that can enroll in a program, and Fariña guaranteed there will be a seat for every child whose parents wish them to participate.
“I’m proud that we have enough full-day seats for every four-year-old in New York City,” she said. “We are putting more students on the path to success than ever before.
Fariña explained that parents should fill out their 12 top choices on an application, but unfortunately there is no guarantee they will be able to get their top choice. Those options include DOE district schools and Pre-K Centers and NYC Early Education Centers.
Deputy Chancellor for Strategy and Policy Josh Wallack stressed the importance of pre-K, and noted that all of the schools are top quality and receive a Department of Education evaluation to make sure they are ready for the first day of school.
“Children in full-day pre-K develop the skills they need to be successful not just in kindergarten, but for the rest of their academic career,” he said. “Families should know that all our programs are held to the same high standards and that quality is our most important priority.”
Families can complete the applications online at nyc.gov/prek, over the phone at (718) 935-2067, or in person at a Family Welcome Center. The application process is open a month earlier this year, which means that parents will hear a month sooner so they can make plans for next year in a more efficient manner. A second application period will begin the first week of May and will feature any new programs for parents to consider.
“We anticipate even more off-site people applying for permits to open new schools,” Fariña said.
The Department of Education will host information sessions in all five boroughs for parents.
In Queens, the information session will be held at Forest Hills High School, 67-01 110th Street, on February 1 at 6 p.m. The session in Brooklyn will be held at Clara Barton High School, 901 Classon Avenue, on February 3 at 6 p.m.