April 24, 2017 NYC Post
City launches plan to bring free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education to every three-year-old, building on success of Pre-K for All
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced 3-K for All, the most ambitious effort in U.S. history to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child regardless of family income. 3-K for All will build on the success of Pre-K for All – through which the City has more than tripled the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K – and is part of a broader effort to create a continuum of high-quality early care and education programs for New York City children from birth to five years old. Research has found every dollar invested in high-quality early education saves taxpayers as much as $13 long-term.
New York City is starting the path to 3-K for All for fall of 2017, aiming to serve over 11,000 three-year-olds in new and enhanced free, full-day, high-quality seats. This includes the first year of a two-year expansion to create hundreds of new, free, full-day, high-quality seats in District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville. By fall of 2018, we will have a seat for every three-year-old living in those districts that wants one, and project we will serve 1,800 children in those two districts – triple the number enrolled today. At the same time, we will help families enroll in existing seats for 3-year-olds in New York City and provide additional support and enhance quality for over 11,000 three-year-olds currently enrolled in those will also strengthen existing programs serving children from six-weeks-old through three-years-old.
3-K for All is part of the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. At the completion of the financial plan FY 2021, this effort will cost a total of $177 million.
“The research is clear – investment in early childhood education reaps benefits for students, families and communities for years to come. Using the successful model we developed for Pre-K for All, we are doubling down with free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All for our three-year-olds. This extra year of education will provide our children with a level of academic and social development that they cannot get later on, while at the same time, alleviating some of the strain New York City’s working families face today,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“Anyone who has spent time with young children can see how ready and hungry they are for new words, new experiences, and new challenges,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “That is why we worked so hard to provide every four-year-old with access to free, high-quality early education, and that is why we are now taking this first step toward 3-K For All. Every child deserves access to the tools and support they need to learn and grow, and it is the best investment we can make to encourage their intellectual and emotional development.”
“Expanding the City’s focus on early education to high quality programs for three year olds, which follows the success of Pre-K for All, is a welcome enhancement to the New York City school system, and an addition that will serve to open classrooms to more local students than ever before. The City Council has been pleased to partner in support of universal pre-kindergarten placements for resident children, and as a representative of School District 7, I could not be more pleased to see this next phase begin right here in the South Bronx,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
“As a lifelong educator, I understand just how much and how fast our youngest children can learn – a level of learning that you can’t make up later on. In free, full-day, high-quality 3-K, our students will build their vocabulary, a love of learning, and start to develop the social and behavioral habits they need to succeed in pre-K and kindergarten. It’s an essential step in building Equity and Excellence for All across the five boroughs, and we are hitting the ground running with the lessons that we’ve learned from the Pre-K for All expansion,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
“Over three years ago, New York City implemented a historic effort to make high quality, early childhood education available to every four-year-old in New York City. Today, Pre-K for All is one of the most successful expansions of any municipal pre-kindergarten program in the country and we are already witnessing it’s tremendous impacts. Today, we announce the next great investment in the future of our City. The City is deepening its commitment to the development of children’s minds and bodies from birth to age five, including our plan to bring high quality, free, full day 3-K to all of NYC’s three year olds. With a growing body of research touting the lifelong developmental, social, and academic benefits of birth through five programming, I couldn’t be prouder to reach more children at an even earlier age with our next great program, 3-K for All,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives.