Here are a few things to note about New York's Universal Pre-K programs:
- All universal pre-k programs are free of charge for children born in 2007 who reside in New York City
- Even though all 4 year olds are eligible, a seat in a public universal pre-k program is not guaranteed
- The application deadline is Friday, April 8, 2011
- Programs can be half day (two and a half hours, AM/morning or PM/afternoon) or full day (six hours and twenty minutes)
- Public school spots are given by lottery. First preference for all universal pre-k programs in public schools is given to siblings of students already registered in a NYC public school. Additional admission priorities are detailed in the directory.
- Applications available by mail or online. To apply by mail, you need to get a printed application from this year's pre-k directory, available at all borough enrollment offices. The directory is also available online. You may apply for a number of schools in one submission and rank those schools by order of preference.
There are information sessions in each borough this week. Representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will be available at the sessions to answer your questions. Feedback from parents who attended the sessions last year was that all the information you need can be found in the directory or online at the DOE website. The sessions are often crowded and not well organized, but perhaps there will be improvements this year.
Once your application is complete the waiting begins. Notifications are not sent out until early June.