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City Expands Free '3-K for All' to Bed-Stuy, Opens Application Process

After launching the free 3-K for All program in Brownsville last year, the initiative expands to Bedford Stuyvesant for the school year 2018-19 and to East New York the following year.
Mayor de Blasio, BK Reader
Mayor Bill de Blasio with NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari?a. Photo credit:

On Monday, the New York City Department of Education started accepting applications for "3-K for All" program for the 2018-2019 school year. The program that provides universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education, first launched in Brownsville and the Bronx in September 2017 - successfully, as Mayor Bill de Blasio stated - and is now slated to expand to four more districts, including Bedford Stuyvesant.

"The first class of 3-K for All started in September, and their development since then is truly remarkable," said de Blasio. "This extra year of education is giving our kids an invaluable head start in life, and helping to alleviate some of the financial strain that working families in New York City face."

Last week, the city announced plans to expand the 3-K for All program to four more community school districts over the next three years, including Bedford-Stuyvesant's District 16 for the 2018-2019 school year. The following year, the program will also come to East New York's District 19 for the 2019-20 school year, a year earlier than scheduled. By 2021, the city intends to have completed the expansion to districts all across NYC.

Since launching the program, which builds on the success of Pre-K for All, the city was able to provide over 1,500 three-year-olds with early childhood education in Brownsville and the Bronx. The expansion for the school year 2018-2019, which aside from Bedford Stuyvesant includes districts in Harlem and Queens, will provide an additional 5,000 seats offering 3-K for All.

"Unfortunately, disparities begin early in life — and often even before birth. Early childhood education is critical to closing the gap," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L Adams. "3-K for All moves our city in the right direction. I'm pleased to have seen this program begin in Brownsville and now grow out into Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York; all of these are neighborhoods in need of enrichment."

Applications for 3-K for All and Pre-K for All opened on Monday, February 5; programs in the new districts — Districts 5 and 16 — will be added to the application in mid-April.

Families can submit an application for 3-K online at, and for Pre-K online at Families can also apply over the phone by calling 311 or in person at a Family Welcome Center. The online application is available in ten languages, and families can submit an application over the phone or in person in over 200 languages. 3-K and Pre-K enrollment specialists will also be available on sites across each neighborhood to help families throughout the process as they find a program that best fits their child's needs.