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Free ‘3-K for All’ is Coming to East New York

The program offers universal, free, full-day, early childhood education for three-year-olds; applications open early February.
Free 3-K, BK Reader
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Beginning in September 2019, East New York parents will have the opportunity to enroll their little ones in the city's free 3-K for All program. 

The program, that offers universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for three-year-olds, first launched in Brownsville and the Bronx in 2017.  Last year, Bedford Stuyvesant was added to the city initiative, and come September, also Bushwick will be offering free 3-K programs.

The NYC Department of Education encourages parents to make use of the program, emphasizing that an extra year of preschool can help children develop better academic skills while saving parents $10,000, on average, on child care.

"The first class of 3-K for All started in September 2017, 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."

The city's 3-K programs operate in elementary schools, independent pre-K centers run by DOE staff and in community organizations' buildings that contract with the DOE.

Like other NYC public schools, parents must submit an application to enter the lottery-based admission process. Families citywide can apply, but priority goes to children living in the district and siblings of existing students. Free pre-K programs in charter schools have a separate application.

Pre-K and 3-K applications for the 2019-20 school year will open in early February 2019.

Families can submit an application for 3-K online at, as well as apply over the phone by calling 311 or in person at a Family Welcome Center.

By fall 2021, the city will support over 19,000 3-K seats across 12 districts in all five boroughs.


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