Wednesday marks the first day kids in New York City headed back to school — and the expansion of the city’s 3-K for All program, which is now available in four boroughs.
Free, full-day 3-K for All is now serving 5,000 students at 187 sites in six districts in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Last year, the program reached 1,500 children at 47 sites in District 7 in the Bronx and District 23 in Brooklyn.
“For too long, New York City was divided. Some people could afford an early start and others couldn’t,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “That’s why we made early childhood education a priority from day one and why we’ve worked to expand our programs to reach every child regardless of zip code or income level. There’s nothing more important than unlocking the future of our youngest New Yorkers, and we’re excited to welcome our students for what will be another successful school year.”
De Blasio on Wednesday joined the students heading back to school at PS 377 in Ozone Park for the first day of 3-K for All in Queens. He was accompanied by Phil Thompson, deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives, who oversees 3-K for All, and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, who began his first full school year after taking the job in April.
3-K for All ahead of schedule, officials say
The 3-K for All program is expanding ahead of schedule, city officials said, and is part of the mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All initiative that is now in its third full school year. It aims to have 80 percent of city students graduate high school on time by 2026, with two-thirds of graduates college-ready.
The 2018-2019 school year is the second consecutive expansion of 3-K for All. By the time students head back to school in 2021, the program is slated to provide more than 19,000 seats across 12 districts in every borough.
“As a longtime educator at MIT, I saw that successful students often had one thing in common: quality early education,” Thompson said. “3-K for All teaches young students how to learn, how to cooperate, how to solve problems and puts them on the path to lifelong academic success. There’s no stronger investment we can make in our children, our families or our city.”