written by Jen #supermom
Universal pre-K. Finally available in NYC for the past two years, this is an opportunity for our children to participate in free, full days and prepare these little ones for kindergarten and the future. It’s an amazing chance for all kids to have equal access to early education. Here I will try to help navigate you through the important dates you need to know in regards to pre-K programs, the application process, and other things to consider.
Is your child eligible? If your child was born in 2012, they ARE ELIGIBLE for pre-K this September for the 2016-2017 school year!
1) Important Dates:
The Pre-K application process begins January 25th and runs through March 4th (2 months earlier than last year)! In early May offer letters will be sent. Early May – May 20th is the pre-registration period. May 2nd – May 20th is the round 2 application period. The DOE is currently working on creating new pre-K opportunities, and they are expected to announce these new programs in the Spring round 2 period.
2) How to Apply:
Online: Visit http://schools.nyc.gov/
Go to a Family Welcome Center: http://schools.nyc.gov/
or Over the Phone: Call 718-935-2067 to submit your application. 8am-6pm, Monday through Friday.
To learn about schools in your zone and/or district with detailed information on this entire process, please visit the Brooklyn Pre-K Directory. To see a map of different programs available in your vicinity, go to the Pre-K finder.
Note that you can also subscribe to updates on the pre-K admissions process here: http://schools.nyc.gov/
– Parents can rank as many as 12 schools on the pre-K application, in order of preference. You will be able to choose from programs at district schools, pre-K centers, NYCEEC (NYC Early Education Centers) and charter schools. You will use one form to apply to all.
– In regards to priority, students living within the zone of a particular school WITH siblings already enrolled get first priority. Next come any students zoned for that school, then students in the district whose zoned school has no pre-K program AND they also have a sibling at the particular school, and so on. For childhood centers, priority goes to existing students, then siblings of current students, then to low-income families & English language learners. For detailed information on admission priorities go to page 10 of the Brooklyn Pre-K Directory.
– If you are not accepted into the school of choice you are automatically added to the waitlist. This pertains to any school listed on the application that ranked higher than the one your child was accepted to.
– Most public schools offer full day (6 hrs, 20 min) and some offer 5 hour and half day options. Some programs do offer extended hours, and you can find these options by looking at the Program Information section in the Brooklyn Pre-K Directory or in the Pre-K Finder.
– Information for students with disabilities can be found at: http://schools.nyc.gov/
– Before deciding and ranking your list, talk to friends. Talk to parents whose children attend that school. Research online. Most importantly, PLAN A VISIT. Many schools are touring now so be sure to look at the school’s calendar online or contact the school directly to set up a tour.
– When making that list of top schools, certain issues might be more of a priority to you: public school or community center (what kind of hours are you looking for), commute to/from school, do parents feel welcome in the school, does the classroom feel clean and exciting/fun/interesting at the same time? Here is a video from Inside Schools that can help you make the most informed decision: https://www.youtube.com/