Mayor de Blasio announces 3-K for All program

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city is starting its new 3-K for All program Thursday.

The mayor held a press conference at P.S. 178 in Brownsville, which is one of the first schools that will offer the program this fall.

The program will initially be offered in District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville.

De Blasio and city leaders saying that the city’s educational system got it "backwards," not focusing on the importance of early education. According to the mayor's press release, studies have found that students who attend two years of pre-school compared to one are more prepared for kindergarten.

De Blasio also said that many parents in the Bronx and Brooklyn will be receiving letters Thursday saying their child has been accepted into the new program, but added that it will take a while before the initiative can be offered citywide.

According to the mayor's press release, the city will expand the free full-day program to at least six more districts - for a total of eight - by fall 2020.  Starting in the fall of 2020, the last pair of districts will have universal access by fall 2021.

The mayor says in order to reach all 32 districts, the city will need support from the state and federal government.

This school year, only 1,600 3 year olds in Districts 7 and 23 were granted acceptance into this year's program, but by next school year, it will be open to all 3 year olds in those districts. It will cost $16 million in its first year.  The city is encouraging all New Yorkers, regardless of district, to apply for the program. 

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