City expands 3-K program to schools in East Harlem, Howard Beach, Rockaways, more

The city is expanding its new 3-K for All program to six more school districts across the five boroughs by the 2020 school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

“These six new districts will give kids across the five boroughs the strongest possible start in life and ease the financial burden for their families,” de Blasio said in an emailed statement.

Building off of de Blasio’s universal pre-kindergarten initiative, 3-K for All aims to provide free, full-day early childhood education for 3-year-olds in the city. So far, 3-K is being provided in District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville, Ocean Hill and East New York, according to the mayor’s office.

In the 2018-2019 school year, the administration plans to launch 3-K in District 4, serving East Harlem, and District 27, which includes the Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Rockaways neighborhoods in Queens.

The program will expand to District 9, covering Grand Concourse, Highbridge and Morrisania in the Bronx, and District 31 on Staten Island in the 2019-2020 school year. District 19 in East New York and District 29, serving Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans in Queens will offer 3-K in the 2020-2021 school year, the mayor’s office said.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said the expansion was “another big step forward,” for the success of students.

“Together with our other investments in early education – including Pre-K for All, Universal Literacy, and Algebra for All – this expansion is going to have a major impact for students and families across all five boroughs, and the future of their communities,” she said in an emailed statement.

The program will be launched in each of the districts over the course of two years, with the second year being made available to every 3-year-old in that district.

More than 1,500 3-year-olds are currently registered for seats in the 3-K program. The city is on track to offer a seat for every 3-year-old in Districts 7 and 23 by fall 2018, which would be the second year of the two-year launch.