Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday encouraged families of 4-year-olds to sign up their kids for full-day, taxpayer-funded pre-kindergarten classes.
Although applications closed last month to enroll in pre-K classes at city-run public schools, there are tens of thousands of seats at so-called community-based organizations, such as churches, yeshivas, day-care centers and Y's.
"It'll be the same quality standards as in the public school buildings," de Blasio said.
Information about applications is at nyc.gov/prek or available by texting "prek" to 877877.
De Blasio's spokesman Wiley Norvell said the city is encouraging families to sign up their kids by June 26, although there is a rolling deadline until Oct. 1. The sooner families apply, he said, the better chance they'll secure the seat they want.
Families who applied to city programs are expected to find out acceptance news by June 5, and can apply to the community organizations if turned down for the city pre-K .
About 20,000 children get full-day pre-K now, and the administration hopes to boost that number to over 50,000 by September, peaking at 70,000 the following year.