As the Oct. 31 deadline for enrollment approaches, a number of free and subsidized spaces in preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-olds remain available, city officials said Monday.
In a joint news release, Deputy Mayor Linda I. Gibbs, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said there are still spaces in early-care and prekindergarten programs, which were created to assist low-income and working parents.
Universal Pre-K, a free program that offers 2.5 hours of “enriched educational services,” is available to children who turn 4 by Dec. 31. This year, the city has made 60,000 spaces available. Contracted centers and Head Start programs are available to provide up to 10 additional hours of child care for families who qualify.
Pre-K programs are often applauded for giving children the skills they need to start their formal educations. “The reason early education is important is that you build a foundation for school success,” said Kathleen McCartney, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in a recent column in The Times by Nicholas D. Kristof. “And success breeds success.”
Free, universal prekindergarten programs by neighborhood can be found by calling 311 or visiting the Department of Education’s early childhood Web page. Information on eligibility for additional subsidized child care can be found at on the city's “Child Care Eligibility Wizard.”