Mayor de Blasio Urges Parents to Apply for New and Existing Seats at Community-Based Early Childhood Centers

Mayor Bill de Blasio urged parents yesterday to take advantage of free, high-quality, full-day pre-kindergarten programs at Community-Based Early Childhood Centers. With the application period open and notifications coming up for both new community-based seats and placements in public school programs, the mayor laid out steps every parent should take to find the best option for their child.

“Right now, parents are thinking about the summer ahead—but we want anyone with a child turning four years old to be thinking about September. There are more options right in your community to apply for pre-K than ever before. It’s free. It’s easy. But to have the best chance of finding the right program, we are encouraging every parent to apply today,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Community-Based Early Childhood Centers are going to deliver incredible programs this fall. These are organizations deeply connected to our families and our neighborhoods. We are doing everything possible to make sure every New Yorkers knows about the fantastic options opening up in their own backyard,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery.

“Our community based pre-K centers provide an incredible service to New Yorkers, and I strongly urge parents to take advantage of these critical and life changing resources. Study after study has shown the importance of pre-K, and starting this fall, more families than ever will have the ability to enroll their children in high quality programming,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

As part of the historic expansion of pre-K to all four-year olds, the City will provide a record 53,000 seats this September in both public schools and CBECCs. Over the next two weeks, the Department of Education will make major announcements, including:

• Right now: 15,000 high-quality, full-day pre-K seats in Community-Based Early Childhood Centers are open for application for September. Parents can apply or learn more at

• May 30: 10,000 more pre-K seats in Community-Based Early Childhood Centers will be announced as part of the City’s expansion plan. Parents can apply starting Friday.

• June 5: Parents who applied for pre-K in public schools will be notified about placement offers by the City. If parents do not receive an offer from a school in their community, they are encouraged to apply for high-quality CBECC options.

To make sure every parent knows how and where to apply, the City is placing $600,000 in ads in English and Spanish in newspapers, on radio and online, as well as on subways, buses and bus shelters. The ads feature the slogan “Opportunity Starts Now” and urge parents to apply by June 26th. All New York City children turning four this year are eligible for free, high-quality pre-K.

To find a free pre-K in your neighborhood and receive alerts and information, visit or text 877-877.

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