Parents of toddlers who live in School District 27 in Queens can get their kids who are as young as 3 ready for pre-school by next year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to build on the success of Pre-K for All by expanding 3-K for All, an initiative to get children in school as early as 3 years old.
School District 27 covers the communities of Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park and the Rockaways and will have classrooms in those neighborhoods for the new students by 2018 to 2019, according to nyc.gov.
“As a parent and your mayor, there is no more worthwhile cause than expanding opportunity for all our kids,” said de Blasio.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña agreed.
“Early education is essential to the success of our students and city, and today we’re taking another big step forward,” Fariña said.
The mayor’s office looked at studies conducted in Chicago and New Jersey and noted that students who attended an additional year of preschool were better prepared for kindergarten, were less likely to need special education services, were more social and had better academic outcomes. These students were less likely to commit crimes in adulthood as well.
“The research is crystal clear: as powerful as one year of Pre-K is, two years has an even greater impact,” said Richard Buery, deputy mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “It also provides an added year of much-needed child care to families.”
Research from the mayor’s office also showed that for every dollar invested in high-quality early education, taxpayers save as much as $13 in the long term.
In addition, the mayor’s office will be supporting EarlyLearn across the city. EarlyLearn is a public early childhood center, which has approximately 10,000 3-year-olds.
State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park) was pleased about the announcement for his district.
“Universal Pre-K has so many benefits including ensuring equal access to education for children of all backgrounds and creating potentially diverse classrooms,” Sanders said. “This expansion is also a positive step forward in spreading the notion that early education is important for the public good.”
District 29, which represents schools in Cambria Heights, Hollis, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, and St. Albans will have a rollout of 3-K for All from 2020 to 2021.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose
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