Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week 3-K for All, the most ambitious effort in U.S. history to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child regardless of family income. 3-K for All will build on the success of Pre-K for All – through which the City has more than tripled the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K – and is part of a broader effort to create a continuum of high-quality early care and education programs for New York City children from birth to five years old. Research has found every dollar invested in high-quality early education saves taxpayers as much as $13 long-term.
New York City is starting the path to 3-K for All for fall of 2017, aiming to serve over 11,000 three-year-olds in new and enhanced free, full-day, high-quality seats. This includes the first year of a two-year expansion to create hundreds of new, free, full-day, high-quality seats in District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville. By fall of 2018, there will be a seat for every three-year-old living in those districts that wants one.
By fall of 2020, the City will expand free, full-day, high-quality 3-K to at least six additional school districts, for a total of eight districts. Each pair of districts will have a two-year expansion, with the last pair starting in fall of 2020 and having universal access in the fall of 2021.
3-K for All is part of the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. At the completion of the financial plan FY 2021, this effort will cost a total of $177 million.