City Asks Parents to Enroll Toddlers in Pre-K

By Mathew Katz on October 24, 2011 12:55pm 

P.S. 276's first graders celebrated a ribbon cutting at their Battery Park City school last fall. P.S. 276 is one of two new elementary schools that has opened downtown since 9/11, but parents say more seats are needed.
P.S. 276's first graders celebrated a ribbon cutting at their Battery Park City school last fall. P.S. 276 is one of two new elementary schools that has opened downtown since 9/11, but parents say more seats are needed.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

MANHATTAN — The city still has Pre-K seats available in all five boroughs, and city officials are encouraging parents to sign up their three and four-year-olds in the free child care programs before Oct. 31.

All children who turn four-years-old before Dec. 31 are still eligible to enroll for the programs and can start immediately. The universal pre-kindergarten programs offer at least two-and-a-half hours of educational services. 

According to the city, the number of four-year-olds enrolled in the programs has increased by approximately 18,000 since 2002, with more than 60,000 slots available this year.

Some families may also qualify for subsidized child care at contracted centers and Head Start programs, based on income. The Child Care Eligibility Wizard at the city's Children's Services website can identify who qualifies.

To find a program, parents can call 311, or go to www.nyc.gov to search the city map for child care and universal pre-kindergarten sites.

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