Parents and Families

All About Pre-K for All

Pre-K story time

What the City Offers Your Child

New York City offers free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K for All programs throughout the city as well as some programs for younger children. If your child was born in 2012 and you live in New York City, your child is ready to start pre-K. Visit Pre-K Enrollment to learn more about the application process.

Read the Pre-K for All  Commitment to Families.
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What Happens in Pre-K?

Most pre-K programs help kids learn to play together, share and take turns, and put their thoughts into words. They develop coordination by building, pretending, drawing and running around. They become familiar with common concepts like letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and foods. They learn to ask good questions, but they don’t have to know the answers.

Read this short Guide to Pre-K to learn more about what happens in the classroom and what you can do at home to extend your child’s learning.
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Learning to Read
In pre-K children listen to stories and talk about books. Learn more about what you can do with your child to help them learn to read.
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Learning about Feelings
In pre-K, one of the most important things children learn about is their own unique feelings and characteristics. This is real work! Read this short Guide to Social-Emotional Development to learn more about what this means, and how you can help at home.
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Pre-K Learn

Learn at home with your child by doing creative activities, reading, cooking and shopping in your neighborhood.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Your child’s pre-K teacher wants your child to be successful in school as much as you do. At parent-teacher conferences, your child’s teacher will share information about your child’s strengths and how to make them even stronger. The teacher will also share information about how your child needs to grow and any challenges she or he might have.

You can also ask the teacher questions and ask for specific examples or to see work your child has done at school. Since the things you do with your child outside of school are just as important as what is happening in school, the teacher may share specific ideas about at-home activities that you can do with your child.

After the meeting:

  • Make a plan about how you will support your child’s progress.
  • Schedule a time to follow up with the teacher about your child’s progress
  • Talk with your child about the conference and how you plan to work together on learning at home.

Read more about preparing for parent-teacher conferences.
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Next Step: Kindergarten

In New York City, children are eligible to apply to kindergarten in the year they turn five. Each winter, kindergarten applications are accepted for the coming school year and every child is guaranteed a kindergarten placement.

Learn about the options your child will have and how to apply by visisting the Kindergarten Enrollment page.