UNIVERSAL PREKINDERGARTEN (UPK) PROGRAM SUMMARY
Chapter 436 of the Laws of 1997 provides for New York State’s Universal Prekindergarten Program, (UPK). Subject to the allocation of funding by the State of New York, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) will continue to implement Universal Prekindergarten for the upcoming school year. As such, the New York City Department of Education is required to collaborate with eligible early childhood providers and submit applications to the State Education Department. This represents a major step forward in creating an integrated early childhood education delivery system throughout New York City. The Universal Prekindergarten legislation recognizes that families have a need to access a variety of early childhood services that includes half day, full day and extended day classes. In addition, the legislation acknowledges the expertise, diversity and wealth of existing community-based early care and education providers. It is expected that funding will be provided to serve all eligible four-year-olds when the Universal Prekindergarten Program is fully implemented. The ultimate goal of the New York State learning standards is to create Centers of Excellence for prekindergarten services. A preschool program that reflects these standards of high quality developmentally appropriate instruction provides all children, including English language learners, children with disabilities and their non-disabled peers, with an important foundation that promotes the acquisition of skills in the four learning domains—social-emotional, physical, creative expression/aesthetic and cognitive development that includes language and literacy and mathematical and scientific thinking.
UPK PROGRAM INFORMATION
UPK Program Expectations
Quality Early Childhood Education Programs
Early Childhood Teacher Preparation and Certification Guide