City Releases Universal Pre-K Implementation Plan
Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio released a detailed plan for implementation of his proposed full-day Universal Pre-Kindergarten program this September. The plan, which relies on an increase in the personal income tax rate for high-income New York City households, would provide full-day UPK programs for over 53,000 four-year-olds across the city by September, with an increase to over 73,000 for the 2015-2016 school year. Children’s Aid supports de Blasio’s plan.
As a leading provider of early childhood programs in New York City, we are pleased that our Vice President for Early Childhood Programs, Josh Wallack, has been part of the mayor's universal pre-k working group. Universal pre-k is a critical piece of our work building a cradle through college pathway for low-income children, who are shown to be far behind their peers in skills and measures for school readiness by the time they reach kindergarten. These educational gaps are difficult and costly to close as children advance through school, which is why we are determined to expand our early childhood programming.
In the past year, Children’s Aid has doubled the number children we serve in pre-k programs and yet the dire need for additional slots remains, particularly in the low-income communities we serve. Wallack is quoted on this issue in a press release issued by City Hall this morning.
Children's Aid is also credited with providing exemplary pre-k programming on today's “Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC.