New York Chapter 2
Free Universal Pre-Kindergarten


All Pediatricians should recommend free Universal Pre-Kindergarten Programs to their patients!

Universal Pre-Kindergarten is available in NYC for all children who will become four years old by December 31 of that calendar year. This program is provided free of cost to parents and is organized by the NYC Department of Education. Classes are either in elementary school or in early childhood centers. Most programs are half day, either morning or afternoon and about 2 hours per day.  Some full day programs are available.  All children are eligible.  Most classes are in English but ESL (English as a Second Language) services are available.  There are no economic or developmental qualifications.

Pediatricians are encouraged to discuss the NYC PreKindergarten program at the three year old visit.  Parents can get information by visiting their local school, calling the NYC Childcare Consortium (1-888-469-5999), visiting: and downloading an application or by calling 311.

Universal Pre-K provides an opportunity for children to improve social, cognitive and academic abilities.  It is also an opportunity for bilingual children to learn English.

Please check out the Docs for Tots website:, as well as their informative brochure.


Submitted by Chapter 2 Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics/Children with Disabilities Committee

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