By Phil Corso
School districts in Queens still have pre-kindergarten seats available for the current school year, the city Education Department said.
A DOE spokesman said the department has been hitting the pavement to get word out that spots were still available throughout the city, including all seven districts in Queens, with hopes of coaxing parents to enroll for the city’s Universal pre-K program by the Oct. 2 deadline.
“The Department of Education is supporting families in finding programs by raising awareness through subway and bus shelter ads, posting updated vacancy fliers online weekly through the end of September, as well as canvassing in high-need areas with staff and volunteers,” a spokesman said. “Research shows that early childhood education is essential in closing the achievement gap. National and local findings demonstrate that high-quality early childhood education expands short- and long-term opportunities for children in high-need communities.”
The program is open to any child born in 2009 who lives in New York City, the DOE said. Its programs offer at least 2.5 hours of educational services at no cost to parents.
“Half of the achievement gap that is evident at the end of high school is already present by kindergarten,” the DOE said. “High-quality early childhood interventions have been shown to lead to increased social readiness, higher incomes, less likelihood of drug use and less involvement in the criminal justice system.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.