Biden Tackle Preview: Mayor de Blasio Applauds President’s Plan to Make NYC’s Pre-Ok for all Nationa
April 28, 2021
NEW YORK – Ahead of President Biden’s first address to a joint congressional session tonight, Mayor Bill de Blasio today welcomed the President’s American Family Plan, which includes a national universal early intervention plan based on New York’s Pre-K and 3-K for All Programs .
“New York City led the way in setting up free Pre-K for everyone, and just this week announced the universal free 3-K for everyone. Access to free, high quality early childhood education changed the lives of working families in the five boroughs and gave countless children an invaluable head start in school and life. I am delighted that President Biden is building on what we achieved in New York City with a nationwide approach. Communities across the country will feel the invaluable impact of universal early education, ”said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
As Mayor, Bill de Blasio fought for and prioritized early childhood education for every child:
Lead the nation
New York City is a nationwide leader in making early childhood education accessible to all. In January 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his commitment to set up a universal pre-kindergarten that gives every four-year-old regardless of family income access to a free, all-day, high-quality pre-kindergarten. At that time, approximately 19,000 students in the city were enrolled for a full-time Pre-K. Within two years, thanks to this historic initiative, 68,000 children, more than three times the number of four-year-olds, were accepted into the program.
By Fall 2015, there was a free all-day Pre-K seat for every four-year-old across town, and parents with children enrolling in the program save an average of $ 10,000 per year in childcare costs. In addition, the expansion focused not only on improving access, but also on investing in quality teaching and family engagement.
Pre-K for All uses a mixed delivery model where families can choose from programs in district schools, DOE-operated Pre-K centers, and community-based centers, all of which are maintained and supported to achieve the same quality standards. Programs received:
- On-site support from dedicated staff of instruction coordinators and social workers with differentiated support based on the needs of the community and the program
- Professional learning sessions for leaders and teachers
- Interdisciplinary teaching units based in the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core
- Family Engagement supports, including resources for socio-emotional development, home expansion, and successful transitions in and out of preschool
- Operations analysts focused on administrative support such as budgeting and contracts.
The city’s historic commitment to equal pay for certified early childhood education teachers will become a reality by October 2021. Creating a path to equal pay between early childhood educators in community-level organizations and those who work in district schools completes the mayor and councilor’s promise to the provider community in the summer of 2019 under agreements with District Council 37, New’s Day Care Council York and the Head Start Sponsoring Board Council as well as an obligation to unrepresented teachers. Certified teachers saw gradual wage increases starting October 2019. Non-certified teachers and support staff also saw pay increases.
State tests show that we are closing the performance gap. The 2019 NYS 3rd Grade Test reflects the first year test takers attended Pre-K for All, and the performance gaps between white, black, and white Hispanic were smaller among students attending Pre-K compared to their peers. In the 2019 state test results, the white-black gap in ELA was 5.3 percentage points and in math for Pre-K for all students was 6.8 percentage points narrower than for students who did not attend Pre-K for all. The White Hispanic Gap was 6.0 percentage points narrower in ELA and 6.5 percentage points narrower in math for Pre-K for All students than the gap between students who did not attend Pre-K for All.
Pre-K for All is successful in national assessments. We have seen a growth in program quality in our system over time, especially where we have concentrated our support. Certain location quality assessment scores in districts with high numbers of students in high economic need have increased over time and increased faster than in the city as a whole.
- City-wide gains: The city celebrated the results of two different national program assessment tools in 2020, which showed that the vast majority of Pre-K programs show predictors of positive outcomes, meaning that children are more likely to read, math, Demonstrate language and social skills B. Be independent, understand shapes and use extended vocabulary. At the ECERS-R, 95 percent of the evaluated city programs have reached or exceeded the threshold value that predicts positive results. This corresponds to an increase of 7 percentage points compared to the evaluation of the programs in 2016-17. In CLASS, 99.8 percent of sites with scores met at least one of three thresholds for positive student outcomes, an increase of 0.8 percentage points between 2016 and 17.
Families from all walks of life believe in the program. Our annual family survey reflects the strong enthusiasm for Pre-K and 3-K for All across the city. In 2019, 98 percent of families felt good about how their child’s teacher helped their child adjust to Pre-K or 3-K. 95 percent of families felt that their child’s teacher gave them helpful ideas on how to support their child’s learning. 95 percent of families felt that their child’s teacher let them know that they could improve their child’s learning.
Families receive direct contact and are tailored to the programs of their choice. A central feature of Pre-K for All from the start has been a dedicated team of outreach specialists who paint the city and contact families directly to raise awareness of the program and help families enroll. Families can easily apply for Pre-K programs through a single application under the DOE’s central registration system, online in 10 languages and over the phone in more than 200 languages. DOE also uses citywide marketing campaigns to encourage families to apply and share messages about the value of early childhood education. In 2020, 77 percent of families received an offer for their free, all-day, high quality Pre-K program from 75 percent in 2019. A record 90 percent of families received an offer for one of their families’ top 3 choices, after 88 percent in 2019.
3-K for everyone and the birth system for five
Building on the success of Pre-K for All, Mayor de Blasio announced the 3-K for All initiative in 2017, with the aim of offering all families a free, all-day, high-quality preschool for two years. Currently offered in 12 community school districts, the city recently announced the expansion of 3-K for everyone to each school district this fall, offering free, all-day, high-quality early childhood education to 40,000 three-year-olds across the city with universal access by September 2023.
When 3-K for All was introduced, the mayor also announced that the DOE would oversee a stronger, more uniform system of early childhood care and education. In 2019, the EarlyLearn system for the contractually agreed care of children between the ages of six weeks and four years in income-entitled families was switched from the city’s child protection authority, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), to administration by the DOE. On July 1, 2021, DOE will sign new contracts with all contracted early childhood providers that will provide more seamless access for families, higher wages and an improved funding model for programs, as well as greater opportunities for socio-economic and racial inclusion in classrooms.
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