Early Childhood Education
April 28, 2014

Fact Sheet 14-09 - Statewide Universal Full-Day Pre-Kindergarten

Source: Research and Educational Services


  • Background
  • Requirements
  • Application Process
  • Review of the Application
  • Instructional Criteria
  • Oversight

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The 2014 New York State budget included $340 million in funding for full-day pre-kindergarten with $300 million of the funding going to New York City. Recipients will be awarded grants for $10,000 per pupil for classes taught by certified staff and $7,000 per pupil for classes taught by non-certified staff.


The full-day pre-kindergarten program must demonstrate quality in the following areas:

  • Curriculum;
  • Learning environment, materials, and supplies;
  • Family engagement;
  • Staffing patterns;
  • Teacher education and experience;
  • Facility quality;
  • Physical well-being, health, and nutrition; and
  • Partnership with non-profit, community, and educational institutions.

Application Process

Consolidated applications may be submitted to the State Education Department (SED) by school districts which include pre-kindergarten programs. Districts shall solicit non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, charter schools, libraries, and museums to be included in its application. If denied inclusion, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, charter schools, libraries, and museums not included in the consolidated applications may apply individually. The applications must show geographic diversity as well as diversity of providers.

The consolidated application must include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Names of individual locations and providers;
  • Applicable licenses;
  • Facility lease information; and
  • Intended staffing plans and certifications.

The competitive advantage would go to programs that provide more stimulation, enhance child development, and demonstrate creative approaches to improve early childhood education. There will be two application periods before the start of a school year. Providers who are awarded slots will continue to have the slots renewed in subsequent years provided the programs meet the quality standards and all applicable requirements.

Review of the Application

SED will develop a scoring system to evaluate applications based on merit and factors including but not limited to the listed criteria and community needs. If there is an excess of applications for the number of slots available, SED will notify the Division of Budget regarding the distribution of funds. SED will develop an inspection protocol.

Instructional Criteria

The full-day pre-kindergarten must provide instruction for at least five hours per school day for the full school year. Staff must meet the same teacher certification standards as public schools:

  • Teacher license or certificate for early childhood grades;
  • Teacher license or certificate for students with disabilities in early childhood grades;
  • For eligible agencies that are not schools, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or in a related field and a written plan to obtain certification for the early childhood grades;
    • Teachers hired on or after the effective date must be certified within three years after beginning employment;
    • Teachers hired prior to the effective date must be certified no later than June 30, 2017.
  • The salary differential will be based on certification.
  • Teacher of record will be the teacher who is primarily and directly responsible for a student’s learning activities.


  • A full-day pre-kindergarten provider will be inspected at last twice a year by the Department or the school district with which it partners, if any. At least one inspection shall be conducted by its respective licensing, permitting, regulatory, oversight, registration or enrolling agency, as applicable.
  • The facilities housing pre-kindergarten programs must meet fire safety and building codes and must ensure the health and safety of the staff and students.
  • Charter schools may apply to participate in this program. The charter entity shall maintain the responsibility for overseeing the program. Parents may submit applications to the charter school pre-kindergarten program for the 2014 – 2015 school year by a date determined by the charter school.