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NYC Mayor de Blasio announces 4,268 new pre-K seats for 4-year-olds

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The city will open a record 4,268 new full-day pre-kindergarten seats in public schools by September, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The seats are the first to become available as part of the city’s plan to offer quality pre-K programs to all 73,250 eligible students by the 2015-2015 school year and roughly 53,000 students in September.

The Department of Education will now be able to offer 20,387 full-day pre-K seats in public schools by September — a 26 percent increase from this school year. Later this spring, the city plans to open thousands more seats through community-based organizations.

“For months, we have been planning every facet of these programs to ensure we were ready to launch the moment funding was secured,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Today, the rubber hits the road, and families will have more options for their children.”

The news comes after de Blasio announced on Tuesday that the Department of Education received 690 applications from early education teachers since the mayor announced TeachNYCPreK.org. On Monday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $300 million in the state budget would fund universal pre-K for New York City students.

The new full-day pre-K seats will open across 140 schools in all five boroughs and most of the 32 community school districts. The new available seats consist of both half-day pre-K programs that will now operate as full-day, additional classes in current full-day programs and brand new full-day programs.

The deadline to apply for a full-day pre-K seat at a public school is April 23. The Department of Education will let families know about public school placements in June.

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