DNAinfo.com Provides Comprehensive Guide to Manhattan's Public Pre-Kindergarten Programs

... Race for coveted free spots starts Monday for NYC parents of four-year-olds

Mar 04, 2011, 08:00 ET from DNAinfo.com

NEW YORK, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The race is on for public pre-K seats.  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110304/NY59206 )

Parents whose children turn four this year can begin applying to NYC's dozens of free pre-K programs starting this Monday, March 7. But they will face stiff competition — last year, Manhattan schools only accepted an average of 43 percent of applicants to their pre-K programs because of high demand. Some schools accepted only 4 percent of applicants.

DNAinfo.com, Manhattan's first hyper-local news website, has put together a comprehensive guide filled with inside information to help parents navigate the complex system to allocate the slots.  DNAinfo's feature breaks down the facts and schools by neighborhood, and has an "infographic" showing the number of seats compared with number of applications for each school based on 2010-11 numbers.

"Parents told us about amazing pre-K programs that teach kids things like Mandarin and visual arts, as well as the 'greenest' pre-K school in the city," says DNAinfo's downtown reporter and education expert Julie Shapiro.  "However, because there isn't enough space for every child, parents need to quickly get up to speed on the application process and their neighborhood schools."

Here are some things parents need to keep in mind, according to DNAinfo.com:

* First priority goes to younger siblings of current students in the school, then to children who live in the school's zone, district and borough, respectively.

* Many of the most popular schools often nearly fill up just with siblings of current students. While parents can list up to 12 choices on their application, they are not guaranteed to receive a seat.

* Other pre-K options include free programs at community-based organizations, and programs at expensive private schools.

* The public school pre-K applications are due April 8, and the city will send offer letters in early June.

For the full story, visit http://www.dnainfo.com/20110303/manhattan/prek-registration-what-you-need-know

About DNAinfo

DNAinfo.com (http://www.dnainfo.com)provides customized neighborhood news to Manhattan residents straight from the streets where they live. All news on DNAinfo.com is original, non-aggregated content with relevant stories focused on each neighborhood.  The site's funding and strategic vision come from entrepreneur and Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts. Launched November 2010 after a year in Beta phase, DNAinfo.com is the first hyper-local news site to emerge in Manhattan.

SOURCE DNAinfo.com