Preschools Eye De Blasio's 3-Year-Old Pre-K Expansion Plan With Caution


 Eileen Johnson, the director of Little Missionary's Day Nursery, reads to some of the children.

Eileen Johnson, the director of Little Missionary’s Day Nursery, reads to a number of the youngsters.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Sandbox preschool opened its doorways within the South Slope in September of 2014, the identical yr that Mayor Invoice de Blasio started his Pre-Okay for All enlargement to offer free “full day” pre-Okay to all the metropolis’s four-yr-olds.

About 30 % of the four-yr-olds who registered at Brooklyn Sandbox ended up by no means attending the varsity, shifting as an alternative to free packages elsewhere, in line with founder Sonja Neill-Turner, who created the kid-centered, play-based mostly program.

That left her scrambling to transition what was left of the incoming class right into a combined one with three-yr-olds. The subsequent yr she removed the four’s program utterly the next yr to give attention to the youthful college students.

With Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s plan to broaden free pre-Okay to all the metropolis’s three-yr-olds by 2021, Neill-Turner and lots of different personal preschool administrators are apprehensive that what’s left of their early education schemes will take one other physique blow. The town has stated it plans to put half of the free seats for three-yr-olds in public faculties, leaning on group-based mostly preschools to make up the remaining.

“Hopefully, the town takes a extra complete strategy so directors can really feel part of the enlargement,” stated Neill-Turner, who didn’t enlist to hitch the town’s Pre-Okay for All program for four-yr olds as a result of the contracts didn’t pay sufficient for her to help her extremely-expert academics. She stated she additionally had heard horror tales from different small, personal suppliers about needing bridge loans when the town’s funds have been late.

De Blasio’s newest “three-Okay for All” program, because it’s referred to as, took many individuals within the early schooling sector unexpectedly — together with each personal preschools with hefty tuition in addition to EarlyLearn facilities that serve low-revenue working households, they informed DNAinfo New York.

Packages that take part within the present Common Pre-Okay system, as an example, solely came upon concerning the enlargement to three-yr-olds when the mayor held his press convention. They have been anticipated to have a briefing with metropolis officers on Thursday, many stated.

“I hope they do a submit-mortem on rollout of [Pre-K for All] and never simply from households’ perspective, however…



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