A strong start in education can shape the future of a child. Recognizing this, New York City has made significant strides in early childhood education by offering citywide 3-K programs. These programs provide free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-old children. On Staten Island, the benefits of these programs are felt across the community, providing invaluable opportunities for early learning and development.

What are 3-K Programs?

The 3-K programs, an extension of the successful Pre-K initiative, are designed to help children grow academically, emotionally, and socially. They are part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to equity and excellence in education, ensuring that every child in the city has access to high-quality early education.

The curriculum in a 3-K program is designed to be engaging, hands-on, and developmentally appropriate. It incorporates play-based learning and focuses on early literacy, math, science, physical education, arts, and social development.

Funding and Costs

3-K programs are funded by the NYC Department of Education, making them free for all NYC families, regardless of income or immigration status. They operate five days a week for a full school day (8 am to 2:30 pm), but extended hours (early drop-off or late pick-up) may be free. This extended hours service can help accommodate parents’ work schedules and provides additional opportunities for children to learn and play.

Availability of 3-K Programs on Staten Island

There are multiple 3-K programs available on Staten Island, located in various neighborhoods for easy accessibility. These programs are offered in public schools, Pre-K Centers, and NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs). Parents can look for available programs in their community using the online directory on MySchools.nyc.

How to Apply to 3-K Programs

Applications to 3-K programs can be submitted online via MySchools.nyc, by phone at 718-935-2009, or in person at a Family Welcome Center. The application process is easy and user-friendly. Parents can review the options, choose their preferred programs, and rank them in order of preference on the application.

Benefits of 3-K for Parents and Children

For parents, the 3-K program offers the dual benefit of providing quality education for their children and freeing up time that might have been spent on childcare. These programs’ availability can enable parents to pursue work or education opportunities knowing their children are in a safe and nurturing environment.

For children, the benefits are immense. The 3-K program provides an early start to learning, promoting cognitive, social, and emotional development. It lays the foundation for future academic success, fosters curiosity and creativity, and encourages the development of social skills through interactions with peers.


In conclusion, the 3-K programs available on Staten Island provide an invaluable start to a child’s educational journey. With easy application procedures, a free education promise, and a high-quality curriculum, these programs are an excellent educational opportunity for families on Staten Island. The availability and accessibility of these programs underscore New York City’s commitment to fostering early childhood education and setting up children for long-term success.