New York City’s commitment to early education is palpable, with the city offering a comprehensive range of pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) programs. These initiatives ensure that children have access to the necessary foundational learning and development opportunities. Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of NYC, is home to several of these transformative programs.

An Overview of Pre-K Programs

Pre-K programs in NYC provide free, full-day, high-quality education for four-year-old children. These programs foster a child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn, laying a robust foundation for future academic success.

The curriculum of a Pre-K program is designed to be engaging and interactive. It incorporates play-based learning and focuses on developing early literacy, math, and science skills, alongside physical education, arts, and social development.

Funding and Costs

The NYC Department of Education publicly funds the Pre-K programs, making them free for all NYC families, regardless of income or immigration status. They operate five days a week for a full school day (from 8 am to 2:30 pm), but extended hours (early drop-off or late pick-up) may be available at some sites for an additional fee. These extended hours help accommodate parents’ work schedules and offer additional opportunities for children to learn and play.

Pre-K Programs on Staten Island

Staten Island boasts an array of Pre-K programs located in various neighborhoods, ensuring easy access for all families. These programs are offered in public schools, Pre-K Centers, and NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs). Parents can search for available programs in their community using the online directory on

How to Apply to Pre-K Programs

The application process for Pre-K programs is straightforward and can be done online via, by phone at 718-935-2009, or in person at a Family Welcome Center. The online platform allows parents to explore the options, select their preferred programs, and rank them in order of preference on the application.

Students who attend 3-K in Staten Island may give given favoritism when applying to the pre-k program at that school or center, but a spot is not guaranteed.

Benefits of Pre-K for Parents and Children

For parents, Pre-K programs offer quality education for their children while potentially freeing up valuable time that might have been spent on childcare. This could enable parents to pursue work or educational opportunities knowing their children are in a safe and engaging environment.

For children, the benefits are profound. Pre-K programs nurture cognitive, social, and emotional development. They prepare children for a seamless transition into kindergarten, foster a love for learning, and promote social skills through peer interactions.


The Pre-K programs are just one part of the incredible education available on Staten Island are instrumental in setting children on a path to lifelong learning and success. With no-cost education, a high-quality curriculum, and accessible application procedures, these programs represent a pivotal opportunity for families on Staten Island. They affirm New York City’s commitment to early childhood education and its dedication to cultivating the next generation’s minds.