'Lessons From New York City's Universal Pre-K Expansion: How a Focus on Diversity Could Make It Even Better'

'Lessons From New York City's Universal Pre-K Expansion: How a Focus on Diversity Could Make It Even Better'

Behind the early success of New York City's expansion of universal access to pre-kindergarten — an effort that nearly tripled the number of children enrolled in full-day early childhood education programs between 2013 and 2014 — was an extensive media and community organizing campaign, a report from the Century Foundation finds. According to the report, Lessons From New York City's Universal Pre-K Expansion: How a Focus on Diversity Could Make It Even Better (25 pages, PDF), the city built on the existing infrastructure of community-based organizations and facilities to provide pre-K programs; made smart investments in teacher recruitment, certification programs, and professional development; and incorporated evaluation processes from the start to ensure quality and effectiveness. The report notes, however, that the de Blasio administration should do more to monitor and promote access for low-income children and classroom diversity by funding transportation, revising enrollment priorities, and supporting blended-funding models.