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HomeLanguage NewsnewsBig Apple Goes Bilingual

Big Apple Goes Bilingual

 NYC Launches 47 New, Free Pre-K Dual-Language Programs

“More New York City kids will get an early start on becoming multilingual, multicultural, and ready to succeed in our diverse world.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza kicked off the first day of Pre-K and 3-K for All applications by announcing that 47 new pre-K Dual Language programs will open across the City this fall. The new programs will include the City’s first French, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, and Japanese pre-K Dual Language programs. At the start of the 2019-20 school year, there will be 107 programs throughout all five boroughs, more than triple the original 30 in 2015.

“Building the fairest big city in America starts in the classroom. We believe every child deserves the same strong start which is why we’re providing New Yorkers in every zip code with access to early childhood education,” said Mayor de Blasio. “By offering even more dual-language Pre-K programs across the five boroughs, we’re readying our children for the global economy of the future.”

“New York City’s youngest learners gain so much in 3-K and Pre-K classrooms across the City, and I encourage all eligible families to apply,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.  “I’m also excited to announce that we’re opening 47 new Dual Language programs, where our students are learning to speak two languages—one of the greatest gifts there is. More New York City kids will get an early start on becoming multilingual, multicultural, and ready to succeed in our diverse world.”

“No one in our city’s history has done more to ensure that all of our city’s children have the advantages of a high-quality early education than Mayor de Blasio,” said Hispanic Federation President José Calderón. “Today’s announcement of the opening of 47 new pre-K dual language programs is a testament to the importance of mayoral control. It is an incredible gift of education and multi-language acquisition for our children and their families that will strengthen communities across our city for generations to come.”

In the 2019-20 school year, these programs will be in 103 schools, Pre-K Centers, and New York City Early Education Centers (NYCEECs) in every borough, with four sites offering Dual Language in more than one language. The new programs include six in the Bronx, 16 in Brooklyn, eight in Manhattan, 16 in Queens, and one on Staten Island. In addition to the new French, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, and Japanese programs, the DOE will continue to offer programs in Bengali, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

In addition to the City’s pre-K Dual Language programs, there are currently 545 bilingual programs across every borough for students in grades K-12. Approximately 200 bilingual programs have opened or expanded since the 2013-14 school year. Bilingual programs are available in schools citywide in 13 languages, serving approximately 40,000 students. Building on this progress, earlier this school year, Chancellor Carranza formally re-named the Division of English Language Learners as the Division of Multilingual Learners in order to honor the value of the hundreds of home languages spoken by New York City public school students.

Applications for free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All and Pre-K for All seats opened today. Families can find early childhood programs and apply online at Families can also apply over the phone at 718-935-2009, or in person at a Family Welcome Center. All New York City families with children born in 2015 can apply for free, full-day, high-quality pre-K in the 2019-20 school year.

The 3-K application will remain open until May 3. Programs in districts 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 16, 19, 23, 27, and 31 will be available for families when the application launches. Programs in the newly announced districts, 8 and 32, will be added to the application beginning in March. All New York City families with children born in 2016 can apply for the 2019-20 school year; families residing in district will receive priority. Families can find out their school district by calling 311 or visiting

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