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Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) is a New York State early childhood initiative, administered in New York City by the New York City Department of Education, Division of Instructional Support, Office of Early Childhood Education. UPK provides four-year-old children access, at no charge, to comprehensive early childhood education experiences that promote their social-emotional, creative expressive/aesthetic, physical, cognitive, linguistic and cultural development. In New York City, children are eligible if they become 4 years old by December 31 of the school year in which they are enrolled in the program. UPK programs operate half or full days for five days a week, 180 days per year.

A unique program, the UPK law mandates that community school districts (CSDs) in New York City collaborate with eligible early childhood community based organizations (CBOs) to serve children in non-public school settings. UPK can therefore take the form of a stand-alone program in a public or non- public school or be part of a component of a community program. Substantial numbers of UPK children in New York City are served in community-based organizations’ early childhood settings. Programs in the schools often blend with other programs to offer a full school day, and in CBOs funds are blended to offer an extended day, year round program. All children enrolled in UPK receive a student ID number that they can carry with them throughout their public school education.

Upon admission, parents must submit the following


  1. Child and Adolescent Health Exam Form
  2. Proof of Birth Date (Birth Certificate, Passport, or Baptismal Certificate)
  3. Two (2) Proofs of Address (with Notarized Parent Affidavit of Residency, if applicable)
  1. Federal Parent/Guardian Student Ethnic & Race Identification Form
  2. Residency Questionnaire
  3. The NYCDOE Pre-Kindergarten Language Needs Survey