New York

Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!

Innovation Name Innovation Type Innovation Subtype Features at a Glance Strategy Summary
New York Statewide Universal Full-Day Prekindergarten Program Expansion Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds)

Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled (as of 2022): 52%
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled (as of 2022): 16%
Minimum hours of operation: 2.5 hr/day; 5 days/wk

New York State launched its Universal Pre-K (UPK) program in 1998, merging it with the state’s targeted pre-K program in 2007. In 2014, the Statewide Universal Full-Day Prekindergarten Program (SUFDPK) was created by statute (Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2014); the program allocated $340 million for grants to incentivize and fund full-day UPK programs across the state; $300 million of this funding went to launch New York City’s UPK program, and the remaining $40 million was disbursed across the state to expand full-day programs. Thanks to these expansion efforts, 52% of the state’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in public pre-K. The percentage dropped to 46% in 2021 but returned to 52% in 2022. As part of the 2022 enacted budget, the state allocated an additional $90 million for noncompetitive awards to districts that had not yet received state funding to support UPK, and $15 million for competitive grants to expand full-day seats for 4-year-olds. The competitive grants are awarded through an RFP process, overseen by the state’s Office of Early Learning. In 2023, the state appropriated an additional $25 million for statewide pre-K grants to create either new full-day slots, or to expand half-day slots to full-day slots for 4-year-olds; this round of funding will be awarded through an RFP process.

Learn More: New York Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Funding

New York State Department of Education. (n.d.). 2023-2024 Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Grant.
New York State Department of Education. (n.d.). Questions and Answers for GC 22-010a - Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Grant.
National Institute for Early Education Research. (2023). New York.

New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund Dedicated Funding Streams Marijuana Tax

Forty percent of tax revenue from marijuana sales will be put into the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund

Since recreational cannabis use was legalized in 2021, New York’s cannabis tax revenue has gone into the New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund, 40% of which is to be allocated to the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund. This money can be applied to after-school and childcare services in communities, as well as "services to address adverse childhood experiences." The first disbursement of this fund is planned for 2023.

Learn More/Source: New York State Office of Cannabis Management
NYC Pre-K For All Expansion Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds)

Number of 3- and 4-year-olds served (as of Jan 2023): 90,000
Minimum hours of operation: 6 hrs 20 mins/day; 180 days/yr

Launched in 2014, New York City's universal Pre-Kfor All program serves 4-year-old children across the city's 5 boroughs. Pre-K for All was followed by a pilot of 3-K for All, a version of the program for 3-year-olds, in 2017. Pre-K for All operates through a mixed-delivery system, and children are served by community-based organizations, public schools, and Pre-K Centers, the last of which are pre-K and 3-K-only facilities run by Department of Education (DOE) staff. All 4-year-olds are eligible for "School Day" slots, which provide education and care for 6 hours and 20 minutes a day during the school year, which typically runs from September to June. Some families are eligible for additional programs, including extended-day and extended-year education and care. Expansion efforts in the City are currently stalled as a new administration may pull back expanding access for both pre-K and 3K.

Learn More: New York City Pre-K

New York State Education Department. (n.d.). Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Funding.
New York Times. (2023). New York City’s Pre-K System Was a Model. Now Employees Say It’s a Mess.
New York City Public Schools. (n.d.). 3-K for All & Pre-K for All Handbook.

New York Works for Children Workforce Professional Learning

Includes coaching, multilingual programming

Established in 2010, New York Works for Children (NYWC) is New York State's integrated professional development system for early education professionals. NYWC offers both training (offered in multiple languages and formats) and coaching to teachers, teaching teams, directors, administrators, family care workers, and assistant teachers and aides. Coaches can work with a participant for a year or more, and each one-on-one coaching session lasts for a minimum of 30 minutes. Early education professionals can receive training/professional development credit for participating in coaching. NYWC also coordinates the Aspire Registry, which is a professional registry designed to help early educators find and track their progress through high-quality professional development. NYWC is funded by multiple city and state agencies; it was founded by the Early Childhood Advisory Council's Workforce Development Workgroup in 2010. Today, the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, a public-private partnership, leads NYWC and manages the day-to-day operations.

Learn more: New York Works for Children


New York Works for Children. (n.d.).

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Demographics Link copied!

State population

19,677,151 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Rural %

12.6% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Urban %

87.4% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Number of children age 0-4

1,099,062 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty

37% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Median family income among households with children

$89,800.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Unemployment rate

4.3% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022

Unemployment rate of parents

6% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

68% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

38% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Race and Ethnicity

  • American Indian and Alaska Native (.5%)
  • Asian (9%)
  • Black or African American (15%)
  • Hispanic or Latino (25%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
  • Two or More Races (4%)
  • White, not Hispanic or Latino (47%)
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Political Landscape Link copied!

Source: Ballotpedia 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

Public pre-K program name

Universal PreKindergarten Program (UPK) Source: NIEER 2023

Public pre-K program name

Statewide Universal Full-Day Prekindergarten Program (SUFDPK) Source: NIEER 2023

Public pre-K program name

Universal Prekindergarten Expansion Grant for New Full-Day and Half-Day to Full-Day Placements for Four-Year-Old Students Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Universal Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Targeted Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

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Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (16%)
  • 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (6%)
  • Other/none (78%)
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Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source: NIEER 2023


  • 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (52%)
  • 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (5%)
  • Other/none (43%)
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Workforce Link copied!

2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020


  • Child care workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool or child care center directors
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Funding Sources Link copied!

Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022

Funding source

  • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($593.6)
  • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($457.3)
  • CCDBG State Match ($71.5)
  • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($2500)
  • State-Funded Pre-K ($825.1)
  • MIECHV ($8.8)
  • IDEA Part C ($38)
  • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($52.3)
  • TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($975.8)
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five ($17.4)
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Funding acronyms: CCDBG: Child Care and Development Block Grant; CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSE Act: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act; CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund; MIECHV: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The COVID Funding Cliff

All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 250,000 children in New York.