Applications for prekindergarten programs in New York City schools rose by 36 percent this year, city officials announced on Thursday, as parents took advantage of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to provide free classes to every 4-year-old in the city.
The Education Department said it had received applications for more than 41,600 students for programs beginning this fall, up from about 30,500 last year. The surge in applications was expected, given Mr. de Blasio’s highly visible campaign to broaden access to prekindergarten since his election last year. City officials said the figures reflected robust demand for early-childhood programs, especially in low-income communities.
“Pre-K provides a vital foundation,” Carmen Fariña, the schools chancellor, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to see this historic number of applications.”