Regional Office
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Joanne Walsh, Associate Superintendent of Early Childhood Education
Phone: (646) 794-2881
Fax: (212) 317-3018
Schools with Pre-K Programs: 146
Schools with Free UPK: 81
Schools with Free-Standing Private Pre-K: 14

Pre-Kindergarten: The Road to Success Starts Here

Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) is the time to turn your curious child into an active, interested student who looks forward to going to school. A love of learning that begins in Pre-K starts your child on a journey that leads to success in high school and beyond.

Many of our Pre-K/UPK programs are located within our elementary schools, and some accept children as young as three years old. Half- and full-day programs are offered, as well as before and after-school care, which, in many cases, begins as early as 7:30am and ends at 6:00pm. Specific program offerings vary by school.

The Archdiocese of New York’s Early Childhood Curriculum for Pre-K and UPK is based on the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), Developmentally Appropriate Practice, and NAEYC guidelines. Your child will enjoy a safe, caring environment, where each academic subject (literacy, math, science, and social studies) has its own physical center. As they play, learn, make their own choices and socialize, children develop creative and critical thinking, as well as gross and fine motor skills, through active, hands-on exploration. Learn more about our Curriculum and Center-Based Learning.

The Benefits of Early Childhood Education

At ages three and four years old, a child’s natural curiosity is easily molded into learning opportunities with the loving guidance of our Early Childhood educators. We help your child to succeed not only academically through intellectual growth, but emotionally and socially by developing the critical thinking and cognitive skills needed throughout their school years and beyond. Character development, with an emphasis on kindness and caring, is woven into every lesson. We recognize and appreciate each child’s unique abilities, needs, personality and potential. Children are able to work at their own pace to reach important milestones and are regularly praised for personal accomplishments.

The knowledge that children learn best by doing, rather than just listening, guides all of our programming. A variety of hands-on activities and materials, and the ability to make their own choices throughout the day, keep children engaged and interested. A holistic-focused Pre-K is one of the most significant predictors of a child’s future educational success. Our Pre-K and free UPK programs provide a solid foundation for children to build on as they progress into elementary school and beyond. Because we know how essential it is to continue that momentum, we make every effort to give all Pre-K and UPK students priority placement in our Kindergarten programs.

Early education programs in Catholic schools set the foundation for life-long learning. This is demonstrated by the fact that an overwhelming number of our high school seniors graduate and a significant portion of those grads – close to 98% – go onto further education.

Fast & Fun Facts

  • The Archdiocese of New York (ADNY) is a leading private educator of Pre-K children in the metropolitan area, with more than 6,000 enrolled students and over half of our schools offering Pre-K for All programs.
  • Among all our Early Childhood teachers, 55% have, or are pursuing, a Master’s degree or higher level of education.
  • The Office of Early Childhood presently supports close to 100 schools with UPK classes, which service over 3,000 students in the metropolitan area.
  • The Office of Early Childhood has put in place an innovative, focused and multidimensional team to support school administrators, teachers and their youngest learners, which includes early childhood instructional specialists, Cooke School coaches and social workers. This team works together to provide professional development, coaching sessions, resources, family supports, and community referrals.
  • The quality of ADNY early childhood education has significantly increased with overall Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition (ECERS-R) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) scores considerably higher than the NYC average, and in many cases, the national average.
  • 85 percent of who you are – your intellect, your personality, your social skills – is developed by age 5. Let’s invest where it makes the most difference. – Massachusetts Early Education for All
  • Four year olds in center-based learning environments are more inclined to develop early reading skills, expressive vocabulary, mathematics, color knowledge, and fine motor skills.