“My daughter is 3 years old, and 3K for All is a lifeline that will make it easier for countless families like mine to stay in New York City and thrive.
“After this pandemic forced our children into isolation for a year, New York City parents will be relying on 3K for All to help our children catch up.
“Child care on the Upper East Side starts at $30,000 and that’s if you can get a seat. Few can afford this and it’s forcing families out, even before the pandemic.
“3K for All is a game changer, giving every child the fair start that they deserve.
“Countless families including mine are breathing a sigh of relief with today’s announcement.
“I know I’ve been persistent about getting UPK and now 3K rolled out, but this was too important for our children’s future to leave it up to the next administration.
“I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for staying true to his word in making Universal Pre-Kindergarten a reality and now 3K for All by 2021. When it is safe to do so I am giving the Mayor a hug.
Quote from UFT President Michael Mulgrew:
We know what an impact high-quality 3K can have for our students. It sets them solidly on the path of learning. Thank you, Councilmember Kallos, for fighting tirelessly to give more students access to this vital program,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers
Remarks from Mayor's Announcement:
My daughter is 3 years old, and 3K for All is a lifeline that will make it easier for countless families like mine to stay in New York City and thrive.
My family will be applying for free 3K today.
After this pandemic forced our children into isolation for a year, New York City parents will be relying on 3K for All to help our children catch up.
Child care on the Upper East Side starts at $30,000 and that’s if you can get a seat. Few can afford this and countless families have told me that child care costs were the straw the broke the camel’s back and forced them out. This was even before the pandemic.
3K for All is a game changer, giving every child the fair start that they deserve.
This is a map of where we had planned 3K as of 2020, that I made when we launched our petition, the areas in red still needed it. If you counted, that’s half the school districts in New York City, and about two-fifths by population and land mass. Today’s announcement turns this entire map blue. Mayor Bill de Blasio, this petition is coming down today.
Child care weighs heavily on couples as they plan for a family. Can they afford child care? If not, can they afford for one parent to take time off? How long will that gap be? Will their career recover from the gap? Which parent will that be? To be honest in heterosexual couples or with single parents, that parent is most often the woman.
3K and Pre-Kindergarten changes the time families must struggle to find child care from 5 years, down to 3 years, which is a big help and two big steps in the right direction.
Countless families including mine are breathing a sigh of relief with today’s announcement.
Full disclosure is that my advocacy started long before we even got pregnant with our daughter.
I want to thank Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo for her partnership. We have elected officials who live in their districts precisely so we will fight for services for our children.
I know I’ve been persistent about getting UPK and now 3K rolled out, but this was too important for our children’s future to leave it up to the next administration.
Mayor de Blasio, I’ve been asking for this for so many years, what will we talk about, what will I ask? I am only half kidding here, there’s a laundry list. In all seriousness I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for staying true to his word in making Universal Pre-Kindergarten a reality and now 3K for All by 2021. When we both have our vaccines and it is safe to do so I am going to walk over to Gracie and give Mayor Bill de Blasio a big hug.
When the Mayor said yes to bringing 3K citywide, I literally jumped for joy, sighed in relief.
I know that getting it funded is only the first step and that finding sites particularly on the Upper East Side and Manhattan can be a challenge. You have my pledge that just as we did to secure 900 new pre-kindergarten seats before, I will work with parents, providers, and real estate developers to build the seats we need in six months, and I am counting on the Mayor, Deputy Chancellor Wallack, and SCA to work miracles.
Mayor de Blasio, you did something no one else ever even tried to do, you got Universal Pre-Kindergarten done in the largest city in America, you brought it into the national dialogue, and now President Biden is taking the idea seriously. Now in your final year, your taking on another herculean task by expanding 3K citywide. That is quite a legacy that will be felt be countless families from mine to many others.
In 2013, then candidate Ben Kallos, including universal Pre-K in his platform for City Council, citing Federal funding to cover 3 and 4 year olds. Once elected, in February 2014 Kallos joined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fight for pre-kindergarten funding from Albany.
As part of budget negotiations, Council Member Ben Kallos has asked for school seats, including Pre-Kindergarten along with 3K, at every budget meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio since 2015. Kallos has pressed the administration for more schools seats including a rollout of Universal Pre-Kindergarten and for 3K at almost every budget hearing since he was elected: March 25, 2015, May 28, 2015, March 8, 2016, March 16, 2016, May 16, 2016, March 8, 2017, March 21, 2017, May 16, 2017, March 26, 2018, March 20, 2019, and May 12, 2020. Kallos has also pressed for 3K in multiple meetings with the Department of Education including directly with Deputy School’s Chancellor Josh Wallack.
Prior to becoming co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, in April 2017, they announced 18 Progressive Policies for 2018, that included support for Universal Child Care starting with expanding 3K for All citywide.
Advocacy from Kallos was ever-present in his 2018 State of the District, 2019 State of the District, 2020 State of the District, 2020 Annual Report, 2021 State of the District, and 2021 Annual Report.
In February 2020, as part of budget negotiations, Kallos launched a petition to bring 3K to Manhattan and citywide. In March 2020, Kallos organized a rally to expand 3K (that was canceled due to the pandemic) and laid out the campaign in his newsletter stating:
In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the roll out of "3K for All" by the 2021 school year. As of this year, 3K for All is only planned for half of school districts, serving only two-fifths of children, leaving an estimated 39,000 children without 3K throughout our city.
In June 2020, Kallos argued that funds from the police budget could be better spend on services including 3K for All. Kallos went further, proposing $15 billion in fat to trim in order to fund 3K for All among other services.
This year, Kallos pressed the administration for 3K as recently as March 23, 2021. Prior to that following the March 2, 2021 preliminary budget hearing with the Office of Management and Budget that he co-chaired, Kallos pressed for 3K in a letter to the administration.