Universal Prekindergarten

NYS Universal Prekindergarten Program (UPK)

Starting a UPK program (Becoming a UPK Provider) PDF icon

*Update: January 8, 2018* Pre-K Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs)

On April 3, 2017, the Board of Regents approved the use of the Pre-K EMLL Language Profile (available in 24 languages) and Process (.pdf) to guide and support state-funded Pre-K programs in implementing best practices relative to identifying and supporting home languages for Pre-K EMLLs.  The intention is to mitigate multilingual children losing their home language skills during their acquisition of English in Pre-K. Questions regarding the Pre-K EMLL Language Profile and Process may be directed to Michele Kinzel-Peles in the Office of Early Learning at (518) 474-5807 or by email at oel@nysed.gov.

For more information, visit the Emergent Multilingual Learners in Prekindergarten Programs web page.

Conducting a Program Quality Self-Assessment and Developing a Quality Improvement Action Plan

*Updated 01/24/18: 2017-18 Self-Assessment and Action Plan Guidelines (.pdf)

Self-Assessment and Action Plan Form (.pdf)

*Please note that the PDF format must be submitted as the original fillable form.  This allows OEL reviewers to provide comments and questions in the SED Comments box and return it to for clarification or revision.  Therefore, any submitted scanned PDF files will be returned.

Section 3602-e of Education Law has been amended to require that all school districts receiving any State and/or federal prekindergarten grant must adopt approved quality indicators within two years, including, but not limited to, valid and reliable measures of environmental quality, the quality of teacher-student interactions and student outcomes. In addition, grantees must ensure that assessments of child outcomes will not be used to make high-stakes educational decisions for individual children. Specifically, such results may not be used to preclude or discourage the enrollment of a child in kindergarten. These requirements apply to districts receiving one or more of the following Pre-K grants: Universal Pre-K (UPK); Targeted Pre-K (TPK); Statewide Universal Full-Day Pre-K (SUFDPK); Expanded Pre-K (EPK); Prekindergarten for Three-Year Olds (3PK); Additional Grants for Expanded Pre-K (EPK2); and federal Preschool Development Expansion Grant (PDG).

Please see the above Guidelines file for more details.

*Please e-mail your completed self-assessment and action plan to OEL@nysed.gov.

2017-2018 UPK Allocations List and Memo

NYS Budget - Fiscal Implications for PreK Grants updated 5/19/17 (pdf)

2017-2018 UPK Allocations List (excel)


The 2017-2018 application for the newly merged Universal PreK (UPK) and Priority PreK (PPK) programs is now available to be completed online via the SED Monitoring and Vendor Performance System (MVPS).  Application submissions are due Friday, July 28, 2017.

The Office of Early Learning application, entitled 2017-2018 NYS Universal Prekindergarten Program Application can be accessed by logging onto the business portal at http://portal.nysed.gov.   Once logged into the business portal, click on the SED Monitoring and Vendor Performance System link located in the My Applications section to access the UPK application.

Superintendents may refer to the SEDDAS User Guide for further information on creating SEDDAS accounts or by contacting the SEDDAS helpdesk at: seddas@nysed.gov for further assistance.

For your convenience, we have developed the MVPS Quick Guide that provides instructions on how Superintendents can entitle other district staff as users to the Office of Early Learning (OEL) portion of MVPS.  It is important to note that Principals and all other designated staff have a district level SEDDAS account under the district BEDS code.  Otherwise, they will be unable to access OEL applications.  For additional assistance with entitling account holders to access MVPS/OEL applications, please contact the Office of Early Learning at oel@nysed.gov.

In addition to completing the application in MVPS, districts must submit one original and two copies of the FS-20 Proposed Budget Summary to the address provided in the application postmarked by Friday, July 28, 2017.  The FS-20 budget is not available for download via the Grants Finance website; it must be downloaded from the online application in MVPS.

Please note that the UPK application will not be processed until the FS-20 Budget is received.  A printed application mailed with the FS-20 Budget will not be accepted in place of the online submission of the application by the Superintendent.  

Questions pertaining to the content of the application may be directed to the Office of Early Learning at oel@nysed.gov.


New York State Prekindergarten Program Quality Assurance Protocol Word Document (318KB)

The New York State PreK Learning Standards were approved by the Board of Regents at their P-12 Education Committee Meeting on January 10, 2011.  More guidance regarding these PreK Standards will be forthcoming.  Thank you to all of you who provided feedback during the time of public comment. Your commitment to the field of early education is greatly appreciated.

Prekindergarten Learning Standards (external)


Half Day Pre-K/Kindergarten Scheduled Meal Service PDF icon (88KB)


NYSED Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition Tool

Building relationships, partnering and collaboration are extremely important to facilitate the transition of prekindergarten students to kindergarten.  This is a time of great change for children, parents, families and schools in which new relationships, new expectations and new competencies are being developed. The local school district should have a comprehensive plan for supporting its newest incoming students and their families as they transition into a K-12 system.

The checklist below will help to determine how complete your school district’s prekindergarten to kindergarten transition plan is. It may signal areas for improvement for your district to work on to ensure a positive start for young children in the school community.

NYSED Transition Tool Checklist PDF icon(232KB)


Full Day Prekindergarten Daily Schedule Samples:

Daily Schedule Sample 1PDF icon(47.3KB)

Daily Schedule Sample 2PDF icon(795KB)

Daily Schedule Sample 3PDF icon(103KB)

Daily Schedule Sample 4PDF icon(496KB)



Last Updated: February 8, 2018