Universal Prekindergarten


Universal Prekindergarten Guidance


UPK Implementation Information


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)


Mealtimes in Pre-K Classrooms

Guidelines for Pre-K Instructional Mealtime PDF icon (58 KB)

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


Additional Scheduling Considerations

Guidelines for Supporting Toilet Learning (pdf. 66 KB)

Guidelines for Nap Time for Prekindergarten Students (Word Doc. 51 KB)



Reporting to NYSED

MVPS Quick Guide (pdf. 342 KB)

2020-2021 Guidance on Reporting Pre-K Children in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS) (pdf. 252 KB)


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

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.


Prekindergarten Collaboration Requirement (pdf)

The purpose of this memo is to remind school districts receiving state funding for Pre-K of the collaboration requirement and to discuss the implications for districts.


Health and Safety Checklist for Prekindergarten

Guidance Memo - PreK Health and Safety Checklist (pdf)

Health and Safety Checklist for PreK (Word Doc.)


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

The Quality Assurance Protocol has been developed to help ensure comprehensive and consistent monitoring of program quality in providers of full-day prekindergarten programs pursuant to New York State Education Law Section 3602-e and 3602-ee. While this document is intended for use by program monitors, it may be used by school districts and individual entities as a self-assessment tool and to assist in preparing for a smooth monitoring visit. The purpose of the Quality Assurance Protocol is to engage prekindergarten program providers in creating and maintaining a high-quality prekindergarten program, and to be used as an ongoing tool by the Department for technical assistance and support.



Best Practices

Integrated Instruction PDF icon

Integrated instruction provides meaningful learning experiences. If learning is meaningful, students are more likely to be engaged. An integrated curriculum allows students multiple opportunities to apply the skills they are learning. A curriculum that addresses multiple standards across content areas can help to alleviate the feeling that there is not enough time. Our Prekindergarten Professional Development Needs Survey indicated a strong interest in integrating all domains of early learning.  This resource provides an overview of integrated instruction, a topic that is applicable to all grade levels.


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


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 Planning Tool to Support Effective Transitions from Prekindergarten to Kindergarten below will help to determine how complete the school district’s or program’s prekindergarten to kindergarten transition plan is. It may signal areas for improvement for the district or program and areas to work on to ensure a positive start for young children transitioning into the school community.

Transition Tools (Updated 2020)



Prekindergarten Staffing Requirments

Memo: Pre-K Staffing Requirement (Word Doc. 38 KB)

The Office of Early Learning frequently receives questions from school districts and community-based organizations on the Pre-K staff coverage requirements. The above memo provides clarification regarding the staff coverage requirements for prekindergarten (Pre-K) classrooms operated under State-Administered Pre-K grant programs.


Prekindergarten Curriculum Guidance

Memo: Prekindergarten Curriculum Guidance (Word Doc. 251 KB )

The Office of Early Learning frequently receives questions from school districts and community-based organizations on curriculum for prekindergarten programs.  The above link provides an overview of the instructional cycle, defines evidence-based curriculum, and provides criteria that may be considered when selecting or developing curriculum for prekindergarten programs.


Guidance for School Districts Operating Pre-K Programs for Three Year Olds (.pdf)

This guide is intended to assist administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals in differentiating instruction for three-year-old students from that for four-year-old students.


A Resource to Special Education Support Services (pdf. 22 MB)

Use this guide to navigate the special education system for children from birth to third grade. It includes an overview of the Early Intervention Program (EIP) and programs and services available to preschool children and school age students with disabilities in New York State.  Some children who have diagnosed conditions, or disabilities that are medical, physical, develop-mental or psychological may need more support to progress in one or more developmental areas.


Planning for High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs  (.pdf)

Planning for High-Quality Prekindergarten Programs reflects the commitment of the New York State Education Department to continue to work toward increasing the availability of high-quality prekindergarten programs. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to those responsible for planning and implementing prekindergarten programs for three- and four-year old children. It provides a framework for teachers and others who work with young children to create environments and develop curricula, instruction, and assessment strategies that support children as learners. It is based on the recognition that teachers need many and varied opportunities to nurture and refine their craft in order to respond effectively to the diverse needs of the children with whom they will interact during their teaching careers.


School-Age Child Care Programs Located in Public School Buildings

Suspension and Expulsion of Preschool Children



Master Trainers for the Pyramid Model Partnership

The New York State Education Department is one of the members of a State Leadership Team created to provide support to the early childhood field on an evidence-based framework – The Pyramid Model Program -  designed to build a child’s social and emotional competence and reduce a child’s challenging behaviors in early childhood educational settings. The State Leadership Team is currently seeking master trainers from across the State to be a part of the implementation of this model. 

This master cadre of trainers will receive 10 days of professional training on the Pyramid Model modules and would be required to commit to providing 15 days of training per year for at least 3 years for center directors, principals, teacher supervisors, early childhood coaches, family support supervisors, and others across the State.

Interested candidates please click on the links below for further details.

Overview of the Goals of the Pyramid Model Program

Letter of Invitation

Applicant Commitment Form

Employer Support Agreement Form

Serving Pre-K Children in Temporary Housing Information



Blue Ribbon Committee Report

The New York State Board of Regents is engaged in an effort to better align the State's early care, preschool and early childhood educational policies and create a comprehensive plan to ensure that all children in New York State get a healthy start from birth, become ready for Kindergarten, stay on track to graduate from high school, and are successful in life. To this end, in 2017 the Board of Regents Early Childhood Workgroup established a Blue Ribbon Committee of over 60 national and State experts who have developed recommendations to address early care and education in New York. 

The following Report, under the direction of the New York State Board of Regents Early Childhood Workgroup, reflects a deliberate and comprehensive process designed to give all children in our State the fairness of an even start.

ECBRC Final Report 2018 (pdf)


Last Updated: October 19, 2020