- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says 68,547 children are now enrolled in free, full-day pre-kindergarten classes, up from 65,504 in September.

De Blasio also announced Friday that the pre-K application process for next fall will start Jan. 25. That’s more than a month earlier than in past years. Families will receive offer letters at the beginning of May.

De Blasio said an assessment of the pre-K program using two different scoring systems found that New York City’s program compares favorably to other nationally recognized pre-K programs.

Universal pre-K was de Blasio’s signature issue when he ran for mayor two years ago. He said the assessment data show it’s been a success.

The mayor said pre-K “is now part of the lives of tens out thousands of children.”

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