Mayor Martin J. Walsh named a 27-member task force Tuesday to recommend ways to double the enrollment of 4-year-olds in high-quality preschool programs across Boston by 2018.
The Universal Pre-Kindergarten Advisory Committee will examine how to increase capacity within the city’s school system as well as in the private sector to accomplish the mayor’s goal.
About 6,000 4-year-olds live in Boston. But the school system can only accommodate about 2,200 of them in its pre-kindergarten programs, popularly known as K1, even after adding 100 seats for this coming fall.
Many other 4-year-olds attend private programs of varying quality, while 25 percent of the city’s 4-year-olds do not attend any preschool.
“Pre-kindergarten programs ensure that all students start kindergarten ready to learn,” Walsh said in a statement, following the announcement at the Patrick Kennedy Elementary School in East Boston. “Rather than spend time on remediation in education, we are investing in our youngest students to lay the groundwork for their long-term success and the long-term prosperity of Boston.”
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