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Universal Pre-K is coming to Long Island schools

New York Governor Kathy Hochul
Kevin P. Coughlin
Office of the New York State Governor
New York Governor Kathy Hochul visits a pre-K class at Chestnut Street School in West Hempstead on June 15, 2022 to tout investments in early childhood education.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul visited Long Island Wednesday to promote early childhood education initiatives in this year's state budget. Universal pre-K programs across the state will get a $125 million boost.

About $27 million of that will be funneled to Long Island schools to set up new universal pre-K programs or expand existing ones. That will open up pre-K to about 4,200 children across Nassau and Suffolk counties, according to Hochul.

“The quality of education is critically important here," Hochul said at Chestnut Street School in West Hempstead, where she met the school’s inaugural pre-K class. "And the cost of living is high. So we've tried to relieve the burden on Long Island parents who can't afford many times to pay for private pre-K, or pay for childcare.”

She said investments in early childhood education are critical for areas with a high cost of living, like Long Island.

The announcement comes amid a flurry of other measures meant to combat rising costs, including a gas tax holiday and property tax credits.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.