A school district that is operating a prekindergarten (PreK) program must follow uniform quality standards for PreK classrooms located in both school buildings and community-based organization (CBO) sites. The school district must ensure that facilities that house its PreK program are safe for the children in the program.
Subpart 151-1 of 8 NYCRR requires that:
- School districts conduct at a minimum one site visit to settings where the PreK program will be located prior to contracting for services;
- All buildings, premises, equipment, and furnishings used for PreK be safe and suitable for comfort and care of children and comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and be in good repair and sanitation;
- Except for NYC, buildings and classrooms on, and off, district grounds and operated by the school district meet NYS fire and building codes;
- Buildings and classrooms operated by eligible agencies meet all applicable fire and building codes and requirements of State or local licensing or registering agency; and
- School districts monitor compliance by collaborating CBOs with all fiscal and program requirements, assess student progress in the prekindergarten program, and shall correct any identified deficiencies.
To assist school districts in fulfilling these obligations, the Office of Early Learning has developed a Health and Safety Checklist. School districts are encouraged to complete this checklist for each of its PreK sites annually, at a minimum. School districts may revise the checklist to include additional items that are relevant to its specific partnership(s). In addition, districts should develop plans to ensure that identified deficiencies are corrected and documented.
Questions regarding this field memo may be directed to the Office of Early Learning by email at OEL@nysed.gov or by phone at (518) 474-5807.