BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON
City officials announced the latest steps to ensure that every “Pre-K for All” site meets the highest health and safety standards. As of Aug. 13, there are zero unresolved health violations in the most serious category at any Pre-K for All site.
All new pre-K sites have been subject to a rigorous approval process and inspection by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Buildings and Fire Department. Returning sites receive annual inspections, with follow-up inspections if violations are discovered. The Department of Education also conducts walk-through inspections of pre-K sites in the lead up to the first day of school to check for education preparedness as well as health and safety concerns.
In order to allow for such rigorous inspection, safety and quality control were dedicated in this year’s adopted budget. The Health Department, Fire Department, Department of Design and Construction, the Department of Buildings and the Department of Education were collectively able to bolster their pre-K-dedicated staff to over 400 inspectors.
“The safety and security of our students is always our top priority and we’ve left no stone unturned in ensuring that every pre-K site is ready for the first day of school – both in its ability to give our 4-year-olds the high-quality educational foundation they need to thrive in kindergarten and beyond, and in meeting our high safety and health standards,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.