ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) – Governor Cuomo announced $15 million in funding is available to establish pre-kindergarten programs in high-need school districts across New York.

A preference in funding will be provided to high-need school districts that do not currently have a State funded pre-k program.

"Every child deserves a quality education beginning at the earliest stages, and this critical funding will help ensure students in the most vulnerable communities have access to the programs they need to succeed,"Governor Cuomo said."By making these smart investments in our students, we are investing in our state's future and helping to build a stronger New York for all."

In 2013, Governor Cuomo created the first state-funded full-day pre-kindergarten seats, and in 2015, New York expanded pre-kindergarten to serve three-year-olds for the first time. New York's commitment to pre-kindergarten is now over $800 million annually, serving more than 120,000 three and four-year-old students each year, and universal pre-kindergarten is free for families.