Provide Early Childhood Care and Education Services

Beginning in 2019, all contracted birth-to-five early childhood care and education services will be managed by the Department of Education (DOE), including 3-K for All, Pre-K for All, and services that are currently part of EarlyLearn NYC. The DOE will procure services under new program models with the goals of increasing quality, equity, access, and sustainability.

The birth-to-five system of early care and education is designed to uphold a set of core values. In order to produce positive outcomes for children, families, and providers, the DOE seeks to: 

  • Provide children from birth to five years old with access to a high-quality early childhood program that is held accountable to and supported to meet high expectations of program quality.
  • Ensure a sustainable early care and education system that accurately reflects need across the city and sets up all programs for successful enrollment.
  • Value the expertise of program leaders, educators, staff, and families, and work together to meet community needs.
  • Promote socioeconomic and racial integration in early childhood classrooms.
  • Provide extended day, extended year services and robust family supports to the families that need them most.
  • Ensure leadership and teaching teams have the knowledge and skills they need to provide quality instruction to all children, and help programs continuously improve.

Request for Proposal (RFP) Process and Timeline

The DOE will release multiple Requests for Proposals (RFPs) during 2019 for all contracted birth-to-five early care and education services to begin in July or September 2020.

Two RFPs will be released in winter 2019, with proposals due in spring 2019. Proposals will be evaluated during spring and summer 2019, with award recommendations following in fall 2019 for contracts beginning in July 2020.

Winter 2019 RFPsSolicited Services
Birth-to-Five RFP
  • School day and year 3-K services for three-year-olds;
  • School day and year pre-K services for four-year-olds; and
  • Extended day and year services for eligible infants, toddlers, three-year-olds, and four-year-olds.
Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Early Head Start services for infants and toddlers; and
  • Head Start services for three-year-olds and four-year-olds.

The DOE is also planning to release an RFP for Family Child Care (FCC) Network providers in 2019. The FCC Network RFP will allow networks to propose the following services:

  • School day and year 3-K services for three-year-olds;
  • Extended day and year services for CCBG-eligible infants, toddlers, and three-year-olds;
  • Head Start services for three-year-olds.

As part of a separate and distinct process, Direct Head Start grantees (sites operating under a contract directly with the Federal Office of Head Start to serve three- and four-year-olds) will have the opportunity to apply for funds from the DOE via a future procurement to enhance their programming. Additional information on how these opportunities will be made available is forthcoming. 

RFP Preview

Review this RFP Preview to learn more about these upcoming RFPs. The preview outlines programmatic values, program models, supports and standards that will be a part of the DOE’s early childhood system in 2020 and beyond, as well as the RFP timelines and processes.

More information on which providers should plan to submit a proposal through this winter’s Birth-to-Five and/or Head Start/Early Head Start RFP can also be found in the RFP Preview. 

DOE Response to Commentary and Questions on RFP Preview

Since releasing the RFP Preview, the DOE has held round-table meetings and information sessions with hundreds of providers across the City, as well as briefings with our advisory groups, advocates, elected officials, and other key stakeholders. We also solicited written comments over a 30-day period. Throughout this process, we received questions and insights that have been invaluable in our RFP planning and design process. In this memo, we provide clarifications and responses to some of these questions and comments.

Clarification for Head Start Grantees and Delegates: Joint OHS and DOE Memo

The purpose of this joint memorandum is to provide clarification to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees and delegates in New York City on the DOE's Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to be released in early 2019 for all contracted birth-to-five early care and education services to begin in July or September 2020.

Following the release of the DOE’s RFP Preview, the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the DOE seek to clarify how these changes will impact Head Start (direct-funded and delegate) providers in New York City. We encourage all current and prospective Head Start providers to read the memo as they consider responding to upcoming RFPs.

Who Should Apply to the Winter 2019 RFPs?

The following providers will need to submit a proposal through this winter’s Birth-to-Five RFP and/or Head Start/Early Head Start RFP:

  • Current full-day DOE-contracted providers who wish to provide services in the 2020-21 school year and beyond.
    • Current 3-K and/or Pre-K for All contracts set to expire in June 2020 will not be further extended, and submitting a proposal to this winter’s RFPs will be the only way to continue services into the 2020-21 school year. 
    • Current full-day providers with contracts expiring in June 2021 or later are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal to this winter’s RFPs if they wish to continue services beyond the end date in their current contract. These providers do not need to submit proposals to these RFPs if they wish to continue their current services only through the end of their current contract. 
    • Current half-day providers wishing to continue their current half-day services will not be impacted by these RFPs.
  • Current EarlyLearn providers wishing to continue services into the 2020-21 school year.
    • Current EarlyLearn contracts will be extended through June 2020. 
    • EarlyLearn providers wishing to continue services beyond then will need to submit a proposal to this winter’s RFPs.
  • Current providers wishing to open new sites or add full-day services at a current half-day site.
  • Providers without a current ACS or DOE contract that would like to partner with DOE to provide any of the services listed above beginning in the 2020-21 school year.

In addition to consideration of applicants’ written proposals, which will be evaluated based on the Early Childhood Framework for Quality, providers will also be able to showcase their long-standing experience as high-quality early childhood providers through consideration of their history of demonstrated quality and effectiveness.

Proposal Preparation: Steps You Can Take Today

If you are planning to submit a proposal through this winter’s Birth-to-Five RFP and/or Head Start/Early Head Start RFP, you can begin to prepare now by taking the following steps:

  1. Continue thoughtful consideration of your future programming in relation to the program models outlined in the RFP Preview.
    • Providers are encouraged to consider the information outlined in the RFP Preview in planning the services that they may be interested in proposing through this winter’s RFPs.
  2. Create an account and become prequalified in HHS Accelerator.
    • We encourage providers interested in learning more about future RFPs to become prequalified in HHS Accelerator, the online platform through which proposals are submitted. Successfully completing the prequalification process will grant you access to information regarding all RFPs released by the DOE. Once the RFP is released, being prequalified will allow you to immediate access to all RFP-related documents.
    • Please note that becoming prequalified is not the same as applying to an RFP, but is a required first step. Please email if you have any questions about HHS Accelerator and prequalification.
  3. Create an account in the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort) and file all disclosure information.
    • All organizations intending to do business with the City of New York must complete a disclosure process to be considered for a contract. In order to complete this process, RFP proposers must create online accounts and file all disclosure information online through the PASSPort system at

Learn More & Stay Connected 

The DOE will continue to provide updates and engage the provider community around this Request for Proposal process.

Attend an information session to learn more about eligibility, timeline, process and the opportunity to partner with the DOE to increase the quality, equity, access, and sustainability of birth-to-five early childhood care and education services:

General Information Sessions

ManhattanMonday, March 4th, 20193pm-5pm52 Chambers Street, 2nd Floor Conference RoomRSVP now
Staten IslandWednesday, March 6th, 201911am-1pmMichael J. Petrides School, 715 Ocean Terrace, Building A. Room H-101RSVP now
BrooklynMonday, March 11th, 20191:30pm-3:30pm5619 Flatlands Avenue, Room 134RSVP now
BronxThursday, March 14th, 20199am-11amOne Fordham Plaza, Room 838RSVP now


Special Education Programs

4410 center-based providers may apply to one or more of these RFPs if they are interested in providing the specified services for their general education programs, including the general education seats in Preschool Special Classes in an Integrated Setting (SCIS). You are invited to learn more about these RFPs at the 4410 RFP Information Session listed below.

ManhattanFriday, March 1st, 20199:30am-11:30amDOHMH Building - DCAS - 125 Worth StreetRSVP now


Additional dates for information sessions will be added as they become available. We will also continue to provide updated information regarding RFP planning through this website. Please bookmark this page and check back often for updates.

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