THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
Section 3602-e of Education Law defines an "eligible child" for UPK programs as a child who resides within a UPK participating school district who is four years of age on or before December 1st or otherwise eligible to attend kindergarten the following school year.
UPK is a voluntary program open to all four year olds as defined above in the district. No preference can be given to children who are from families that are disadvantaged. Children must be selected on a random basis when there are more children that can be served in a given year.
Consequently, since children in these programs are not primarily from families with household incomes at or below poverty, UPK programs are not automatically eligible for free meal benefits. Children with direct certification letters or approved income applications on file would be eligible for free or reduced price benefits.
Do not hesitate to call 518-473-8781 if you have questions on UPK eligibility.