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ERIC Number: ED473929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Taking a Giant Step: A Case Study of New York City's Efforts to Implement Universal Pre-Kindergarten Services. Working Paper Series.
Gatenio, Shirley
This working paper examines why Project Giant Step, a well-received policy initiative for universal preschool for 4-year-olds in New York City, was discontinued after overcoming many of the challenges it faced. Project Giant Step forced collaboration between large public agencies differing in their institutional structures, funding sources, and service delivery systems and involved a well-developed half-day curriculum, state-of-the-art equipment, and the use of family workers to maximize parental involvement and the provision of family support services. This paper explores the reasons universal prekindergarten was introduced, the goals of New York City Mayor Koch's initiatives, the process by which it was implemented, and the economic, political, racial, and personal reasons for the program's termination under a new mayoral administration. Based on conclusions drawn from the case study, the following observations are offered for consideration in the development of new prekindergarten programs: (1) a city's infrastructure must have the ability to absorb proposed changes; (2) policy implementation does not follow neatly prescribed, sequential steps; (3) external and internal support throughout the phases of implementation is critical; (4) because public policy development is complicated by interlocking goals, the public needs to be reminded of policy goals throughout the process; and (5) policy change is incremental and typically spreads over a number of years. Three appendices summarize Mayor Koch's Early Childhood Education Commission recommendations for universal preschool, graphically portray the institutions influencing Project Giant Step, and delineate the individuals interviewed for this report. (Contains 44 references.) (KB)
Foundation for Child Development, 145 32nd Street, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10016-6055. Tel: 212-213-8337; Fax: 212-213-5897; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Foundation for Child Development, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)