NEW YORK (PIX11) – Enrollment in New York City’s Summer Rising program for children opened Monday, and there’s a big change that parents need to know about.

The free program is available to all public school students from kindergarten through eighth grade. 

This year, the enrollment process is no longer on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, families will be asked to rank their program preferences.

Placement will be assigned with a focus on equity, prioritizing students who live in temporary housing and foster care, as well as children on a 12-month Individualized Education Program, students mandated for summer school, and those with a local connection to a school-year community-based organization program.

“I am thrilled to officially launch the enrollment portal for this year’s Summer Rising program, which will serve up to 110,000 NYC children. I’m proud that we are doubling down on our commitment to supporting our most vulnerable students, and am looking forward to yet another fun and enriching summer,” NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks said in a statement on Monday.

The application window will close on May 1. Parents can register on the Department of Education’s website. Placement will be announced about a week after the May 1 application window closes.