THE BRONX - Applications to enroll children in the city's much sought after pre-kindergarten program are now available online, and education officials say the process is easier than ever.

The city has released a standardized application ? currently available online in only English ? and at program locations. The forms are due April 18, and parents will have until the end of May to accept or decline admissions.

In earlier years, deadlines and applications varied from school to school, leaving some parents hustling to get their children admitted.

New York state is the first in the nation to offer fully funded pre-K. Thousands of children are expected to register for the program this year. Many parents say they can't afford to leave work early to pick up their kids, leading to high demand for all-day pre-kindergarten.

Every child who turns 4 by the end of this year is eligible to enroll in pre-K.

Application form