City leaders are encouraging parents to get their child into pre-k programs before the March 4 deadline.

Some elected officials toured University Settlement Pre-K in Chinatown on Friday to highlight the services and classes that the program offers.

Parents of children born in 2012 can apply for free, full day programs at Department of Education Pre-K Centers, city public schools, Early Education Centers, and some charter schools.

Educators say pre-k programs give kids better chances at success in the future.

"We do the A-B-C's and we do the 1-2-3's, but it's really about you and me and how we interact as social people that will set them on the path for success in kindergarten and beyond," said Melissa Aasey, the executive director of University Settlement Pre-K.

Parents can apply for pre-k programs in person at any Family Welcome Center, or online at