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Read Gabriel's Story

Gabriel needed an appropriate placement and special education services for kindergarten.

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Who We Serve

Early Childhood

Early Childhood

Advocates for Children of New York’s Early Childhood Project provides individual case assistance, community education, and policy advocacy to improve access to early childhood education for low-income children (ages 0–5) so that children can enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.  The first five years of children’s lives have a profound impact on their education and future.  Studies show that at-risk children who participate in high-quality preschool programs are dramatically less likely to be retained a grade in school, be placed in special education classes, drop out of high school, or depend on public benefits.  AFC launched its Early Childhood Project to help parents with young children access these vital services at the time when they can have the greatest impact.

Individual Case Assistance
The Early Childhood Education Project provides case consultation and, when possible, legal representation at school hearings and mediations to help parents secure appropriate early intervention, preschool, and kindergarten placements and services. Read some of our recent success stories.

Community Education
The Early Childhood Project develops materials and provides workshops regarding early intervention, preschool special education, and the transition to kindergarten for families, service providers, case managers, attorneys, and advocates.

Policy Advocacy 
The Early Childhood Project advocates to help strengthen and expand quality early childhood education programs for at-risk 0-5-year-olds through participation in coalitions, analysis of proposed regulations and legislation, testimony at public hearings, development of informational materials, and education of policymakers and their staff. 

Guides & Resources

Note: The following resources are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

Task Forces & Coalitions

AFC’s staff are members of many task forces and coalitions that focus on improving education and pushing for education reform, including:

  • Campaign for Children
    For many children in low-income, working families in NYC, subsidized child care programs are the only opportunity to participate in early childhood education programs.  To protect funding for critical child care and after-school programs, AFC is a proud member of the Campaign for Children. 
  • ARISE Coalition - Turning 5 Committee
    The Turning 5 Committee of the ARISE Coalition works to improve the complex process of transitioning from preschool special education to kindergarten in NYC.
  • Winning Beginning New York
    Winning Beginning NY is a statewide coalition working to inform policy makers and the public about the many benefits of early care and learning.  AFC co-chairs the Early Intervention subgroup. 

Helpful Websites