- Students Ages 0 - 26
- Early Childhood
- Students with Disabilities
- Students Facing Disciplinary Issues
- Immigrant Students & English Language Learners
- Students Involved in the Child Welfare System
- Youth Involved in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems
- Students in Temporary Housing
- Students Attending Charter Schools
Call AFC's Education Helpline
Monday to Thursday
10 am to 4 pm
Who We Serve
Advocates for Children of New York (AFC)’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.
- 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.
- Joseph's adoptive mother came to AFC extremely worried about moving Joseph from a full-day, full-year, specialized preschool program to no program at all. Click here to read Joseph’s story.
- To read additional success stories, click here.
Guides & Resources
- Early Intervention Brochure
This Early Intervention Brochure provides information on evaluations and services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and to their families. Learn about the available services, how to apply, and your rights through AFC’s Early Intervention Brochure.
- Early Intervention Guide
Whether you are considering Early Intervention (EI) services for your child or your child already receives EI services, this guide will provide you with information about your rights and your child’s rights.
- Guide to Preschool Special Education Services
This guide explains how you can help your preschool child receive services to address a developmental delay or disability. Read about the services available, step-by-step instructions for requesting services, and your rights.
- Related Services for Preschool Students (also available in Spanish)
This fact sheet explains the process for assigning a related services provider and what to do if related services are not in place.
- Kindergarten Admissions: A Guide for Families of Children Born in 2009
This guide explains the kindergarten admissions process and answers frequently asked questions.
- Turning 5: A Guide to the Transition from Preschool Special Education to Kindergarten (also available in Spanish)
This guide provides a detailed overview of all you need to know when transitioning from preschool special education to kindergarten.
- Kindergarten Placement for Students with IEPs
This fact sheet discusses the kindergarten placement process for students with IEPs and answers frequently asked questions.
Trainings and Workshops
Click here if you are interested in scheduling an early childhood education training.
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.
- Developmental Milestones for Young Children
- New York City Early Intervention Program
- New York State Early Intervention Program
- NYC Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program
- NYC EarlyLearn, Head Start, and Child Care Programs
- NYC Kindergarten Information for Students with Disabilities
- NYC Kindergarten Information for All Students