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Julian’s Story

Julian is a 3-year-old preschooler with delays in his language skills, but the DOE failed to provide recommended services.

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Who We Serve

Early Childhood

Early Childhood: Children Ages 0-5

Advocates for Children of New York’s Early Childhood Education 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 students 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 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 helps 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 success stories.

Community Education
AFC develops informational 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 Project advocates for the expansion of quality early learning programs for children from low-income families through participation in coalitions, analysis of proposed regulations and legislation, testimony at public hearings, 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®.

For more guides and resources, please visit our resource library.

Developmental Milestones (also available in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and Chinese)
A chart that lists developmental milestones (physical, cognitive, communication, and social-emotional) for children from ages 2 months to 3 years.

Early Intervention Brochure (also available in Spanish)
This brochure provides an overview of services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities.   

Early Intervention Guide (also available in Spanish)
This guide provides detailed information about Early Intervention (EI), including evaluations, available services, how to apply, and your rights as a parent.

Early Childhood Education Programs: A Guide to Public Education Programs for 3 and 4 Year Olds (also available in Spanish, Bengali, and Chinese)
This guide provides information on free/low-cost early childhood programs in New York City, including Pre-K for All, 3-K, EarlyLearn NYC, and Head Start. 

Guide to Preschool Special Education Services (also available in Spanish, Bengali, and Chinese)
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, Arabic, Bengali, and Chinese)
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 2019 
(also available in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and Chinese)
This guide explains the kindergarten admissions process and answers frequently asked questions. 

Transition to Kindergarten: A Guide for Students with Disabilities 
(also available in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, and Chinese)
This guide provides a detailed overview of all you need to know when transitioning from preschool special education to kindergarten.

Policy Work

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

  • Campaign for Children
    For many children in low-income, working families in New York City, 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 New York City schools.
  • Raising NY
    Raising NY is a diverse state-wide coalition dedicated to advancing policies that support infants, toddlers, and their families during the first critical years of life, and increasing the number of children who are on track for school readiness.
  • 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