Kennedy Children’s Center (KCC) is dedicated to providing high quality education services to young children with developmental delays in partnership with families and communities.

We accomplish this through child-centered, evidence-based instruction that prepares each student to enter the New York City public school system in the least restrictive environment possible. In addition, we seek to support families with training, guidance and advocacy, and strengthen our school community through professional development and collaborations with local human service organizations.

As a publicly funded nonprofit organization, KCC serves public school children who are placed in our program by their local New York City Department of Education school districts. KCC is:

•         Approved by New York State Education Department (NYSED) as a Special Education Preschool.

•         Approved by New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) as a Day Care provider.

•         Incorporated in New York State and registered as a 501c3 charitable organization with the IRS.

•         Accredited by the Better Business Bureau through the BBB Accredited Charity Seal program

•         An affiliated agency of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

KCC’s services are offered free of charge to all eligible families. We offer special education preschool; related therapy services (including speech, occupational and physical therapy); and family support programming.

We reach over 400 children ages 3-5 annually through these programs, which operate at our sites in Manhattan and the Bronx. Nearly 40% of our students are bilingual, more than 50% present characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and more than 85% qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunch.

 A speech therapist practices enunciation with a student c. 1967

A speech therapist practices enunciation with a student c. 1967

Established in 1958, the Kennedy Children's Center has a proud legacy as one of the first schools in the nation committed to providing high quality education services to young children with special needs.

KCC was founded through a grant given to the Archdiocese of New York by Rose and Joseph Kennedy in memory of their son, Lieutenant Joseph Kennedy, Jr., for whom the agency is named. The center was initially a small school for primary grade children, located at 151 East 67th Street.

Today, our focus is on our special education preschool program, which is offered free of charge to eligible families at locations in Manhattan and the Bronx. Using evidence-based teaching practices and the latest advances in special education, including the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, our team of professional teachers, therapists and early childhood specialists provide a world-class education tailored to the unique needs of our students. Under the sponsorship of our affiliate,  Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Kennedy Children's Center continues to fill a critical gap in New York City education.


The Kennedy Children's Center is led  by a talented group of professionals who bring years of experience in education and nonprofit management to our agency – as well as a passion to help young children and their families.

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I’ve always been drawn to children with special needs. I had a bunch of stuffed animals when I was a kid, and I’d sit them in rows and pretend to be their teacher. There was one bear named Moscow who had a broken eye and ripped ear, and I’d always make sure that the other animals were especially nice to him. So I knew early on that I wanted to be a special education teacher.
— Jeanne Alter, Executive Director in her interview with Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York

Jeanne Alter - Executive Director

Kristy Chau - Education Director: Manhattan

Carolyn Cleveland - Director of Operations and Communications

Tristan Dulangon - Director of Clinical Services: OT/PT

Geraldo Feliciano - Education Director: Bronx

Khadija Grant - Curriculum Director

Nancy Hirsch - Director of Family Services

Brigid McCrory - Curriculum Director

Mary McKillop - Associate Executive Director

Victorio Milian - Human Resources Consultant

Bhupendra Shah - Director of Finance

Joe Spanberger - Director of Information Technologies (IT)



The Board of Directors is comprised of an active group of volunteers who provide their time and talents to oversee the work of the Kennedy Children's Center. The Board’s responsibilities include determining KCC’s mission and purposes, developing agency resources, assessing the agency's management, and advancing KCC’s public image and standing.

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It is an honor and a privilege to act as Chair to one of the first special education schools in the country. Sixty years after its establishment, the Kennedy Children’s Center remains at the top of the field in early childhood special education.
— Michael O'Conor, Chairman of the Board

Michael O'Conor, Chair

Ju Nie Thong, Vice-Chair

Kenneth Lohsen, Treasurer

Melissa Salerno, Secretary

Randolph Amengual

Shahrzad Amirani

Joseph Gannon

John Gibbons

Adam Goldstein

Andrew Kraus

Donna Stockinger-Kraus

Catherine Lenihan

Lawrence F. McGovern

Clara Ornes

Michael O'Shaughnessy

Dr. Pola Rosen

Peter Shea

Madalena N. Sheehan-Clausen

The Reverend Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

Marina Vannucci

Additional Information:

2017 Annual Report

2015-16 Form 990