The Kennedy Children's Center assists children who are experiencing significant delays in critical areas of early childhood development. These areas include:

  • cognition and learning
  • speech and communication
  • mobility
  • daily living skills
  • behavior
  • social interaction

Our programs provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating child-centered learning environment that offers ample opportunity for young children to explore and learn. Our comprehensive programs also include nutritious meals, social services and medical support. Since our establishment in 1958, we have continually sought to make a difference in the lives of young children undergoing major difficulties in early childhood.

CPSE Evaluations

KCC provides multidisciplinary CPSE evaluations in English or Spanish to children from 2.5 years old to 4.5 years old. These evaluations are provided at no cost for children with a suspected developmental delay who have prior approval from the NYC Department of Education.

The following resources provide general guidelines for early childhood development. You can use these guidelines if you suspect your child is not developing at the same rate as most other children his or her age:

Kennedy Child Study Center Evaluation Brochure (click here for Spanish)

First Signs

CDC: Act Early

If your child’s development does not seem to follow these guidelines, discuss your concerns with your pediatrician. If you or your doctor believe that your child is exhibiting atypical development or delays, you are entitled to have him or her professionally evaluated, at no cost to you. An evaluation is the first step to gaining eligibility for government-funded special education and therapeutic services. Seeking an evaluation as soon as possible will allow your child to receive the support he or she needs at an early age, when intervention will be most effective. 

Throughout the evaluation process, our staff will work with you to answer your questions and assure that your needs are addressed. We will accompany you to meetings with the New York City Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) to help determine your child’s eligibility for services and develop an individualized plan of appropriate services for your child.

If you have questions or would like information about referring your child for an evaluation or services, please contact our Intake Department at (212) 988-9500 ext. 294 or You can learn more about KCC's special education preschool program and related services here.

Special Education Preschool

Our preschool is for children from 2.9 to 5 years of age who have been determined as having a significant delay in one or more areas of development.


We focus on purposeful play and learning experiences that invite participation, encourage social and emotional relationships, and engage the senses that help children explore their environment.

Classes are small, either 8 or 12 children, and are led by NY State certified early childhood special education teachers and two teacher assistants. Goals are aligned with the NY State Pre-kindergarten Foundation for the Common Core. This allows us to differentiate instruction as needed while ensuring that all children are held to the same high standards and expectations as children without developmental delays.

If you are a resident of Manhattan or the Bronx and are interested in special education preschool services for your child, you can contact us here.

Related Therapy Services

KCC provides Related Therapy Services that include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech-Language Therapy, and Counseling services.

These services are open to children age 2.9 to 5.0 years old who meet the eligibility requirements for therapy set by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), following an initial evaluation and on the basis of ongoing annual assessments. KCC provides related therapy services to nearly 400 preschoolers each year. If you have questions about related therapy services at KCC, you can contact us here.

Family Support and Medicaid Service Coordination

Families caring for a child with developmental delays are confronted with many challenges. They may struggle to access appropriate care and educational resources. KCC provides preschool families, parents and caregivers with support, training and information on topics such as autism and the transition to kindergarten.

In Medicaid Service Coordination, children ages three through their early teen years and their families receive assistance in accessing, monitoring and coordinating services.

Social workers and Medicaid Service Coordinators also provide information, referrals and coordination of services in many areas, including:

  • parent education
  • child nutrition
  • housing and health care
  • access to legal and other social services in the community
  • advocacy for appropriate resources and services

Prior approval from the NY State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is necessary for Medicaid Service Coordination.

If you are a resident of Manhattan or the Bronx with prior approval from OPWDD are are interested in Medicaid Service Coordination for your child, you can contact us here.