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.

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.

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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 Program

Our Family Support Program, overseen by our Director of Family Services, is dedicated to providing support and training for parents and caregivers to help meet the unique demands of raising a child with special needs. We provide parents with opportunities to participate in their child’s education, help them understand their child’s needs, and support them through their parenting journey.

We host family workshops in English and Spanish on a range of topics, including
educational advocacy, behavior management, toilet training, transitioning to kindergarten, speech and communication, sensory integration, and resources for
children with disabilities. There is also specialized training for parents of children with autism. Our workshops are led by KCC staff or by outside agencies including Synergia, Ramapo for Children, and YAI.

Our Family Support Coordinators help parents with individual needs, referrals to community resources, and an array of special disability services and benefits. FSCs also provide assistance when it is time for Turning Five parents to apply for Kindergarten.