Early Childhood (Birth to 5 years)

Early Childhood (Birth – 5 yrs.)

At the heart of every dream for a child is the promise of an exceptional educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. regardless of ability. At Abilities First, we believe that in order for early childhood educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. to be exceptional, it must (a) prepare students for future educational success, (b) offer opportunities for children with special needs to be educated among their peers, and (c) account for individual difference between students in terms of developmental progress.  Our Preschool Programs meet all of the above criteria.

A young girl stares at an open picture book.

Evaluations for Preschool Special Education Services

The first step to accessing Special Educational Preschool services is to seek evaluations to determine if a child requires special services and if so, what those services should be. Abilities First conducts evaluations by a team of certified and licensed professionals including Special EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Teachers, Speech Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and sometimes other professionals.

The evaluation results in recommendations that could include only some educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. and therapy services or placement in a half day or full day Preschool Program. Actual placement decisions are made by the child’s home school district Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)Each public school district has a CPSE that makes decisions about preschool special education services such as placement and individualized plans and goals. All children that attend Abilities First Preschool are referred by their home school district’s CPSE.... More.

A man holds a baby girl on an exercise ball.

Preschool Related Services

When it is determined that a child does not need a regular half day or full day Special EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Preschool Program but does need some educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. or therapy services, this is called Preschool Related Services. The kind and frequency of services is determined by the child’s home school district CPSE. Abilities First delivers these services in one of our specialized facilities.

Center-Based Special Education Pre-School

Children who require a program that is highly specialized to address learning, social, behavioral and other developmental needs may attend a Center-Based Special EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Preschool. Abilities First offers this service in Wappingers Falls where classrooms are either eight (8) or twelve (12) students with a Special Educational Teacher, Teacher AssistantAn assistant to a special education teacher. This staff member helps prepare lessons and sometimes delivers material to students under the supervision of the Special Education Teacher. and Teacher Aides.

In addition to classroom learning, many students also receive specialized therapies as part of this program, including but not limited to Speech Language TherapyEvaluation, diagnosis and intervention used to help people overcome challenges to communication, including but not limited to pragmatics, literacy, voice difficulties and cognitive effects on communication.... More, Occupational TherapyProfessional assessment and interventions used to help people develop and maintain essential skills needed for independence and self-sufficiency. and Physical TherapyProfessional assessment and intervention used to help people develop and maintain physical control and mobility.. This facility includes a 1,300 square foot state-of-the-art sensory gym. Placement decisions for the Abilities First Center Based Special Educational Preschool are made by each child’s home school district Committee on Special EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Preschool (CPSE).

A woman helps two young girls learn Spanish.

Integrated Preschools

Some students needing special educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. services may be recommended for integrated programs, which means students receive special educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. and therapy services in a setting with students who do not receive special educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. services.

Abilities First offers this kind of Preschool Services in two locations: Poughkeepsie (Head Start) and Hyde Park (Universal Pre-K). In these settings, students with and without disabilities benefit from interaction with each other and develop healthy attitudes about disabilityA traditional term that generally means a person has a condition that makes it difficult for them to do things that those without disabilities can do. While we try to minimize use of this term because it emphasizes people’s limitations rather than strengths, it is sometimes necessary for diagnostic and funding purposes.... More issues. Placement decisions for Integrated Special EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Preschool placements are made by each child’s home school district.

Placement in the regular education component of the Poughkeepsie Program is made through Astor Services Head Start Program. Placement in the regular education Hyde Park Program is made through the Hyde Park Central School District (www.HPCSD.org).

Locations

Dutchess County

Abilities First Integrated Preschool in Poughkeepsie
In partnership with Astor Services For Children & Families Head Start Program

50 Delafield Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-1707
Phone: (845) 452-4167
Abilities First Preschool at Myers Corners
167 Meyers Corners Road
Suite 104, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Phone: (845) 298-2090

Abilities First Integrated Universal Pre-K in Hyde Park
In partnership with Hyde Park Central School District

Hyde Park Elementary School
4327 Albany Post Rd
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Phone: (845) 298-2090 ext. 104

Abilities First Preschool at Cornwall

340 Hudson St
Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY 12520

Note: All Abilities First Pre-School Programs are free of charge for students who qualify. Transportation is also provided.

For additional information about Abilities First Preschool and UPK Programs see our Frequently Asked Questions or call Leann Coyle at 298-2090 ext. 104.