Early Childhood Education

By the age of two, affluent children learn 30% more words than children from low-income homes. To help bridge this achievement gap, PAL’S Early Learn program encourages children and their families to increase the hours they spend reading together. Last year Early Learn families read (and loved) a total of 7,500 books.

PAL has been providing vital Early Childhood education to New York City families for more than 40 years. Integrating Head Start Programs, Daycare and Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs, Early Childhood Education is designed to address each child’s individual strengths and needs, giving them a strong cognitive foundation prior to entering kindergarten. PAL provides inclusion opportunities for children with disabilities.  Qualified early education professionals ensure that children are given the best learning experiences coupled with fun developmental opportunities through dance and music.

Participants have shown increased school readiness, increased family literacy and improved social skills. The 6 Early Childhood Education Centers throughout Brooklyn and Queens currently serve more than 548 children ages 2 through 5, providing them and their families with educational assistance, social services, and physical and mental health support.  PAL Early Childhood Education programs operate throughout the year. Children are provided a healthy breakfast, lunch and one snack daily. The department also participates in an “Eat Well, Play Hard” initiative, which focuses on eating healthy foods and being physically active for children and their families.

Parents seeking Early Education Opportunities in the PAL Program should complete the attached form.                                         A team member for the department will contact prospective family to determine eligibility for the program.


Special initiative:

The “Bridging the Achievement Gap” Literacy program focuses on developing and improving literacy skills for children and families, as well as increasing the vocabulary of the children.  Each child is required to read a minimum of 15 books per year from the center’s lending library. 

Each classroom teacher chooses a “Book of the Month” from the lending library, and each child gets a copy of the book to take home to read with his or her family.  The teachers also read the book in the classroom to the children and incorporate the book into the Monthly Lesson Plan.  The children are encouraged to participate in activities such as drawing pictures related to the book, and telling the story from the book in “show and tell” sessions in the classroom. The teacher also chooses a “Word of the Month” from the book, highlighting it in classroom activities and in the Monthly Lesson Plan.