September 9, 2019
Preschool is an important time for children’s development, social skills, and educational growth. The same is true for children with medically complex conditions and other special needs. This is why St. Mary’s Hospital for Children operates a 4410 State Education Department (SED) program for preschoolers on our Bayside campus. Our preschool is one of the few in the New York City region that is equipped to serve students who are medically fragile. Student eligibility is determined by the child’s local school district, through the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
Special Needs Preschool Services
The Early Education Department provides three programs for SED: the center-based preschool program, evaluation services and a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) program. Our preschool program, based in the Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Early Education Center, gives children who contend with medical conditions an opportunity to attend preschool in a safe and appropriate learning environment. Our students are able to access an engaging multimodal curriculum that is aligned to the New York State Preschool Foundation for the Common Core. Our teachers are experts in adapting the environment, instruction, and methodologies to make preschool accessible to our student population. Simultaneously, at the heart of preschool education, we work to promote independence to the extent of each student’s abilities.
Our program serves students residing in New York City and Nassau County. We offer self-contained class settings and students are grouped by the level of their abilities. Our multidisciplinary team includes teachers, assistant teachers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologist, social worker, school nurses and administrative staff. To be considered for placement at the school, students must work with their local school district to be evaluated for eligibility.
St. Mary’s Evaluation Services
The Early Education Department is also a New York State-approved provider of CPSE evaluation services. We assist families in navigating the evaluation process with their local school district. Our multi-disciplinary team then conducts evaluations in homes, day cares, or on our Bayside campus. The assessments help determine a child’s eligibility for educational services including related services including speech, occupational, physical, and vision therapy, Special Education Itinerant Teacher services, Counseling, or special education preschool placement. The Early Education Department currently offers monolingual, Spanish bilingual, and Chinese bilingual evaluations for CPSE.
Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEITs)
In addition, St. Mary’s is a provider of Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEITs) services. This program employs New York State certified special education teachers who work with young children with disabilities during their preschool years. SEITs work with preschoolers with an IEP in their schools or at home. The student population receiving SEIT services range from children who attend general education day care to children who receive services bedside due to their medical needs. For each child, our SEITs aim to support their development in the least restrictive environment possible by engaging students in a range of activities that help them to achieve the goals set out in their IEP. We offer SEIT services throughout New York City and Nassau.
If you would like to learn more about how St. Mary’s special needs preschool services could be right for you and your family, contact St. Mary’s Department of Early Education at 718-281-8767.