First Foot Forward

First Foot Forward

Celebrating Our 27th Year of Serving Preschool Children with Special Needs Are you concerned about your child’s speech development, play skills, attention span, sensory issues and/or general development? If yes, then call the professionals at First Foot Forward! First Foot Forward is dedicated to assisting children 2.6 to 5 years of age with developmental needs. Our individualized curriculum allows children to reach their full potential in a warm, nurturing environment.

Classes and related services are available at two JCC locations:
Bernikow JCC, 1466 Manor Road • Avis/South Shore JCC, 1297 Arthur Kill Road
*Funding is provided through city and state funds.

Jayne Smith, Director of Early Childhood Education Services
Tanya Laughlin, FFF Coordinator- Bernikow/Avis
Stephanie Prasenski, ECE Coordinator/Avis


First Foot Forward specializes in helping children with:

  • Speech/Language Delays
  • Socialization Concerns
  • Developmental Delays
  • Poor Motor Skills
  • Sensory Needs
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
    To receive services, children need to be evaluated by an approved evaluation site. Our team of certified professionals can evaluate your child at no cost to you.

What does First Foot Forward offer?

  • Classroom Settings*
    Individualized Instruction in:
    – Small Center based or Integrated Settings
    – Half or Full Day
    – 10 or 12 Month
  • Evaluations*
  • Therapy*
    – speech
    – occupational
    – physical
    – counseling

Additional Services:

  • Weekly Movement, Music & Swim Experiences
  • Parent Support Groups
  • Mainstreaming Opportunities
  • Door to Door Transportation
  • Smart Table Technology
  • Related Services*
    – Therapy is provided around your child’s preschool schedule.

What else should I know?

  • Program eligibility is recommended by the Department of Education’s Committee on Preschool Special Education based upon the individual needs of your child.
  • We have an open door policy and you are welcome at any time.
  • We welcome children of all faiths and nationalities.
  • All services (evaluations, transportation, tuition) are at no direct cost to parents.*

We can't wait to give you a tour of the JCC and show you how your family will fit in with ours.

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday and Amazon donates to JCC Of Staten Island.

For Membership Inquiries Please Contact:
Membership Services 718.475.5223 

Select JCC facilities are available to all organizations, groups and individuals for life cycle events, meetings and celebrations. Call 718.475.5261 for information.