If you have children between the ages of 6 weeks and 4 years of age, you may qualify for the EarlyLearn NYC program, which allows them to be enrolled in institutional and home childcare facilities. In contrast, the WIC program provides access to milk, juice, baby milk and other healthy foods for poor mothers, pregnant women and young children, regardless of immigration status.
The EarlyLearn NYC program supports families by providing 8-10 hours of care per day all year round. It also includes key services in the fields of psychological care, bilingualism and nutrition to keep families and children healthy. Additionally, eligible families with children from 6 weeks to 13 years of age may receive vouchers to purchase childcare services from New York City providers.
If your family is not eligible for EarlyLearn NYC Care or Head Start, visit the Child Care Connect database of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (available at https://a816-healthpsi.nyc.gov/ChildCare/ SearchAction2.do) and search for licensed childcare facilities near you.
Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) support system
The SNAP program (formerly known as “Food Stamp”) helps families and individuals to co-finance the cost of food. This program is not available for immigrants without the required documentation, and there may be a waiting period for some immigrants with documentation. Nevertheless, even if you do not meet the program criteria, you can apply for support under the program on behalf of your child, if the child is under 18 years of age.
Applications can be submitted online at https://access.nyc.gov. You can also call the helpline at (718) 557-1399 to request that your application be mailed, complete an application at one of the SNAP centers, or print the application and leave it at a SNAP center.
Pregnant women, mothers of infants or children under the age of 5, and women who are breastfeeding, may be eligible for WIC support.
Emergency nutritional support program
If you need food, there are places to get food for free. Emergency Nutrition Assistance centers are located throughout the city. Support is made available through food depots offering groceries that can be taken home, as well as social kitchens serving hot meals.
To find support locations and information on opening hours, call the Emergency FoodLine at (866) 888-8777. It is an automated helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Preventive and preventive services help parents and guardians to ensure the safety and appropriate care of children. They are provided directly by community vendors to families and children. The Children’s Services Office, with its network of social welfare agencies, provides prevention services in all five boroughs of New York City. These services may include family or individual counseling regarding support for child rearing, addiction treatment, psychological care, problems related to domestic violence, family bonding and trauma. Whenever possible, families are referred to centers that provide preventive and prophylactic services with an appropriate cultural and linguistic profile.