Bronx Early Learning Center

Preparing Children for Kindergarten

Apply for a UPK seat!

About the Bronx Early Learning Center

The goal of the Bronx Early Learning Center (BELC) is to ensure that children with special needs successfully transition to public school kindergarten classes in the least restrictive environment possible.

60% of the graduating class of 2016 were placed in general education (and no longer are labelled as a child with a disability) or integrated collaborative teaching kindergarten classrooms, with typically developing peers, in the New York City Department of Education public school system.

The preschool, located on Bathgate Avenue in the South Bronx, is a vibrant and nurturing community. There are 250 students—234 children with developmental delays associated with autism, Down syndrome, cognitive delays, speech and language delays, as well as neurological and emotional issues. The other 16 are typically developing children—attending our integrated Pre-K for All program (UPK).

The BELC participates in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, which provides nutritional meals and snacks to the students, and a School Wellness Plan to support food safety and nutrition, physical activity and related workshops/training for students, families and staff.

Also, the BELC has accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC). This means that they are able provide multidisciplinary evaluations to children who may have developmental concerns. Evaluations may include: psychological, education, speech & language, social history, occupational therapy, and physical therapy evaluations depending on what the child may need.

We are looking for New York State certified teachers to join our interdisciplinary team of professionals who are changing children's lives as they prepare for their school-age years. You can apply here!

For more information about the Bronx Early Learning Center, call (718) 466-3580.

"Volunteers of America’s Bronx Early Learning Center is a pleasant and child-centered environment that enables students and their families to gain confidence and obtain support. I was very happy to hear staff members clearly articulate why they love what they do, and why this age group is a particular joy to them." - NYC Dept. of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña

Teachers and parents talk about the incredible change they've seen in students at the BELC:


The BELC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.


The BELC is also a New York State Education Department approved preschool special education program.