Early Steps is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that promotes racial diversity in New York City independent schools and helps children of color access an excellent education that will challenge and inspire them to reach their full potential. We inform families about the benefits of an independent school education, and counsel them through the complicated admissions process, providing more than a year of hands-on guidance including school referrals, navigating the financial aid process, candidate advocacy, school selection, and post-placement support. These services are free to families.
Who / Where
Early Steps only works with families of children of color.
Age/grade Level: We help children enroll in kindergarten or first grade and start working with their families a year in advance. Applicants to the Early Steps program will have children who are 4 by August 31st of the year they apply to us (to enter kindergarten the following fall) or 5 by August 31st of the year they apply to us (to enter 1st grade the following fall).
Where: Early Steps schools are currently located in three of New York City’s boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, as well as Long Island. You do not have to live in one of these areas to send your child to school there however you must be able to bring your child to school. School bus transportation between boroughs is not available.
Economic Level: Early Steps families represent a broad range of income levels. Some families pay full tuition while others receive financial aid in varying amounts according to individual needs and the schools’ available resources. Each family is required to pay some portion of the tuition.
All children deserve an excellent education that will challenge and inspire them to reach their full potential, develop their confidence, and expose them to new possibilities and opportunities. Racial diversity is good for children, for schools, and for our communities. Early Steps is here to ensure nothing stops children of color from accessing an independent school education.