Addressing Basic Needs and COVID Challenges

2020 Highlights

2020 has presented challenges for many families with young children worldwide. Docs for Tots has been fortunate to be able to continue our work on Long Island and in NYS throughout the pandemic, having the technical capabilities in place to shift rather seamlessly to all remote work in March.

With the support of funders and partners in NYS Docs for Tots has been able to help families across Long Island that have struggled to provide for their families during COVID-19 as businesses, child cares, schools and agencies closed, and there were shortages of necessities.


Docs for Tots COVID service updates through pandemic

  • Year to date, 1,000 children from over 800 families were provided care coordination to connect to needed services
    • Since the start of COVID-19 alone, we have provided care coordination to from 870 children from 700 families, a 230% increase from the same time period last year.
  • Of those families with known outcomes, 92% were successfully connected to services, 2% pending services
  • Since mid-March, 76.3% of families identified needing help with basic needs, a 600% increase from the same period last year
    • Number one need: diapers
    • Followed by formula and food

We received a JPB Foundation grant for distribution of basic needs:

  • Thus far, over 170,000 diapers have been distributed in partnership with the Long Island Diaper Bank, with an additional 80,000 set to be distributed by January 2021.
  • Items were distributed through partners across Long Island, including Baby Essentials of Long Island, BOCES ParentChild+, Branches Long Island, Choice for All, Family and Children’s Association, LIFQHC WIC, Long Island Head Start, Setalcott Nation, Shinnecock Nation.
  • Families also received developmental promotion materials.
  • We were able to help families directly in emergency situations via Amazon orders.

We received additional funding from the FAR Fund to bring on part-time support staff to handle the increase in calls to the HMG-LI Centralized Access Point.


By the end of the year will have given up our HMG-LI office space generously provided by the Child Care Council of Nassau, and our office space in NYC, consolidating our administrative hub in Roslyn. The Docs for Tots staff will continue to work primarily remotely into 2021, with occasional in person staff days at Cedarmere when possible. We miss seeing partners and each other, and look forward to a post-pandemic return to normalcy.

Cedarmere gardens Fall 2020
Cedarmere Fall 2020
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Investing in quality early learning programs is the most efficient way to affect school and life success and to reduce social expenditures later.

James Heckman, economist, Nobel laureate