Children’s Services


The Arc of Essex County’s children’s services team empowers families, providing the resources and services needed to support not only your loved one with a disability, but the entire family. We are in your corner every step of the way to anticipate and guide you through all that lies ahead.



We strongly believe in the power of play. Our recreation offerings are designed with flexibility in mind to meet each family’s unique needs. Add-On Activities – A wide array of recreation activities are available to support families outside of the school day . Program offerings are refreshed regularly to keep pace with the current interests and may include fitness fun, winter break childcare, cooking, and more. Be sure to check out the latest Children’s Services Recreation Catalog for our current offerings.

Parent Night Out Program: Amongst The Arc’s most popular programs, Parent Night Out provides themed drop-off nights where children and teens can participate in arts and crafts, games, and more while mom and dad have some time to recharge. Partnerships will local high school volunteers provide a wonderful opportunity for inclusion and peer friendships. Winter break childcare is also held in December to provide gap care while school is closed for the holidays.

We strongly believe in

the power of play.



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Saturday Respite Program: Childhood is all about fun, and The Arc’s Saturday Respite program is bursting with it. Held three Saturdays a month, an exciting calendar of events ranging from cooking and arts and crafts, to field trips to local parks, fairs, and concerts are sure to keep everyone engaged. Each 6 hour day includes lunch, snacks, and curb-to curb transportation in Essex County.


In-Home: Providing one-on-one support in the comfort of your home, The Arc’s respite programs can step in so you can recharge or handle personal matters. Flexible options are available and will be identified to suit your needs.

Camp Hope is a unique seven-week summer program that combines life skills and social and recreational activities with aquatics, sports, music, and art. Here, campers tackle new goals, build confidence, and form friendships to last a lifetime.

Transition Services

Life transitions can be an overwhelming time for anyone. For parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in particular it can lead to great uncertainty. Rest assured. The Arc of Essex County is here for you. Our qualified and caring staff will guide you through the transition from early intervention to school, and from school to adult life. The Arc can help:

Complete cumbersome application forms (i.e. Medicaid, Performcare, Guardianship, etc)

Answer questions – by phone or email

Provide referrals and resources

Provide topic specific workshops

Host meet the support coordinator nights

“Our family has had such an amazing experience with The Arc of Essex County! The team worked so hard to find the appropriate programs for our son Ryan, who has severe autism. Ryan loves Camp Hope, and our self-hired respite worker Ben is a GAME CHANGER. When Ryan see’s Ben walk through the door he gets a huge smile on his face and runs to get his shoes on. We are thankful for The Arc and it’s truly caring staff.”

 -Abby Tanzer


Uniquely specialized for families with children ages birth to three, The Arc has two Early Intervention programs available to suit your needs. Our team of early childhood specialists works together with parents and other family members to maximize the growth and development of children by supporting the advancement of motor, communication, and social skills.



New Jersey’s premiere school for children with Down syndrome, The Arc’s Stepping Stones School has long been a pioneer in Down syndrome education. Decades of experience have shaped the philosophy and curriculum resulting in an innovative and tailored approach for each student


Stepping Stones Early Intervention, located in Roseland, NJ maximizes the growth and development for each child while providing education and support to families that creates a strong foundation. A comprehensive team of early childhood specialists comprised of teachers, physical, speech, and occupational therapists, social workers, and trained volunteers work individually and in small groups with each child and their family. Here, parents and caregivers are accepted into a warm, caring, and nurturing environment where they witness their children reaching milestones once thought impossible.


Shapiro Early Intervention is a referral based program open to any child birth to age 3 who has, or is at risk for developing a delay or disability. Through therapy and instruction, caregiver training is provided in the home or in day care centers with flexible appointments available to meet the needs of working families.