Annual Reports


The Children’s Community Head Start Birth to Five Program’s service area has several community issues which greatly impact families living in poverty including the lack of: affordable and safe housing, jobs with livable wages, child care for infants/toddlers, affordable health and dental care options for adults, and before and after school care. These issues and others such as substance abuse are often intertwined, meaning that families must overcome several challenges and remove a multitude of barriers to move towards self-sufficiency. Through the Community Assessment process, both strengths and challenges were identified. Below is a summary of demographic information and data trends that most impact those families living in poverty. For detailed information regarding any statistic, refer to the narrative in the Community Assessment.

Ranking2018 Family Survey Greatest
Areas of Major Challenge
Percent of
1 Affordable and Safe Housing 36.3%
2 Finding a Job23.3%
3 Availability of Health Insurance

Affordable Dental Care

5 Affordable Health Care 16.5%
6 Quality Child Care for my Preschooler l5.8%
7 Managing and Budgeting Money

Paying for Utilities

Quality Child Care for my Infant and Toddler
10 Before and After School Care14.3%
Ranking2018 Family Survey Greatest
Areas of both Major Challenge
and Somewhat of a Challenge
Percent of Respondents
1 Managing and Budgeting Money 70.70%
2 Affordable and Safe Housing 60.90%
3 Paying for Utilities58.70%
4 Finding a Job 53.40%
5 Affordable Dental Care 49.62%
6 Affordable Health Care

Before and After School Care
8 Availability of Health Insurance

My Child’s Behavior
10Adult Education Options36.10%


Suffolk County’s 2016 population was estimated at 1,493,350, an increase of just .3% from 2010. An estimated 11,278 people left Suffolk County for other parts of the U.S. (domestic migration) between 2015 and 2016; international migration into the county was 4,300 for the same period.
The population of Suffolk County is as follows: White (80.9%); Black (7.6%); Asian (3.8%); Other (5.0%); and Multiple Races (2.5%). Of residents, 18.2% are Hispanic/Latino.
During 2016-2017, Head Start/Early Head Start served children as follows: White (73%); Black (8.1%); Multi-Racial (15.8%); and Asian (3%). Of children, SS.4% were Hispanic/Latino.
As of 2016, 9.4% of the population in Suffolk County, ages 5 years and older, spoke a language other than English at home and spoke English “less than very well.”
During PY 2016-2017, 58.1% of HS/EHS families identified the home language as English; 39.2% as Spanish; and 2.7% as Other Language (Caribbean, South Asian/Middle Eastern, East Asian).


The 2018 minimum wage on Long Island Is currently $11.00 per hour. In Suffolk County, the living wage per hour for a single adult with one child is $32.45. A single adult with one child who is earning minimum wage makes only 33.9% of the living wage.
The February 2018 unemployment rate in Suffolk County was 5.4, compared to NYC’s unemployment rate of 4.3; NYS’ unemployment rate of 4.6; and the U.S. rate of 4.6.
Per capita income includes wages, public assistance, self-employment, interest, and all other income sources. Per capita income is the average income for every adult and child. Per capita income of Suffolk County is $38,779, compared to NYS at $34,212 and the U.S. at $29,829.


Per the 2018 Family Survey, “Affordable and Safe Housing” was the greatest “major challenge” with 36.3% of respondents identifying it as such.
Nearly 43.5% of households in Suffolk County are considered cost burdened, compared to NYS (39.9%) and the U.S. (32.9%).
Fair Market Rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment is $1,251 per month in Suffolk County. To afford a modest two-bedroom apartment without housing assistance, a family needs to earn $36.12/hour or work 131 hours at minimum wage. Affordable rent at minimum wage without assistance is $572, well below the Fair Market Rent for any size unit in Suffolk County.


During PY 2016-2017, school districts within the service area reported 834 students who experienced homelessness (per the McKinney-Vento Act); this was an increase of 17.6% in the reporting/identification of students over the previous five-year period.
During PY 2016-2017, Head Start/EHS served 44 (14.9%) families who experienced homelessness at some point during the year; of these families, 12 (27.3%) acquired housing.


In Suffolk County, 10% of adults age 2S and older do not have a high school diploma; this rate is lower than NYS (14.1%) and the United States (13%).
The rates of African-Americans (11.5%); Native Americans (19.9%); Multiple Races (28.5%); and Hispanic/Latinos (30.5%) without a high school diploma are higher than Suffolk County’s rate (10%).


968 preschool children in 13 local districts received disabilities services during PY 16-17. Between 12.8% -18.6% of school-age children in local districts have been diagnosed with disabilities.



 Children Under 5Under 5 In Poverty*Infants & ToddlersInfants & Toddlers In Poverty 3 & 4 Year Olds3 & 4 Year Old In Poverty
Suffolk County78,494 8,242 (10.5%) 46,329 4,865 32,165 3,377

Approximately 37% of children living in Suffolk County live within the grantee’s service area; 1,832 infants/toddlers and 1,221 preschool-aged children are living in poverty within the service area. 1,188 infants/toddlers in the service area are underserved.
Suffolk County’s overall poverty rate for children under 5 years of age is 10.5%, much lower than both NYS and the nation’s rate of 23.6%.
In 2015, 15,808 children were born in Suffolk County; this number represents the current, approximate number of expectant mothers within the county.
During PY 2016-2017, the local thirteen school districts offered 902 half-day UPK slots and 438 full­ day UPK slots, for a total of 1,340 funded slots.

Capacity of Regulated Child Care Programs by Type1 March 2017.

Child Care Type Suffolk New York
Day Care Centers23,599168,718
Infant 1,732 15,250
Pre School15,436101,787
Group Family Day Care Homes
5,323 123,894
Family Day Care Homes1,16133,259


Suffolk County’s Child Protective Services Investigations Bureau received 9,769 new reports of abuse and neglect in 2017, up 540 reports (5.8%) from 2016; this was the county’s highest intake in seven years. Suffolk’s intake in 2017 was the second highest intake in the state outside of NYC.
In 2017, 601children were in foster care in Suffolk County; this was an increase of 16 children {2.9%} from 2016. The number of children discharged from foster care in 2017 outpaced the number of admissions; there were 339 discharges compared to 304 admissions.


The 62 counties in New York State are ranked against one another and 34 measures of health behaviors, clinical care, physical environment, and health outcomes. As of 2018, Suffolk County ranks 13th for Overall Health Outcomes and 7th for Health Factors.
The 2018 Family Survey reveals that 4% of respondents feel that “Depression in the Home” is a “major challenge” and 12.1% of respondents feel it is “somewhat of a challenge.” In NYS, obesity rates declined among 2- to 4-year-olds enrolled in WIC from 2010 (16.1%) to 2014 (14.3%), a decrease of 1.7%.
4.2% of expectant mothers in Suffolk County and 5.6% in NYS received no prenatal care or no prenatal care until the third trimester.
The rate (per 1,000 females) of babies born to teenagers ages 15-19 is 11.8 in Suffolk County, compared to 17.8 in NYS.


Suffolk County’s child insecurity rate fell from 14.4% in 2014 to 12.6% in 2016. Of children with food insecurity, an estimated 27% are ineligible for food assistance. Data specific to the child food insecurity rate in central Suffolk County is not available but is likely much closer to New York State’s child food insecurity rate of 17.9%.
As of 2016-2017, 87,006 {36.7%) of children in Suffolk County were eligible for Free/Reduced Price lunch; this indicates an 11% increase between 2011 and 2016.


It is estimated that 5.3% of households do not have a vehicle in Suffolk County.
Of families who responded to the 2018 Family Survey, 78.2% indicate that they have reliable transportation; 18% do not have transportation; and 3.8% have a car needing repair.
Of survey respondents to the 2018 Family Parent Survey, 8.3% indicate that access to public transportation is a “major challenge” and 9% indicate that it is “somewhat of a challenge.”


Violent crime includes murder/manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Between 2014 and 2016, total crimes decreased in Suffolk County by -15%. While property crimes decreased by 16.3%, violent crimes increased by 3%. In 2016, Suffolk County’s violent crime index rate per 100,000 people was 122.1, much less than NYC (573.4) and NYS (375). Of respondents to the 2018 Family Survey, 4.5% indicate that community violence is a “major challenge” and 3.8% indicate that it is “sometimes a challenge.”


In 2016, the age-adjusted opioid-related death rate in Suffolk County was 22.8 per 100,000, compared to the New York State average of 18.0 per 100,000. Opioid-death rates in Suffolk County are as follows: 213 (14.2 per 100,000) in 2015; 342 (22.8 per 100,000) in 2016: and 302 (Jan- September, full annual data unavailable as of this report) in 2017.
Of respondents to the 2018 Head Start/Early Head Start Family Survey, only 3% express that drug or alcohol abuse in the home is a “major challenge” and 3.8% express that it is “somewhat of a challenge.” Due to stigma and fears of police involvement or having their children removed, many families do not reveal drug or alcohol abuse in their homes.


The 2018 Head Start/Early Head Start Family Survey data indicates that 95.5% of respondents have a computer, or a smartphone or iPad/tablet with internet access; 4.5% do not have access. Of survey respondents, 85.7% have phone access; 10.5% indicate that access to phone service is a “major challenge” and 3.8% of respondents find access to be “somewhat of a challenge.”

The full report can be obtained by contacting Christine Beatty, B-5 Director at
(631) 585-2020.

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