December 2020
Your families and employees need to be aware of the New York Travel Advisory
OCFS Memo - Interim Guidance Upon Return From Out of State Travel - November 17, 2020

Additional CDC Guidance

For all questions on the current situation, email
#1 - Comprehensive Background Checks
Comprehensive Background Checks: On September 25th 2019, new comprehensive background check requirements went into effect. Existing licensed/registered programs received a schedule for updating their background checks in conformance with the new law. Generally, the schedule required a person to schedule an appointment for criminal history fingerprinting within 1 week of their birthday. At this time, all licensed/registered providers and staff should have completed the required background check. If you have not done this, your program is out of compliance with NYS Child Care Regulations. Please complete the package at the link below and immediately schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

#2 - Bleach/Water Ratio: Solutions for Disinfecting
The Interim Guidance for Child Care and Day Camp Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic states, "Responsible Parties must conduct regular cleaning and disinfection of the site and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high risk areas (e.g. common areas, doorknobs, handrails, bathrooms, kitchens) used by many individuals and for frequently touched surfaces. Cleaning and disinfection must be rigorous and ongoing and should occur at least after each shift, daily, or more frequently as needed.

Programs are no longer sanitizing. Instead all surfaces and materials are to be disinfected. When cleaning these surfaces and materials follow these steps.

Food Surfaces - 4 teaspoons bleach to 1 quart of water
• Always clean with soap and water first
• Disinfect & let sit for 2 minutes
• Clean again with soap and water

Diapering Surfaces - 4 teaspoons of bleach to 1 quart of water
• Always clean with soap and water first
• Disinfect & let sit for 2 minutes
• Clean again with soap and water

Un-Mouthed Toys and Materials - 4 teaspoons of bleach to 1 quart of water
• Always clean with soap and water first
• Disinfect & let sit for 2 minutes
• Clean again with soap and water

Mouthed Toys - 4 teaspoons of bleach to 1 gallon of water
• Always clean with soap and water first
• Disinfect - soak in bleach solution for 5 minutes
• Rinse
• Clean again with soap and water

#3 - Foreclosure Assistance
If you are a Westchester homeowner who has missed mortgage payments due to COVID-19, or have a forbearance agreement, Community Housing Innovations has government grants that can pay up to 4 months of mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance. Visit to see if you qualify, or call 914-595-0992 to speak with one of our counselors. All of their services are free.
Parents and child care businesses are really struggling.

Westchester County, send help!

Ask the County Board of Legislators to help child care by cutting the parent share, funding new Title XX slots, bringing back the Westchester Child Care Scholarship Program and raising subsidy reimbursement rates.

Add your voice to the Council's. Ask the Board of Legislators to invest more in child care at the next virtual hearing on December 9th at 7 pm. To register just click here

This year, you can advocate for more child care funding, from the comfort of your own home.
Health Tip: Considerations for Asthma During The Covid-19 Pandemic!

For an Asthma overview, click here…

The American Lung Association reminds us that asthma is well controlled by monitoring symptoms, avoiding asthma triggers, and taking asthma medicines as prescribed. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommends continuing to follow an individual’s asthma action plan. These plans should be reviewed regularly by the healthcare provider and any necessary updates should be implemented. The AAP emphasizes that as before the pandemic, controlling asthma triggers is vital to maintaining health. 

Asthma Inhalers Preferred Over Nebulizers During COVID-19 Pandemic

As per the CDC guidance for schools and child care programs:

Students with symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend school. Symptoms of asthma and COVID-19 may overlap, including cough and shortness of breath. Therefore, students experiencing acute asthma attacks should not be attending school without approval by a healthcare provider; if an asthma attack starts at school, a student may need a bronchodilator treatment before being sent home or before an ambulance arrives.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, asthma treatments using inhalers with spacers (with or without face mask, according to each student’s individualized treatment plan) are preferred over nebulizer treatments whenever possible. Based on limited data, use of asthma inhalers (with or without spacers or face masks) is not considered an aerosol-generating procedure.

Due to limited availability of data, it is uncertain whether aerosols generated by nebulizer treatments are potentially infectious. During this COVID-19 pandemic, nebulizer treatments at school should be reserved for children who cannot use or do not have access to an inhaler (with or without spacer or face mask).

Given the CDC recommendation, please encourage families to talk to prescribing providers to evaluate the opportunity to transition children from a nebulizer to an inhaler or inhaler with spacer for use in child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If a child’s asthma medication is transitioned to an inhaler please make sure the asthma action plan and medication consent forms are filled out accordingly and training is provided on the correct usage of an inhaler or inhaler with a spacer.

Click here, to read more.
This holiday season, join us as we teach children the meaning of giving back. Donate a toy to receive a picture with Santa! All toys will be donated to Toys for Tots. This event will take place outdoors and follow Covid safety precautions. Registration is required as space is limited. Click here, to register!

Can't make this event? No worries, you still have an opportunity to support our toy drive.
Visit our Wishlist on Amazon
or deliver toys to our office:
Child Care Council of Westchester
313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583
All collections will be donated to Toys for Tots Westchester County

To share this information, use our flyer. Credit Card donations are accepted online via our website
Celebrations and Holidays
Keep in mind the importance of making sure that your curriculum is culturally diverse ALL YEAR
LONG, and does not emphasize holidays as the only way to learn more about other cultures.
The decisions you make about celebrations and holiday activities should mirror the decisions you
make about everyday classroom experiences. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Make sure holiday and celebration activities don’t become the whole curriculum.
  • Keep activities simple and low-key. Look for books that describe different practices. Learn songs (nonreligious) from different cultures and about traditions.
  • Remember that preschool children, with their limited understanding of time concepts, may not remember what their families did last year. They may have difficulty thinking about celebrations that will take place several weeks from now.
  • Set activities in the context of people’s daily lives and beliefs.
  • Think about other ways to respond to what children notice. For example, many objects children notice – pumpkins, gourds, lights, candles, decorated trees – can become materials for scientific investigations rather than holiday-related activities. You can make use of these learning opportunities.
  • Think about ways to involve family members. Invite them in to talk about their family customs and to share special objects related to the observance or holiday. Do not assume that everyone from the same ethnic group celebrates holidays the same way.
Snow Window
This is a fun exploration that is opened ended and really encourages creativity. Gather your materials - contact paper, painter’s tape, cotton balls, q-tips , cotton pads and a window! Start by taping the contact paper to your window sticky side out. Allow children to create by sticking materials to contact paper. Children explore textures, shapes, and cause and effect while also working on fine motor skills and storytelling.
  • Annual Toy Drive & Meet Santa Event
  • Council Faces
  • Comprehensive Background Checks
  • New Virtual Trainings
  • Required CACFP Training
  • Children's Corner
  • What's Cooking and more
Meet Santa at the Council
Friday, December 11, 3pm-6pm
Click here, to learn more

Annual Toy Drive 
November 1 - December 16
Click here, to learn more
Office Closings 
Friday, December 25th
Friday, January 1st

Early Closings (3pm)
Thursday, December 24th
Thursday, December 31st
Welcome, Jasmine Robinson
We are happy to welcome Jasmine as our new Communications Associate. She is eager to join the team and share her new ideas. If you have questions about membership, events or an idea to support the Council, call her at (914)761-3456 x152.
Join the Council!
Interested in joining the Council team? Learn more about open positions, and how to apply, below!

Voices of Child Care: Essential, Dedicated and Struggling

We have launched a video series that will give you an inside look at Westchester's child care system. You will hear directly from the people who care for our youngest learners at the most crucial time in their lives, and from parents and children.

Great Winter Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Nothing is more warm and cozy than a nice blanket, hot chocolate and a great book on a cold Winter day. Check out these awesome winter books.

The First Day of Winter, by Denise Fleming
The Twelve Days of Winter, by Deborah Lee Rose
Red Sled, by Lita Judge
If It's Snowy and You Know It, by Kim Norman

Regulations Reminder: 413.4(b) All Modalities

Criminal history review and background clearances shall be conducted pursuant to and consistent with the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act in accordance with a schedule developed by the Office for any existing operator, director, employee or volunteer at a child day care center, small day care center, school-age child care program, group family day care home or family day care home, and any person age eighteen (18) or older living in a group family day care home or family day care home. 
End of the Year Virtual Trainings

Have you completed your required trainings for the year? Don't miss out on these required and reduced-priced trainings.

  • Looking at the Holidays Through a Diverse Lens (December 3)
  • Child Abuse Identification & Prevention, Including Shaken Baby Syndrome  (December 12)
  • OCFS Regulations for Child Care Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic (December 14)

To view more trainings, click here
Westchester DSS Subsidy Program Update

Westchester DSS was approved by NYS OCFS to extend all their child care subsidy program waivers: 
·    Payment for 30 Days of Absences
·    Payment for 30 Days of Program Closures
·    Extension on Re-Certifications
·    Expanded Eligibility Income Standards to 85% of
NYS Median Income
·    No collection of the Family Share
·    Quarantined: Child care services can be provided to families that need such services for a child to be protected because a parent is unavailable to care for the child/ren as a result of being quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. 
The waivers are in effect through November 30, 2020.  We are grateful to Westchester DSS for taking this step and to OCFS for its approval.
Any questions, please email Nicole Masucci, Director of Family and Employer Services at

CACFP Annual Training

We are hosting another Zoom training for CACFP participants only. We are excited to resume the training live via Zoom. This training is free and approved for 2 hours of training credits that fulfill the annual training required for CACFP participants. There will be a training on December 12th from 10am-12pm for Spanish speaking participants and on December 5th from 10am-12pm for the English speaking participates. Please contact your case manager to sign up or for more information.

For more information, contact Latoya Ramsey at (914)761-3456 ext. 118

COVID-19 Resources

Yoga for Kids
Click here to enjoy a quick yoga for kids video. Yoga enhances flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration, sense of calmness and relaxation improves.

Distribution of Diapers & Hand Sanitizers
Diapers and hand sanitizer are in high demand, and we are working to procure these products for child care programs. If you are in need, please  click here to submit a request.

Food Distribution 
Many families need help with food these days. Feeding Westchester offers a map tool to help you find a food pantry/hot meal program/emergency food delivery service closest to you.  

Visit to find out where you can obtain food aid near you, now and in the future.

Supportive Services
Family Services of Westchester provides free supportive services for individuals that have tested positive to COVID.  Click here, to learn more. 
Connect with Colleagues!

The networks are not currently having in-person meetings at the Council but instead are holding Zoom meetings. For information, please use the contact information below.  

Providers Network:
This group for registered family and licensed group family providers meets 4 times a year. For information about the network, contact Sarah Rupert, CCCW Infant Toddler Specialist at or (914)-761-3456 ext. 107.

Westchester Early Childhood Directors Association:
The ECDA meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 1:00-3:00pm. Contact Howard Milbert at Ossining Children's Center at (914) 941-0230 or Dawn Meyerski at Mt. Kisco Child Care Center at (914) 241-2135 or for details.

School Age Directors Network:
The Network meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10:00am-12:00pm. Contact Joanne Saporta at or Kim DeSalvo at

Join the network today!

The Council is pleased to host these groups. We encourage you to attend their meetings via Zoom and when they are once again in-person meetings.

What's Cooking?

Snowflake Tortilla Crisps
  • 2 tortilla wraps
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes (optional)

1. Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4/350°F). Brush or spray a couple of baking trays with olive oil.
2. Take snowflake cookie cutters and cut as many snowflake shapes as you can from the two tortilla wraps. 
3. Use a mini bento cutter in various shapes to cut patterns into the snowflakes.
4. Carefully place the tortilla snowflakes onto the oiled baking trays. Brush or spray them with oil and sprinkle over a little bit of salt (optional). You could also them with sprinkle sesame seeds for extra flavor and texture if you like them.
5. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the snowflakes are starting to brown round the edges and are crispy. Do keep a sharp eye on them as they cook as they can burn very easily.
6. Once baked and crispy, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Serve with hummus or another dip of your choice.

To learn how you may receive reimbursements for meals and snacks, contact Latoya Ramsey, Provider Services Supervisor, at (914)-761-3456 x 118 or email her at 

Community Resources
United Way's 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, multilingual information and referral helpline open 365 days a year, 9am-7pm.

United Way's 2-1-1 call specialists can give you information about things such as:
  • Food Assistance
  • Housing assistance and shelters
  • Abuse prevention
  • Elder care
  • Mental health services
  • Recycling regulations
  • Services for people with disabilities
  • How to become a foster parent
  • Where to get medical help and more
Learn more:
313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583