November/December 2018  
Parent Connections
Top 3 Things To Know
#1 Good News for Child Care in the 2019 County Budget
County Executive George Latimer has proposed an increase of more than $1 million - which we hope will go to another needed raise in the child care reimbursement rate as well as some new Title XX slots.
If you believe that child care needs more funding, then you can help:
#1 Send a letter to the County Executive and your County legislator!  Just Click here!

#2 Come to the next County budget hearing:  
December 5th
Board of Legislators Chambers
148 Martine Ave - 8th Floor
White Plains
7 pm.

Despite the very tough budget this year, our elected officials are trying to help child care, so help them help you and your parents!

For more info, email Kathy Halas, Executive Director at

#2  Toys Toys and More Toys
Keeping Toys Safe

December is safe toys and gifts month. During the holiday season and beyond, don't forget about keeping children safe.  
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season:  Toy Safety Tips
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission can keep you current on all types of recalls. They provide free safety alerts, posters, brochures and other materials which you can use to educate staff and parents. Join their mailing list to get their updates:   

Help Children in Need... 
Give a Toy
The Council's 2018 Holiday Toy Drive 

Join us by donating a new, unwrapped toy for children 
12 years old and under. 
When:  Nov 1- Dec 17
Drop Off Location:  Child Care Council, 9am- 5pm
Gift Suggestions:  Dolls, Teas Sets, Cars Puzzles, Board Games and Building Toys
No time to shop?
Visit our online wish list on Amazon!
Child Care Council Wish Lists
Drop Off at
Hartsdale Shake Shack
379 North Central Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530
December 7th, 5pm-7pm

#3 Do you know where your baby is sleeping? 
Did you know that in child care programs and family child
care homes children may not sleep or nap in car seats, baby swings, strollers, infant seats or bouncy seats. Should a child fall asleep in one of these devices, he or she must be removed to a crib/cot or other approved sleeping device.
Quality Matters

Children's Corner
How to Take Stress Out of the Holidays
Help kids rise to the occasion, and don't aim too high

We are reminded, every year at this time, how difficult holidays can be for people who are lonely or alone. But let's be honest: even for families rich in children, holidays can be stressful-both for parents and kids.
Why are holidays so fraught? Because expectations are heightened, and holidays can feel like a test of how happy and successful your family is. And if you have children with psychiatric or learning disorders, even favorite traditions can turn into a test of stamina and patience. Here are some tips to help minimize stress and make the holidays more fun and fulfilling.
1. Be open to change.
Talk with your kids about your traditions - which ones they love and which you might evolve to make them more fun or memorable for everyone. This is especially important when family dynamics have changed because of divorce, a new marriage or sibling, or a death in the family.
2. Be realistic.
Factoring in kids' limitations when you make plans will reduce stress on everyone. Kids who are anxious about meeting new people - or even encountering the extended family - will need support and realistic expectations. Kids who have trouble with organization will need help to succeed at gift-giving. Children who tend to be impulsive need structure to minimize disruptive behavior. Not overestimating your kids' patience and ability to focus will help you enjoy yourself more, too.
3. Prep kids for changes in routine.
Holidays represent a change in a family's normal schedule, and for some kids that's unsettling. Preparing them for changes in their routines - what to expect and what you expect of them-will help head off meltdowns. If you're traveling, bring familiar toys and books, and make sure you have quiet one-on-one time like reading before bed.
4. Give yourself a break.
Don't stretch yourself too thin trying to create the "perfect" holiday season. Decide what is important, prioritize, and say "no" to what you can't handle.
5. Be sure to laugh.
Kids pick up their parents' stress and tension, so they're more likely to be irritable if you are. Have a sense of humor, enjoy your kids for who they are, and keep in mind that what you'll all remember when it's over is likely to be the unexpected moment when everybody was relaxed, not the brilliantly choreographed party, dinner, or outing.

Health Corner

What you need to know - 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that may have serious and at times fatal consequences.

How It Spreads: It spreads easily by contact with respiratory discharges from the nose or mouth and from saliva. It is transmitted by coughing, sneezing, sharing eating utensils, and mouthed toys. It is also transmitted by hands and other surfaces contaminated by the virus. The virus remains active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours.

Symptoms: Once a child is exposed to and infected with the measles virus, the first symptoms will not appear for 8 to 12 days (incubation period). Infected children tend to be contagious for 1-2 days before symptoms appear and 3 to 5 days before the rash breaks out. The contagious period continues for 4 days after the rash appears.

To learn more, click here

News from the Department of Social Services
~Child Care Subsidy Unit~
We've been asked to share these DSS announcements with you, and we thank DSS for their efforts to strengthen communication and services:

 1. Longer Hours!!!  Effective October 15, 2018, DSS began an extended work day schedule with the new hours of 7AM to 6PM. A small team of Eligibility Examiners are now available between 7AM and 9AM and again between 5PM and 6PM - in addition to the previous 9AM to 5PM schedule.  DSS instituted this change to accommodate parents and providers unable to reach them during traditional business hours. Eligibility Examiners can receive documents and provide general info. Note that your assigned Eligibility Examiner will not change. Any questions? Call 914-995-6521.
2.Child Care Subsidy Liaison!!!  Meet Tanagra Bledman, Child Care Subsidy Liaison, a new position at the Child Care Subsidy Unit, to help streamline communication and improve service delivery.   
Ms. Bledman handles inquiries and complaints. She will regularly visit the Subsidy Unit reception area to monitor response times and ensure that customers' inquiries are addressed.   She will serve as an intermediary with the Eligibility Examiners and customers if needed.
Ms. Bledman's background includes working in policy and constituent service areas roles at both the city and state level in New York. You can reach her at 914-995-9324.

Did You Know...
The Council is Here for You!
  Resources & Referr a l s!
Financial Help!
Care when school is closed!

Call us at 
(914)761-3456 x140 
  email us at
Our FREE Services are:
  • Consultation with a trained Counselor
  • 24/7 search for child care
  • Information to help pay for child care
  • Guidelines to choose a quality child care program
  • Resources to Camps
  • Checklist for your visits
And much, much more...
In This Issue
  • Measles 
  • Finger knitting
  • Handling the holidays
  • Baby's Sleep
What's happening at the Council
The Council's 
Public Policy Agenda

All parents have access to affordable, quality early care and education options that enable them to work and advance in their careers and launch their children for success in school and life, so that Westchester has a skilled and productive workforce today and tomorrow.  
Child care programs reach and sustain high quality levels, able to retain and keep motivated, skilled and fairly compensated professionals and enhance the development and lives of our children. 
 Click here, to learn more!

Council Office Closings 
All Day
Monday, December 24, 2018
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Monday, December 31, 2018
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Friday, January 18, 2019
Monday, January 21, 2019

Early Closing:  (office closes at 12:30pm)
Friday, December 7, 2019 
We're looking for a few good women & men

Come to work at the Child Care Council and make a difference in the life of a child.  We currently have the following openings:  
For more information contact Juanita Pope at 914-761-3456 ext. 106 or

Things To Do
How to Finger Knit

If you're wondering why a 4-year-old can't sit still, just remember that they have over 600 muscles that need
daily exercise! While active, full body play is essential for big muscles, don't forget fine motor activities to give their small muscles a workout too!

Finger knitting is a fantastic, and addictive activity for preschoolers. It builds dexterity and strength in those small muscles which control the hand, fingers, and thumb - all critical for later writing skills. Finger knitting also encourages eye-hand coordination, concentration, and perseverance - all equally important for children's development!
Learn how to finger knit click here 

Parent Education
Click below to see a full list of 
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:

Sometimes a little help can go along way. 

If you struggle with having enough to eat, there is help. 

Feeding Westchester sources and distributes food all throughout Westchester. 
Agency Locator , helps you find the closest feeding program to meet your needs. 
Mobile Food Pantry Schedule , helps you find mobile food deliveries in your area
 Network Feeding List, is a list of feeding partners throughout Westchester  
Learn more: 

  Prevent Child Abuse 
New York
There is nothing more demanding than parenting and all parents benefit from support, information and resources.  
Take advantage of all the materials that this organization provides including tips on preventing child sexual abuse and bullying.   Visit their website at  Prevent Child Abuse New York

What's Cooking
English Muffin 
Egg Pizza

  • 4 English Muffins
  • olive oil
  • tomato slices
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  • grated mozzarella
  • oregano
  • kosher salt
1.  Make hard-cooked eggs.
2.  Toast 8 English-muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet.
3.  Drizzle each with olive oil, then layer on tomato slices, hard-cooked egg slices (1/2 an egg each), and a little grated mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano and kosher salt. Broil for 5  minutes or until the cheese melts.

Support the Council 

Support the Council while you shop!
Select the Child Care Council of Westchester as your charity, we will receive 5% of the cost of your purchases.   So get started on your holiday shopping today and thank you!