December 2019              

#1 - Free Toys for the Children in Your Program
Every year Toys for Tots collects thousands of toy donations throughout Westchester County.  Once the toy drive is complete, toys are distributed to children in need throughout the community. Child care programs are eligible to request toys for the children in their care. Simply complete and submit the below form. 

Don't miss the info in our newsletter below about our Toy Drive partnership with Shake Shack!

#2 - New OCFS Background Clearance Requirements
OCFS has revised the packet (6000-series) to support these background clearances. This packet contains the following forms applicable to licensed programs and legally exempt group programs.
  • OCFS 6000 Required Forms and Clearance List
  • OCFS 6001 Child Care Provider, Staff, and Volunteer Information
  • OCFS 6004 Medical
  • OCFS 6022 Staff Exclusion List
  • OCFS 4930 Request for Fingerprinting
  • LDSS 3370 Statewide Central Register Database Check Request
Instructions on where forms are to be returned are included on OCFS 6000. For a copy of these forms, please reach out to your enrollment agency, or download and print from the OCFS website at:

#3 - Contigo Water Bottle Recall
Since August 27th, 5.7 million of Contigo Kid's Cleanable Water Bottles have been recalled due to the detached silicone spout which causes children to choke while drinking their beverages. 

Click here, to learn more.
Fighting for a Better Child Care System

Parents all over the U.S. pay as much for child care as they do housing, sometimes more.   Safe, learning-based child care is priced out of the reach of many families, while those who work in the field are among the most poorly paid of any profession.

The US and the High Price of Child Care report , just released by Child Care Aware of America, Inc., describes what we have as a "broken system".  We agree. To see the report,  Click Here!

Fortunately, Westchester County's "child care system" is better than most. We have informed and supportive leadership on child care in the Administration and the Board of Legislators. But there's still more to do!

Our "asks" for the 2020 Westchester County budget:
(1) 10% increase in reimbursement rates to providers
(2) 2% reduction in the parent share
(3) 20 new Title XX subsidy slots

There's one Public Budget Hearing remaining.  Come and speak up for child care in the 2020 Westchester County Budget:
  • Wednesday, December 4th, Board of Legislators Chambers, 148 Martine Ave, 8th Floor, White Plains.
The hearing starts at 7pm.  If you wish to speak, the line forms at 6:15pm.

For more info, email Kathy Halas at  
Health Tip: Emergency Medication
Question: My staff learned how to administer Epinephrine Auto-Injectors during their First Aid training. Are they allowed to administer emergency medication to children?
The answer is no. In order for staff to administer emergency medications, your program must follow the regulations on emergency medications.  

Emergency medications are limited to epinephrine auto injectors, diphenhydramine in combination with the auto injector, asthma inhalers and nebulizers.

We all want children to be safe.  It's important to fully understand and be in compliance at all times with these regulations.    The following incidents happened recently:
  • A four-year-old died at school due to his peanut allergy despite its "nut-free policy." The teacher stabbed the EpiPen into her own hand instead of the child.
  • Two children died in child care from asthma attacks after having mild symptoms.
Click here , to learn more

Professional Development 
Fall Training Calendar
September-December 2019
Sign-up for these end of the year trainings:
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Infomation Session (December 11)
  • Medication Administration Training (MAT) (December 14)
  • New Training: Including Children with Special Needs in Your School Age Program (December 17)
Click here  to view our 2019 Fall Training Calendar. 

R egulations Reminder:
            414.15(a)(6)416.15(a)(11),                   417.15(a)(11), 418.15(a)(6) -   Initial 4 Year License/Registrations for all modalities  

The effective period of the initial registration for childcare programs will be up to four years and any subsequent registration will be up to four years each so long as the program remains in compliance with applicable laws and regulations during such periods.
A Merry Partnership with
We're spreading some holiday cheer!  Join us on December 13th for our Annual Toy Drive Event at the Shake Shack at 379 North Central Avenue, in Hartsdale.

Donate a new unwrapped toy and receive a free ShackBurger and meet Santa between 4pm and 7 pm.

Gift Suggestions: Dolls, tea sets, cars, puzzles, board games and building toys

Can't make the event, no worries, we accept donations at the Council from Monday-Friday, between 9am and 5pm.

Limited time to shop?  Visit our online wish list on Amazon!     Child Care Council Holiday Wish List

For more information contact Juanita Pope at or call (914)761-3456 ext. 106

Please  share this flyer  with friends and family. 
Giving Tuesday 2019

A drop in the ocean? Hardly!

On December 3rd, 100% of your #GivingTuesday donation goes directly to a Westchester child who needs quality early education to break the cycle of poverty. Visit our #GivingTuesday fundraising page to learn more and help fund a child care scholarship.
A very special thank you to TD Bank for sponsoring our #GivingTuesday campaign for 5 years in a row!
Thank You 2019 Council Members!
We had a wonderful evening on November 8th with our members. Thank you all again for your dedication to our child care community and for supporting the Council's services.  Thanks to Shake Shack for coming by with a "burger drop" as an extra treat for our members.  

We invite you to join our 2020 membership program
Welcome New & Renewed 
Child Care Programs!

Family Day Care Programs
My Bright Start Family Daycare

Family Day Care Programs
Agata Di Marco
Janiece's Daycare
Deborah Vallarelli

SACC  Programs
Healthy Kids Extended Day Program  (849711)

SACC Programs
Taekwondo Shrub Oak Inc
The Country Children's Center, Inc
The Mother Connection of Cortlandt, Inc (42761)
The Mother Connection of Cortlandt, Inc (42762)
YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester

Welcome New CACFP Participants
Noelia Alvarez
Jennifer Fermin
Isonal Hierro
Michael Olivares
Delia Reyes
Sonia Royster
In Every Season, There Is a Reason to Be Thankful:  Fostering Gratitude in Children
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." - Oprah Winfrey.

At Thanksgiving, we talk to children about being thankful, but by December, children may be more focused on what gifts they will receive and less on being thankful. We want to encourage them to see that every day is a day to be thankful.

Grateful adults and children are happier people.
Grateful children "feel connected to a caring community. ("Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude in Kids," Jeffrey Froh )

How do we help children develop gratitude? 

  1.  Model and teach gratitude - Children copy what they see, so show them examples of being generous and thankful.
  2. Good manners foster gratitude - Among children's first words are often "please" and "thank you". When you say it, they will say it. Say it to everyone about anything.
  3. Appreciate big things and small things - We can be thankful for anything. Enjoy being grateful. It feels good. 
  4. Be specific. Don't just be thankful for breakfast. Be thankful for the syrup on the pancakes. ("Six Habits of Highly Grateful People," Jeremy Adam Smith)  
  5. "Helping others and being generous are two key ingredients for making grateful kids." ("Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude in Kids," Jeffrey Froh)
Click here   to read more  

How grateful are you? Take the gratitude quiz 
Storytime with a Twist
This group combines movement, music and mostly just fun. Parents and children are invited to stay and play afterwards during open studio time until 10:00am.

When : Every Thursday in December at 9am
Where: Seven Star
509 Route 312, Brewster, NY
Cost: Free 
For more information,  Click here

  • Thank you 2019 Council Members
  • New Background Clearances Guidelines
  • Fighting for Child Care in the 2020 Budget
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Annual Toy Drive
  • Children's Corner
  • What's Cooking
  • Family Fun and more
Annual Toy Drive Event
Shake Shack
379 North Central Park Ave
Hartsdale, NY 
December 13, 2019
Click here, for more information

2020 Spring Conference
Dobbs Ferry High School
505 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY
April 25, 2020
Brochure and Registration information will be available in February. 
For more information, contact Carmelita Bota at

Annual Book Drive
Child Care Council of Westchester 
313 Central Park Ave
Scarsdale, NY
March 15- April 30, 2020

Early Education Hall of Heroes  
Mercy College
555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY
June 5, 2020
Nominations for Heroes will open in early January. 

Council Office Closings 
All Day
December 25-27, 2019
January 1, 2020

Early Closings
(office closes at 3pm)
December 24, 2019
December 31, 2019

(office closes at 12pm)
December 20, 2019

Welcome, Philip Wise!
We are excited to welcome Philip Wise as our new Registrar.  Philip will work with both family child care and after school programs.  Contact him if you have any questions about the registration process or the NYS regulations. 

Welcome, Nairobi Rosario!
We are thrilled to welcome Nairobi Rosario as our new 
Bi-Lingual Legally Exempt Enroller.  She is committed to supporting providers to ensure health and safety requirements are met. 

Welcome, Michele Cianci!
We are pleased to introduce Michele Cianci, our new Early Childhood Quality Specialist.  She is eager to provide a wide range of technical assistance, training and support to help strengthen child care and after school programs in Westchester.

Join our 2020 Membership!

 Benefits Include:
  • Membership Certificate to post at your site
  • Discounted calendar trainings and on-site trainings 
  • Listing on your website with a link to yours 
  • Free postings on the Council's job bank
  • Free Members Only networking events 
  • Lakeshore Learning coupon and discount 
  • Printed Council Training Calendars
  • Free promotional gift
  • Refer a friend and receive voucher for a free training 

Online Registration will open on November 1st 

Opportunities to Connect with Colleagues!

Regular meetings at the Council for family providers, early childhood directors, and school age directors provide opportunities for you to learn, share resources and support one another. These meetings are also an avenue to increase your knowledge. Each one includes a training with a certificate accepted by OCFS.

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

Westchester Early Childhood Directors Association
The Association 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!

Please note the networking groups do not meet in August. 

The Council is pleased to host these groups. We encourage you to attend their meetings.

Westchester Loves 
to Read

County Executive George Latimer recently announced a new program to encourage early reading - Westchester Loves to Read. Encourage your children to read 300 minutes over the next few months (Oct to April) and complete a list of favorite books. For more info on how to participate, simply  Click here!

Participating children can win a free pass to the 2020 Opening Day at Playland Park!
 Celebrating Holidays in Early Childhood Programs 

NAEYC believes that decisions about what holidays to celebrate are best made together by teachers, parents, and children. Families and staff are more comfortable when both have expressed their views and understand how a decision has been reached. 

Click here   to read more

Click here   to another NAEYC holiday article: "Anti-Bias Education: The December Holidays" 

What's Cooking?

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

  • 175g coconut sugar or use light brown sugar if preferred
  • 250g plain whole meal flour or plain white flour if preferred
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g  water
  • 100g sunflower oil
  • 1 large ripe banana mashed
  • 100g sultanas
Click here, for the full recipe

For more information on reimbursements for meals and snacks, contact Latoya Ramsey, Provider Services Coordinator 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:
How Delicious It Is to Give Back!

Shake Shack's Hartsdale location contributes  5% of sales of their Pie Oh My Concretes to the Council, so that we may continue to fight for quality early care and education for all children in Westchester.  Make sure you stop by and enjoy their ever changing Pie Oh My Concretes to support the Council!