August 2021
"Summer means happy times and good sunshine It means going to the beach, enjoying the scenery, having fun with family and friends."

~Brian Wilson

  • All individuals 12 years of age and older are now eligible for the vaccine. 

  • 12 to 17 year olds who get vacinated can have names entered into random drawing for a full scholarship to SUNY or CUNY Sign Up
COVID & Child Care

On June 28th, OCFS informed child care providers that they no longer need to follow the “Interim Guidance for Child Care, Day Camp, and Overnight Camp Programs During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency”. However, the CDC still strongly recommends unvaccinated persons to continue to wear masks indoors. The Council still encourages child care programs to practice precautionary steps to keep children and staff safe.

We know that the health and safety of your child is your top priority and seeking child care during the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging. Here are some health and safety tips to consider when evaluating child care programs:
Updated July 2021
NYS Excluded Workers Fund - Accepting Applications

The Excluded Workers Fund provides economic relief for eligible low-income individuals.

To be eligible, you must:
  • Lived in New York State before March 27, 2020, and continue to live in New York State
  • Not be eligible for and did not receive unemployment insurance or any other COVID-19 income relief or other specified benefits from the state or federal government
  • Earned less than $26,208 in the 12 months prior to April 2021
  • Lost at least 50% of weekly work-related earnings or household income at any point in time between February 23, 2020 and April 1, 2021 due to total or partial unemployment, or inability or unavailability to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic or, became responsible for a majority of their household income due to death or disability of the head of household.
Child Care Referrals & Resources
It’s way too nice to be inside, so we’ve been outdoors as much as possible. If the flowers are in bloom where you live, try this color matching nature walk. It’s a great way for young children to learn colors.
You’ll need some color samples in a variety of colors, a hole punch, and a ring clip to help hold your color samples together. Punch a hole in the corner of each sample. Then combine them all with the ring clip, and you’re ready to head outside. Color samples are free at paint and hardware stores.
You can take these on a walk through your neighborhood, to a local park, or to a garden in your area. 
Color Matching Nature Walk
Helping Your Child Make Friends Again

As our children’s social worlds begin to expand and return to a new normal after so many unknowns, parents are wondering how to best prepare young kids to make friends outside the home. And to be honest, it can feel overwhelming for both kids and grown-ups. My son often reminds me of something when we’re working through big feelings and life transitions: “Well, you never lived through a pandemic as a kid!” And he’s right!

A year and half isn’t so long for grown-ups, but my 5-year-old has spent a quarter of his life primarily playing with his siblings at home, missing out on a typical preschool experience. Every family has a different comfort and safety level, and I’m working to prepare my kids to know their personal boundaries and respect others’ boundaries, too. As my family arranges to interact more with neighbors and plans for school, I talked with Dr. Traci Baxley — a parenting coach, educator, and mother of five — about how to navigate nerves, ease anxieties, and empower little ones as we ease into more social situations.

“The isolation — when we needed each other the most — was the hardest. It impacted our mental health and our children’s mental health,” Dr. Baxley said. “In a world that needed more compassion and connection during the pandemic and social unrest, our kids got denied all of that. The basic human connection was missing in a time when we needed that the most.”

Here are some tips she shared with me for helping kids make friends and build social resilience in this transition time after a tough year.

  • Be ready to provide extra support
  • Stay positive
  • Be proactive, but start small
  • Play pretend
  • Remember your people
  • Make a plan
  • Bring in the pros
  • Share your perspective
How to Cope with Back-to-School Anxiety

Every summer, about two weeks before the beginning of school, my phone lights up at an alarming rate. With staggered start dates around the country, the concerns about back-to-school anxiety come in waves and continue through most of the fall. Good news: you’re not alone.

Take a second grade boy, for example. He loved kindergarten. He liked first grade. Just weeks before the first day of second grade, he declared that he had no intention of going to school anymore. At first, his parents thought it was cute and funny. Most kids would choose endless summer over homework and sitting still all day, after all. Within days of this declaration, however, his behavior changed.

He woke up with nightmares almost every night. His appetite decreased. He stopped doing the fun things he normally enjoyed, like running through the sprinkler with his sister and practicing soccer kicks in the yard. He became clingy, he whined a lot and he was irritable more often than not. He was anxious.

Feelings of anxiety are perfectly normal and to be expected during times of transition. While many people think of separation anxiety as a problem confined to toddlers and preschoolers, I also see it in elementary and middle school kids. And back-to-school anxiety can occur clear through high school!
Some kids are more hard-wired for anxious thoughts and feelings than others. While some level of anxiety affects most people, high levels of anxiety can be disruptive to both the child and the whole family.

Know the Signs
Some worries are to be expected. It’s not easy to walk into a new classroom with a new teacher and start from scratch every single year. Watch for these sneaky symptoms of anxiety as the new school year begins:
  • changes in eating habits
  • sleep disturbance
  • clingy behavior
  • meltdowns or tantrums
  • nail biting, hair twirling, skin picking
  • headaches or stomach pains
  • avoiding normal daily activities
  • increased irritability
  • increased crying
  • social isolation

If your child exhibits some of these symptoms for more than two weeks, get an evaluation. Many children can work through back-to-school anxiety independently, but when anxiety interferes with normal daily living, kids need help.

PBS for Parents

This past school year was unusual. But with students heading back to school, there's a lot we can do to bolster our children’s feelings of confidence and security as they head into a new year. Here are ways to get in the back-to-school mindset and cope with any anxieties or emotions.

  • Creating a routine for kids
  • How to handle a tough first day of school
  • Practice super morning and bedtime routines
  • "You are brave and kind"; Helping your child for the first day of school

Want a delicious recipe? Click the link below.
Families who earn up to $440,000 per year are eligible, For More Info Click Here
Things to Do
Sharc Creative along with White Plains Hospital brings back the excitement of drive-in theatres with a summer of "Screenings Under the Stars." The screenings take place on certain Fridays throughout the summer months. Tickets are per car, not per person. For a complete list of upcoming movies, tickets, and more information, visit: Screenings Under the Stars.
Save the Date: Westchester Advocacy Day, October 28, 2021
If you are passionate about child care and making a positive impact, looking for a great career opportunity, or simply want to volunteer, we would love to work with you. Learn more about open positions, and how to apply, below!
For other council events, click the link below:
When you support quality early care and education, your donation lasts a lifetime. If you wish to donate monetarily or any other way, you can find out how to do so by clicking the link below.
313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583