March 2019              
#1 - Facility Application and Management System (FAMS)
The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) will be launching the Facility Application and Management System (FAMS), which will first be available to all NEW Day Care Center (DCC) and School-Age Child Care (SACC) applicants to complete and submit their initial applications.on-line.    This secure technology will modernize and streamline the application/licensing process.  We strongly encourage all applicants to take advantage of FAMS.  Please remember, in order to use FAMS, you must have an active/valid email address on file with OCFS so that they can email you a link to create a FAMS account. Over the coming months, OCFS licensing/registration staff should be reaching out to all providers to collect their email addresses to update the system.

#2 - Westchester County Helps Child Care 
Thanks to more child care funding, Westchester County raised reimbursement rates to contracted programs by 3.8% as of February 1st.  The Department of Social Services also opened up 25 new slots for Title XX families over 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.  These are the first new Title XX slots since summer 2016 and will be available on a first come/first served basis.   A BIG THANKS to County Executive Latimer and the Westchester County Board of Legislators for investing in child care and our children.

#3 - Need $ for a Great Program Idea?  
Since 2016, the Council has distributed a total of $15,000 to 11 organizations to support innovative programs and projects in child care and after school.  Funded out of the Council's Cathryn Riley Fund, these "Innovation for Quality Prizes" have supported a community garden generating produce for a local homeless shelter, to a provider support group, to free libraries and more.   The Council will soon announce the application process for 2019 so start thinking!
Ask NYS Leaders to Make  Child Care a Real Priority in the Budget

The Governor's proposed 2019-2020 Executive Budget and his 2019 Women's Agenda failed to expand child care access as hoped.  It is estimated that fewer than 20% of eligible low-income NYS families who could benefit from child care subsidy assistance actually receive it.  

Still, there is momentum once again in the Assembly where more than 50 members signed a letter asking Speaker Carl Heastie to substantially increase new investment in child care subsidies.

If you believe that more children should be able to enroll in safe child care and after school programs....

If you believe that subsidy reimbursement rates must be raised so that child care workers can be paid decently.......

Then  CLICK HERE! and add your voice to those calling for more child care funding.  
Welcome 2019 Members!

The Council would like to extend a warm welcome to those Centers, Group Family and Family Providers, Individuals, and Organizations that have joined our membership or renewed a previous membership! We are happy to have all of your support.

Our membership is still open! If you are interested in receiving the many benefits for the 2019 year, please join us! For more information contact Juanita Pope at

Visit our  website to see a full list of our current 2019 members.
 Professional Development Opportunities 

Our winter/spring calendar is all about play. Our inspiration comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics which recently issued a very strong policy statement on how vital play is for children. The media called it a "Prescription for Play." 


American Academy of Pediatrics Message 

Don't miss our great winter/spring  trainings.  To see what we have in store,  click 2019 Winter Training Calendar
 Health Tip
Child Care Programs and the 
Americans with Disabilities Act

Children with Special Health Care Needs refers to children who have a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition expected to last 12 months or more and who require health and related services of a type or amount beyond required by children generally.

Some examples of children with special health care needs include those with Diabetes, Asthma, Seizure Disorders and Food or Environmental Allergies that may require the administration of medication.

Any child identified as a child with special health care needs must have a written Individual Health Care Plan which must include all the information needed to safely care for the child during program hours. This plan will be developed with the child's parent and health care provider.

The program may be required as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to obtain approval to administer medication if the child needs medication or medical treatments during program hours.

Read  When Are You Required to Admit a Child with a Disability? and review the evaluation process under the ADA.

Read commonly asked questions about child care centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact the Health Services Department at (914) 761-3456 x154 to learn more about children with special health care needs, the MAT Course, emergency medication and the benefits of becoming approved to administer medication.
Important Notification
Mandatory Day Care and Pre-K Immunization Survey is ready to use - Due March 5, 2019 

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Bureau of Immunization Online Day Care and Pre-K Immunization Survey is ready for day care and Pre-k programs to use. It is mandatory for all day care and Pre-k programs to complete the immunization survey online and report the immunization status of all children enrolled at your facility by March 5, 2019. Failure to complete and submit the survey form is a violation of Public Health Law, which may result in the imposition of a civil penalty of up to $2,000.

For more information, click here
Regulatory Reminder: 418-1.15(B)(23) or 414.15(B)(23) Acting Director
Upon termination or resignation of the director, an acting director must be immediately named by the licensee. The appointment of the acting director must be shared with the Office (OCFS Regional Office) by the next day of business. A permanent director must be on-site within ninety days.
Quality: Toys, NOT Television!

Quality child care starts with TOYS, not TV.

In a quality child care environment, children experience warm, loving interactions with caregivers, and they have opportunities to talk, sing, read, play and explore objects and physical space. TV and electronics can be a distraction, not a benefit to children's growth and development.
Sustainability in the Classroom

Join Sarah Lawrence College and the Child Development Institute on Saturday, March 2nd to learn about Sustainability in the Classroom at the Center for the Urban River at Beczak. This is a one day professional development workshop where you will learn about local pollution sources and cleanup efforts, get tips for classroom projects to teach students about sustainable practices through science, and get first-hand experience in life cycle and compost activities. This workshop will be hands on, partially outdoors - be prepared to get a little dirty. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided. 

To learn more click here
We're Proud of Our Westchester Emerging Leader 

Juanita Pope, the Child Care Council's Office Manager and Special Events Manager, was chosen to be among a select group of professionals in the nonprofit sector who make up the inaugural class of Nonprofit Westchester's new Emerging Leaders Program. She and 20 other rising stars will meet at a different nonprofit each month of the year to focus on a relevant professional development topic, learn about the host organization, and network.

The program, designed to help foster talent among the next generation of nonprofit leaders, launched last week and held its first session at Westhab, Inc.
Juanita shared that she is very excited to participate. "I look forward to getting to know my colleagues and learning more about the many aspects of running a successful organization and what it takes to make a true impact for the populations we serve."

To learn more about this program visit Non Profit Westchester's website  Emerging Leaders Program.

Join Us for a Special Story Time at a Library Near You!

Date: Monday, April 8, 2019
Time: 11:30am to 12:00pm
Location: Peekskill Public Library

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Time: 10:15am to 10:45am
Location: Mount Vernon Public Library 
Annual Infant Toddler Conference

Join us for a morning of interactive learning and networking at our 
Annual Infant Toddler Conference!
Date: April 13, 2019
Time: 8:30am - 1:00pm
Location: Dobbs Ferry High School, 505 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY
For more information  click here
The best wines are the ones we drink with friends.

Registration is now open for our Annual Wine Tasting Event! Click the link below and come share some wine with us! 

11th Annual Children's Book Drive!
The Child Care Council of Westchester and the Westchester Chapter of the New York Association for the Education of Young Children (WAEYC) are celebrating the Week of the Young Child with our 11th Annual Children's Book Drive. 

Early literacy skills cannot develop without access to high quality books, but many programs in Westchester County do not have enough books for the children in their care. 

We welcome your donation of books in very good condition that can be used and enjoyed by children ages 0-12. We are especially interested in books depicting diverse ages, abilities, and cultures. We cannot accept electronic books.

Drop off books between March 15th and April 30th, 2019 to:

Child Care Council of Westchester
313 Central Park Avenue, Suite 4
Scarsdale, New York 10583
(Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; call for Saturday hours)

For more information or questions, please call the Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc. at 
(914) 761-3456 ext. 136 or 106
Save the Date for our Heroes!

The Council is proud to announce our first Early Education Hall of Heroes event. Join us on Friday, June 21st for a night of celebrating Westchester's most dedicated and exceptional child care and after school professionals.

Nomination process to be announced soon - stay tuned for more information!
 Welcome New & Renewed 
Child Care Programs!

Family Day Care Programs
Norma Gaines
TLC Daycare of Yonkers

SACC Programs
Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle
Harrison Children's Center, Inc.

Welcome New CACFP Participants
Yvonne Jones
Nancy SicaJau
Blanca Schelmetty
Patricia Copeland
National Bubble Week
March 17-23, 2019

Children of all ages (and adults) should play with bubbles because...
1. Bubbles are fun and magical.
2. You can play with bubbles inside and outside.
3. Bubbles help develop children's skills, such as fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination, vision, language skills, social skills, oral motor skills, directional concepts, and gross motor skills.
4. Bubbles are a sensory experience; they are wet, slimy and sticky.
5. Bubbles do not stain clothes or furniture. 

Fun ways to play with bubbles
1. Start out by practicing - give children a cup of water and a straw and have them make water bubbles.
2. Make your own bubble wand for little mouths out of pipe cleaners.
3. Make plastic bottle blowers for toddlers.
4. Have a bubble race.
5. Make Bubble Art
6. Eat foods with bubbles like swiss cheese and pita bread!

To read more about the happiness of bubbles, click here
Baby Lap Time
When : Mondays, from March 4th to March 25th at 11am 
Where: Katonah Village Library
Cost: Free
For more information, click here

Spanish Book Fair

When : March 26th 
3:30-4:30pm and 5:30-7:30pm 
Where: Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School
Cost: Free
For more information, click here



  • Health Tip: ADA and Child Care
  • Spring Infant Toddler Conference
  • New Early Education Hall of Heroes Event
  • Free training for members
  • Donate to 11th Annual Book Drive
  • Children's Corner
  • What's Cooking
  • Family Fun and more 


Raise a Glass
Annual Wine Tasting
Vino 100
171 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
April 11, 2019

Early Ed Hall of Heroes
Mercy College 
555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
June 21, 2019

Council Office Closings 
Early Closing (3pm)
Friday, May 24, 2019

All Day
Monday, May 27, 2019
Welcome, Carmelita!

We are very happy to announce a new addition to our Professional Development Team, Carmelita Bota. Carmelita is our new Infant Toddler Quality Specialist. With over 30 years of experience in early childhood development, we are sure she will be a great resource to Westchester's providers! If you would like to speak with Carmelita about Professional Development, give her a call at (914) 761-3456 x134.
Congratulations, Monica!

Formerly our Bilingual Legally Exempt Enroller, Monica Soto is now moving into our new Bilingual Registrar position! We are so happy she will continue to work with the Provider Services Department, just in a new role. As we continue to search for someone new to join our Legally Exempt team, Monica will assist in that department as well. If you have any questions about Legally Exempt applications or Registration, please give her a call at 
(914) 761-3456 x168.
There is nothing wrong with sharing the love!

Our very own STAR Committee (Special Team for Action and Recognition) planned our Annual Valentine's Day Breakfast for all of the Council staff to enjoy during our monthly All Staff meeting. It's always so great to spread love and happiness!
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:  

Resource & Referral Counselor

For more information contact Juanita Pope at 914-761-3456 ext. 106  or  
Provider Highlight
"Free Little Library"

So exciting to see the first "Free Little Library" which was just unveiled by Elizabeth Knowles at her licensed group family program, Little House Day Care, in Rye.

The children in her program enjoyed placing books for all ages in this colorful new home with was designed, built and painted by Elizabeth and her husband Robert. Funded out of the Council's Cathryn Riley Innovation for Quality Fund, Elizabeth plans to erect more "Free Little Libraries" at other family child care programs in the County, and possibly other locations as well.

What a wonderful way to encourage more reading and the sharing of treasured books! For more information, contact Elizabeth at
Provider Highlight
They're Talking About Us!

"The Child Care Council of Westchester is a very important part of our business. The wealth of experience, services, and training programs make it possible for Group Family Day Cares to stay up to date with new laws and regulations, educate and offer certification programs for staff and owners. One of our business's best resource of information, they help to ensure the children receive the best and safest methods of care for the all of Westchester County." Peter Woo, Kids are People 2
FREE Training Hours

The Council is excited to announce that we will offer over 10 free training hours for our 2019 members.

We kicked off our free business series on January 10th. 

Be sure to join our membership and receive the free training schedule for the upcoming year. 

Next free training is scheduled for March 14th, 6pm at the Council. 

Click here, for more information
Don't miss out, join our Membership Today!

Benefits Include:
  • Discounted calendar trainings and on-site training 
  • Listing on our website, including a link to your website
  • Free gift for becoming a Council Member
  • Free postings on the Council's job bank
  • Membership certificate to post at your site
  • Free Members Only networking events and exclusive Members Only annual events
  • Refer a friend and receive a voucher for a free training
  • Council Member only Lakeshore Learning coupon and discount
  • Council Member only Once Upon A Child coupon
  • Printed Council Training Calendar

Share your membership experience with us by completing the below survey.

Call (914) 761-3456 or visit
to become a member today
Dr.  Seuss Day
is March 2nd

National Read Across America Day is also Dr. Seuss's birthday! Across the country, thousands of programs, schools, libraries and community centers participate by bringing together children and books, and you can too!

Pick a favorite Dr. Seuss book to read to your children - our favorite is the tongue twister Fox in Sox. 
National Recall

There is a Nationwide Retail Recall of Ibuprofen Oral Suspension Drops, USP, 50mg per 1.25mL, due to higher concentration of Ibuprofen. 

Click here for more information.  
Earn a Free Council Training!

In appreciation for all the early care and education professionals that attend our trainings, we are now offering the "Council Loyalty Punch Card"!

Click here to learn more.

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 that provides 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 Elizabeth Rodano, CCCW Infant Toddler Regional Coordinator at or 914-761-3456 ext. 219.

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 Chappaqua Childrens Workshop at or Lynn Lutomski at Irvington Children's Center at for more details.
Join the network today!

Please note the networking groups do not meet in July and August. 

The Council is pleased to host these groups. We encourage you to attend their meetings.
What's Cooking?

Vegetable Lasagna

  • 6 hot cooked lasagna noodles (about 6 oz uncooked), cut in half
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 (26oz) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. commercial pesto
  • 1 (15oz) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup (3oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add pasta sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and summer 10 minutes. Combine pesto and ricotta in a small bowl. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodle halves over tomato mixture. Top noodles with half of ricotta mixture and 1 cup tomato mixture.
3. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

For more information on receiving reimbursements for meals and snacks contact Lindsay Tiernan at (914)-761-3456 x115 or email Lindsay 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:
Support the Council
Many easy ways to help!

Did you know TD Bank has an Affinity Program? 

TD will make an annual contribution to the Council based on the activity of all participating members' TD accounts. If you are already a customer, or wish to open an account, visit any of their locations and ask to be included in the Affinity Program to benefit the Council.

Support the Council while you shop!

Shop Amazonsmile and 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!


How Delicious It Is to Give Back!

Shake Shack recently opened a new Hartsdale, NY location, and chose to give back to the Child Care Council of Westchester through their Charitable Partnership Program. Each sale at their soft opening, as well as 5% of sales of their Pie Oh My Concrete will be donated 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 Concrete to support the Council!