October 2021
"It takes a big heart to help shape little minds."


On September 16, 2021 OCFS implemented an emergency regulation mandating all people in a child care setting to wear a mask indoors. The mandate applies to all people age 2 and older who are able to medically tolerate a face covering, regardless of vaccination status. The requirement applies to OCFS licensed and registered child care and enrolled legally exempt group programs. For more information, visit the links below.

Don't Miss Out On These Great Trainings!
Teaching Children to Write - Myths & Facts
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

How do children learn to write? When should you start? We will examine the important pre-writing skills that children must develop, and the role monkey bars play in learning to write AND the mistakes teachers can avoid. You will leave this training with many easy, creative ways to support children in learning to write. You will also learn how to create an exciting program of appropriate playful learning activities that support writing development.

Tips for Successful Toilet Learning for Beginners & Late Learners
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Did you know that there is a difference between "toilet training" and "toilet learning?" Come learn those differences, including signs that a child is ready to learn to use the toilet and when they are not. We will also discuss coordinating with parents, children with specials needs and even preschoolers that are still not ready to use the toilet. You will come away with a toolbox full of useful information that will help you create successful toilet learning experiences for each child in your care.

Looking for other trainings? View our current calendar here.
The Infant/Toddler-Family Child Care and Preschool CDA courses begin this October. For more information about the CDA Credential and the steps to take to receive it, contact Idie Benjamin at [email protected] or (914) 761-3456 ext. 108.
Love Children?
Consider a Career in Child Care!
Why work as a child care or after school care provider? Because you will keep children safe, loved, learning and healthy while their parents are at work, and help prepare them for success in school and life. There's no career more important or rewarding!

There are a variety of jobs available, right now, with children of different ages, at child care centers, in after school programs, and with family providers throughout Westchester. Some positions require experience and/or a certain level of education, others do not. You may also get free training opportunities through your employer, and with the Child Care Council of Westchester.

To see open jobs or upload your resume/profile, click here.
Virtual Career Fair
The Council will be a part of the NY State Department of Labor Virtual Career Fair on Thursday, September 30th from 10am - 2pm to help recruit candidates for Westchester child care and after school positions. We know your programs are in need of child care professionals, therefore we will recruit candidates on your behalf and share their profiles on the Council's website. We will also share a few job openings available at the Council.

If you know someone in the search for employment, they may register for this event here.
Regulations Reminder: State Central Register (SCR)

414.2(a)(1), 416.2(a)(1), 417.2(a)(1), and 418-1.2(a)(1)

Applicants for a registration must submit to the Office: a completed application, including required attestations, on forms furnished by the Office or approved equivalents. Such application and attestations must include an agreement by the applicant to operate the family day care home in conformity with applicable laws and regulations.
Funding Is Available For Your Program!
The Stabilization Fund Grant is designed to provide impactful financial assistance to eligible New York State child care programs in a fast and easy way. OCFS has created a simple online application that is available in 12 languages. Once approved, 6 monthly payments will be disbursed directly to the child care program. Payment begins within 30 days of approval. The Stabilization Fund Grant application is available from August 3, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. November 30, 2021. While funds have been allocated for all eligible programs, OCFS strongly encourages providers to apply as soon as possible. Any application received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Who is eligible?
If you answer yes to all the questions below, your program is eligible to receive these funds:
  • Is your child care program either an OCFS licensed/registered, DOHMH permitted Article 47, or an enrolled legally exempt group (enrolled with an enrollment agency)?
  • Was your license/registration/permit/enrollment issued on or before March 11, 2021?
  • Is your program currently open, or will your program be open by September 20, 2021?
  • If your program is currently closed due to COVID-19, will your program reopen within 30 days of your Stabilization grant application submission?
  • Is your program in good standing with OCFS or DOHMH (see the attached Statement of Grant Opportunity for the definition of good standing)?

I think my program is eligible. What do I do next?
First, go to https://ocfs.ny.gov/childcare-stabilization and follow the steps to create a “ny.gov” account.
Once you have a “ny.gov” account, you will have access to the Stabilization grant application. Before you begin your application, please gather the following required information: your program’s license/registration/enrollment or permit ID number, tax ID number (if applicable), and your program’s estimated monthly expenses.

If you have any questions and/or need helping applying, contact LaWanda Clarke, Business Support Specialist, at [email protected] or (914) 761-3456 ext. 161.
Advocacy Update

Child care is just too expensive for tens of thousands of Westchester families. At the same time, professionals in the field are woefully underpaid and the national media carries weekly stories of the "crisis in child care", the "crumbling child care industry", and how our "economic recovery will be imperiled" if we don't fix our child care system.

Child care is in the spotlight and now is the moment to insist on increases in public funding at every level of government. Join us on October 28th as we release new data on the child care barriers Westchester families face and what we can do about it.
RSVP for this event here. For more information, visit our website or contact Kathy Halas at [email protected] or (914) 761-3456 ext. 102.
Don't Wait to Get Vaccinated for the Flu!
When possible, children should get the flu shot in September or October. (AAP 2021)

Flu season is just around the corner.  All licensed and registered child-care programs, nursery schools, pre-k and school age child-care programs are required to post information about influenza and the benefit of the flu vaccine. This year it is even more important to be vaccinated against the flu. New York State Department of Health guidance regarding flu vaccination in child care was posted September 2021.

For information on guidance, what the CDC has to say, and more educational information, click here.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program known as CACFP contributes to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children and adults in the United States. This program helps child care programs serve well-balanced, nutritious meals and encourage healthy food habits. Child care programs that provide these nutritious meals are eligible for reimbursements.

Interested in learning more about the CACFP and how you can get your program enrolled? Contact Latoya Carney-Ramsey at 914-761-3456 ex. 118 or by email [email protected].
Want a delicious recipe? Click the link below.
NY Project Hope is New York's COVID-19 emotional support helpline. The NY Project Hope team at Family Services of Westchester offers educational presentations, workshops, and peer support groups which provide a safe space for people who have struggled during the pandemic to talk and connect with others. 
They have held several virtual and in person peer support group sessions for people of all ages (youth, adults, and seniors) for various organizations (including libraries!) across Westchester which have helped individuals open up about their emotional journeys over the past year. As things start to reopen, the shift to our pre-pandemic lives has brought up mixed emotions and NY Project Hope is here to help the community heal during this transitional time. For more information on this support helpline visit NY Project Hope.
As autumn arrives, children notice changes around them. Take some time to collect some leaves that have changed colors, pinecones that have dropped or acorns for children 3 and over. Allow the children to dip the items in paint and explore the wonderful designs. Painting with natural things allows them to explore patterns and textures, as each item will leave a different trail on the paper.
We Welcome Our New Staff!
LaWanda Clarke, Business Support Specialist, brings a vast amount of financial and business expertise to the Council and will be delivering many types of business support to child care programs of all modalities.

Lillieth Boniello, Infant Toddler Mental Health Specialist, will improve the quality of family/group family child care settings serving children from low-wage earning families by using the IT-CHILD assessment tool and model from the Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program. She will collect and report data on her work and collaborate with other project partners in offering policy recommendations.

Karla Vargas, Bi-lingual CACFP Case Manager, will work to maximize family and legally exempt provider enrollment in CACFP to ensure sound nutritional services and achieve financial savings for providers.

Kelsy Burgos, Bi-lingual Health/Family Specialist, will provide support to family child care providers in our Babies Step Forward Program, and promote healthy growth in young children’s social and emotional development by building the confidence, competencies, and skills of the caregivers.

Noreen Delacy, Administrative Assistant (PS), will provide accurate, efficient, key administrative support to the Provider Services Department.

To reach out to any of the above staff members or any staff member, visit our website here for a full staff directory.
We are pleased to announce that Andrea Rosendo will begin a new journey at the Council in her new role as our Child Care Subsidy Specialist. She is eager and ready to assist parents with the child care subsidy process, so please don't hesitate to email her your questions: [email protected]
Over a decade, Jason Thomas has achieved great things supporting the Registration and Legally Exempt Departments. We are happy to congratulate him in his new role as Legally Exempt Coordinator where he will continue to share his knowledge and experience as he provides excellent customer support.
With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the uncertainty of the virus, the Council has decided to postpone the Park & Play event. The decision to postpone Park & Play was difficult but ultimately it is the decision that is best for the health of our staff and community. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please stay tuned for details on a future date.
Visit our website for more information and to register.

  • Westchester Child Care Advocacy Hour, October 28, 2021
  • Virtual Early Childhood Fall Conference, October 29, 2021
  • Dream Big 2022, April 7, 2022
For more events, click the button below.
The Child Care Council of Westchester’s Board of Directors are dedicated Westchester professionals who understand the vital importance of quality early care and education, and volunteer their time and resources to support our mission. We are always looking for new members to lend their voice for the children and child care professionals by bringing innovative ideas, through advocacy work, and more. If you are interested in becoming a board member, we would love to talk with you. Click the link below to find out how you can help.
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!
Too many of Westchester's children and working moms face unnecessary and overwhelming barriers. Much of a child's future is influenced by what happens before he or she enters kindergarten. We work to give all children, no matter their family's economic circumstances, access to the quality early care and education that gives them the very best chance to reach their full potential. Universal access to quality child care would clear the path for opportunity and possibilities. If you believe that every child deserves a fair chance at quality education, please consider donating to Dream Big 2022.
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.
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Scarsdale, NY 10583