December 2017              
From Our Team to Yours, we wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year!
Celebrate the holidays in our community. Visit the website below to see what's happening in Westchester.
#1 -CACFP Meal Pattern Changes
USDA recently revised the CACFP meal patterns to ensure children and adults have access to healthy, balanced meals throughout the day. Under the updated child and adult meal patterns, meals will include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. The changes made to the meal patterns are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scientific recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine, and stakeholder input. CACFP centers and day care homes must comply with the updated meal patterns by October 1, 2017.

#2 - Keeping Toys Safe 
December is safe toys and gifts months. During the holiday season and beyond don't forget about keeping our children safe.  

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season: 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission can keep you up 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:

#3 - New Application Prices for the CDA Credential
As of December 30, 2017, there are new prices from the Council for Professional Recognition, the body that awards the CDA credential.  

Paper Application: The price for submitting a CDA paper application will increase to $500.

Online Application: You can save $75 by applying for a CDA online. The application fee will continue to be $425. Applying online is also easier, faster, and improves communications through email. You can even pay for an online application either online or off-line.

Questions? Contact the Council for Professional Recognition at 202-265-9090 or Idie Benjamin at the Child Care Council at 914-761-3456 ext. 108 or
 Professional Development Opportunities 

Don't miss our great trainings scheduled for you this fall. To see what we have in store,  click the training calendar link:  
Health Tip 

Food Allergies Can Be Fatal

A 3-year-old boy died last week after having an allergic reaction at his Manhattan preschool, his family reported. Elijah Silvera was allergic to dairy and had been given a grilled cheese sandwich.
Click here to read the full story.
Is your child care program prepared to ensure the health and safety of children identified as having food allergies? Does your program have clear written policies and procedures for children with special health care needs?
How does your program:
  • Communicate with all staff (this also includes substitutes and volunteers) the necessary information for all children with allergies
  • Ensure that you have all of the necessary forms, medications, and training for the children with allergies:
    1. Completed Written Medication Consent Forms for all medication that may be needed
    2. Obtain medications that may be required
    3. Individual Health Care Plan for A Child With Special Health Care Needs
    4. Allergy Action Plans
    5. Specific instruction (following regulations) on hoe to administer the medication
    6. Review each child's Infividual Health Care Plan for A Child WIth Special Health Care Needs & Allergy Action Plans with all staff involved with the children's care
    7. Have safety plans in place before a reaction occurs
Does your program know how to:
  • Avoid the identified food allergies from coming into contact with the children involved
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of food allergy reaction
  • Care for a child if an allergic reaction occurs
  • Properly use an epinephrine auto-injector
Attached are:
Education, Planning, Communication and Cooperation are the keys to managing food allergies at your program. 
Regulatory Reminder: Serving Meals 416.12(b) & 416.12 (c)
Please be aware the program must ensure that each child in care for more than four hours a day receives a nutritious meal. In addition each child in care for more than ten hours a day must receive a minimum of two nutritious meals.
Every year Westchester County government adopts a budget with critical funding for child care. Without this funding,
many children would not get the great educational start they need  and their parents would not be able to work.   

Last year the budget included a $1 million add for child care. We were very appreciative. But we don't ever take funding for granted.  Ever.

So we ask you to come out once  again and s upport child care at the Westchester County budget hearings:

Tuesday, November 21st
Riverfront Public Library
1 Larkin Center
Yonkers, NY 10701

Wednesday, November 29th
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Wednesday, December 6th
Board of Legislators Chambers
148 Martine Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601 
Please bring picture ID
Hearings start at 7 pm.  If you wish to speak, you can sign up after 6 pm.   Wear comfortable clothes. Bring your children. Bring a sign. Stay for as long as you can. Think of your attendance as a holiday gift to the children and parents you care about. But please come!
For the 2018 County Budget as part of a Thriving Westchester, we are asking for:
  • An increase in the DSS reimbursement rate for contracted providers to OCFS Market Rates
  • A reduction in the parent share/co-pay by 5% to 22%
  • An opportunity to improve the nutritional well-being of children in Legally Exempt care by requiring LE providers providing 30 hours of care or more to enroll in the Child and Adult Care Food Progam at the Council (CACFP)
Congratulations to Our Executive Director!

We are so pleased to share with you that the Child Care Council of Westchester's Executive Director Kathy Halas was honored (twice!) in November for her commitment and advocacy on behalf of children and families in Westchester, where she is a tireless advocate for quality care and education for all. 

Kathy was honored by It Takes A Village To Educate A Child on November 2nd, and New York Nonprofit Media on November 8th. 

2017 Holiday Toy Drive
The Child Care Council is happy to partner with Toy for Tots again this year to bring joy to the holiday season. Join us by donating a new, unwrapped toy for children 12 years old and under.
When: Nov 1 - Dec 19

Drop Off Location: Child Care Council of Westchester 313 Central Park Avenue Scarsdale, NY 10583
Gift Suggestions:
Dolls and Tea Sets
Family Board Games
Bracelets and Hair Items
Building Toys

There are many ways you may help:
Donate an unwrapped toy. 
Encourage your friends, co-workers and other contacts to donate.
Help us sort toys with the Toys for Tots volunteers.
Share the above flyer with friends, family, etc. 

No Time to Shop? 
Visit our online wish list on amazon!

For more information contact Juanita Pope at or call her at (914)761-3456 ext. 106.
#GivingTuesday 2018

Each year, the Child Care Council of Westchester receives scholarship applications from more than 100 families. They have told us through tears what a scholarship would mean to them - the opportunity to go to work without worry, knowing their child is safe and learning - the chance to get out from under the weight of unpaid bills - the pride of watching their young son or daughter flourish in the right kind of early education program. (Please visit our
Facebook Page to read some of these stories, and click here to watch our scholarship video.)

This year on #GivingTuesday, every dollar we raise - 100% of your donation - will be used on early care/education scholarships for young children in need in Westchester.

If we meet our goal of $60,000 we would be able to award 12 scholarships in ONE DAY! That's 12 families, and 12 children, whose lives will be forever improved by opportunity thanks to the critical seed you have helped plant.

#GivingTuesday 2017 will take place on November 28th, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Please mark your calendar and give generously.

Ready to donate now or learn more? Visit our #GivingTuesday page

 Congratulations to Our CDA Course Students Who Received the CDA Credential!!

These early childhood professionals completed a Child Care Council CDA course and then went on to receive the Child Development Associate Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC.  They have worked hard to strengthen their skills and knowledge of working with young children. The children in their care, their parents, and their programs are very fortunate to have such dedicated professionals working with them.

Congratulations to:
  • In-person - Preschool CDA Class 
    • Danielle Keiser
  • Online eCDA Class -
    • Jennifer Gaillard
To find out more about the CDA Credential or for more information about the Council's CDA classes, please contact Idie Benjamin, Director, Professional Development, at
 Welcome New & Renewed 
Child Care Programs!
Family Day Care:
Janiece's Daycare

School Aged Child Care:
Family YMCA at Tarrytown
Healthy Kids Extended Day Program

Family Day Care:
Mariposas Family Day Care
La Faye Renolds

Welcome To CACFP!
Brandi Belen
Tiffany McRae
Mariama Kora
Learning About Each Other's December Holidays

In our multicultural society, Christmas, although important to many people, is still not everyone's holiday. For children and families from other groups - be they Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, or anything else - Christmas can be a difficult time. For almost all families, the commercialization of the holiday, with it's pressures to buy, decorate, and entertain, adds tremendous complication to already overloaded and busy lives. How can you address Christmas in your program in a way that is supportive and fair to all? (NAEYC)

Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. Children and their families celebrate holidays in many ways. The goal is to find ways to celebrate and respect the cultures represented by all the children. (NAEYC)
Begin by finding out from families and staff members which December holiday(s), if any, they celebrate, and what they might like to share about their personal tradition. If the people in your program are culturally diverse, this could mean you will be learning about a number of different December holidays. In a more culturally homogeneous class, it could mean learning about the fascinating variety of ways families all celebrate the same holiday. Make a plan for how you will teach about the various traditions in your classroom. For example, have a school party with every family sharing a special holiday food, song, or ritual. If family members cannot come into the classroom, ask them for a story or song that you can share with the children yourself. Help the children explore the similarities and differences among family holiday celebrations - whether it is the same holiday or different holidays. The aim is for children to understand that "Families are different. Each family's way of celebrating works for them." (NAEYC)

To read more, and for suggestions on how to celebrate, click here.
Itty Bitty Babies

When: Thursday, December 7, 11:30am
Thursday, December 14, 11:30am
Thursday, December 21, 11:30am
Where: Larchmont Library, Larchmont
Cost: Free
For more information  click here
Holiday Decorating Party

When: December 9, 2017 11:00
Where: The Field Library, Peekskill
Cost: Free
For more information click here
  • Upcoming Events
  • Toy Safety
  • 2018 Holiday Toy Drive
  • Health Tip- Food Allergies
  • Speak up for Child Care
  • 2018 Membership is open
  • Support the Council with Giving Tuesday
  • Family Fun and more 
2018 Annual Awards Breakfast
Friday, May 18, 2018
Westchester Marriott
Tarrytown, New York
More details to follow in early 2018

50th Anniversary Party
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Captain Lawrence Brewery
Elmsford, New York
More details to follow in early 2018

Council Office Closings 
All Day
November 23, 2017
November 24, 2017
Monday,December 25, 2017
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Monday, January 1, 2018
Office closes at 12:30pm
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Office closes at 3pm
November 22, 2017
Friday, December 22, 2017
Friday, December 29, 2017
in the community
Puerto Rico Relief
CCCW Office Manager Juanita Pope with DSS staff at drop off site for Puerto Rico Relief
Our community pulled together enough supplies to fill 5 cars to the brim for Puerto Rico! Council staff spent the morning packing cars, and dropping all of these great donations from Westchester community members off so they can reach those in need in Puerto Rico!
Just a sample of donations dropped off to DSS by CCCW Staff!
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 email at  
Our 2018 Membership is Open!

Become a Council Member today!

Benefits Include:
  • Valuable discounts on workshops, on-site training and conferences
  • Listing on our website, including a link to your website
  • Free postings on the Council's job bank
  • Membership certificate for your site
  • Printed Council Training Calendar
  • Early announcements of special programs and opportunities
  • Free Notary Public Services
  • Free member only networking meetings
  • % off Lakeshore Orders
  • Complimentary Council 2018 Calendar
  • Participation in our membership referral program
  • Exclusive member only annual events 

Call (914) 761-3456 or visit
to become a member today
Nominate Great Child Care/Afterschool Staff
Recognize a child care provider by nominating them for a "Joey Award" via the nomination form below:

Opportunities to Connect With Colleagues!

Providers, Early Childhood Directors, and School Age Directors connect with each other for opportunities to learn and share with each other. These are opportunities to share your experiences and questions. Meetings are also an opportunity to increase your knowledge. Each meeting is a training that provides a certificate accepted by OCFS.

Providers Network
Connect with other Family and Group Family Providers. The Network meets 4 times a year. The next meeting is Tuesday, December 5, from 6:45-8:45pm for dinner and a training. Elizabeth Knowles of Little House Day Care is the coordinator and can be contacted at 914-967-2707 or

Westchester Early Childhood Directors Association
The Association meets the third Tuesday of the month from 9:00am-11:00am. 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 third 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.

All networks meet at the Child Care Council.

In need of food?
If you, your family, or someone you know is in need of food assistance there are various resources in Westchester County to help.

NYS SNAP Application (to apply for assistance)
For Your Parents
We know that quality child care is far from your only challenge or responsibility. The Child Care Council is here to help connect Westchester parents with whatever education, support, and resources they need.
Learn about a wide range of topics related to raising children through free or low-cost training, and benefit from support sessions offered in your area.

2018 Child Care Council Public Policy Agenda

Affordable, quality early care and education options that promote children's success in school and life, enable parents to work and advance in their careers, and provide a ready workforce for business growth.

Click here to learn more!
International Children's Day

Sunday, December 9, is International Children's Day. On this day we celebrate children from around the world!

Here are some games from around the world you can play with your children to celebrate:

Stuck In The Mud
- Australia
Alto Ahi - Argentina
Drapeau - Canada
Peseck - Czech
Tiggy Off Ground - England
Tinikling - Philippine
Pilolo - Ghana
Lupo Della Ore - Italy
Hanetuki - Japan
Oonch Neech - Pakistan
What's Cooking?

Quick Beef Chili Recipe

  • 1 pound ground beef (93% lean)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 can (10 oz) mild diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • black pepper, to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • chopped red onions
  • cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges
  • sour cream
  • cheddar
  • avocado

Pressure Cooker
1. Press sauté on the Instant Pot, brown the beef and season with salt. cook breaking beef into 3/4 inch crumbles and stirring occasionally, 5 minutes
2. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and spices
3. Cover and cook on high pressure 20 minutes to blend the flavors
4. Serve with toppings, as desired.

Stove Top
1. Heat a large pot on medium high heat, brown the beef and season with salt. Cook breaking beef into 3/4 inch crumbles and stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
2. Add the onion and bell pepper, ad cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and spices.
3. Cover and cook low heat 30 minutes to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally.
4. Serve with toppings, as desired.


For more information on receiving reimbursements for meals and snacks contact Lindsay Tiernan at 914-761-3456 ext. 115 or email Lindsay at
Share Your News and Ideas

What's happening in your program? We want to know! You are invited to send submissions to our monthly provider newsletter, including articles, ideas, events, family friendly activities, nutritious recipes etc.

If you would like to contribute contact Juanita Pope at 914-761-3456 ext. 106 or email her at .
For more up to date info on what's happening at the Council and in the world of early care and education, LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter at @CCCWNY.
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!