December 2016              
#1   $$$$ for Snacks and Meals?

It's now easier than ever to receive reimbursements for serving healthy meals and snacks to the children in your child care programs, thanks to KidKare is a website that allows programs participating in the Child Adult Food Care Program to keep their menus and attendance electronically. No more paper! If you are interested in participating in CACFP please contact Lindsay Tiernan at (914)761-3456 x115.

#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:  Safety Tips

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:  
 Happy Holidays !

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:  
 Come Out and Support 
Child Care $$$$  
2017  Westchester County  Public Budget Hearings 

Many of your programs serve families receiving the child care subsidy through Westchester DSS.    The amount of subsidy money that will be available to your children and potential children, is voted on each year in the Westchester County budget.   The amount proposed for child care subsidy in 2017 is LESS THAN what was spent this year.  Unless this changes, fewer children will be served next year.   This will impact your child care business.

It's in your best interest to come to the budget hearings and call for more child care funding:

Wednesday, November 30th
H.C. Crittenden Middle School
10 Macdonald Avenue, Armonk

Wednesday, December 7th
Board of Legislators Chambers
148 Martine Ave, White Plains

All hearings start at 7 pm.  If you want to speak, sign-ups usually start shortly after 6 pm, in the order in which they sign up.    We'll be there, fighting for child care!  For more info please contact Kathy Halas, Executive Director at
 Professional Development Opportunities 
Our Fall Training Calendar offers a variety of trainings for early care and education professionals.  We can help you expand your skills, improve the quality of care you provide to children, and meet NYS licensing requirements.   Take a peek at what's in store for you and your staff this fall:
  • Basic Spanish for Communicating with Children and Families
  • A Curious Classroom:  Encouraging and Supporting Children's Curiosity
  • "Solving the Puzzle"  Seven Helpful Strategies for Working with Children on the Autism Spectrum
  • Social Studies for Preschoolers:  Me & My World

2016 Fall Training Calendar

Health Tip 
Child Care Programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act

  Can your program exclude children that may require medication due to Special Health Care Needs?

The answer is NO, programs cannot exclude children that may require medication due to special health care needs.

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

Feel free to call Elissa Guzzardi if you have any questions at 914-761-3456 ext. 154. 
Regulation Reminder: 417.5(j)
As the weather gets colder please remember w ood or coal burning stoves, fireplaces, pellet stoves and permanently installed gas space heaters used at any time at the home must be inspected and approved by local authorities or an inspector qualified to approve fuel burning systems.

SOLD OUT Infant Toddler Conference 

The theme of the 2016 Fall Infant Toddler Conference was "The Children Are The Curriculum."  The conference, held at the St. Gregory the Great Early Childhood Development Program in Harrison on November 18 was attended by 150 early childhood educators from every corner of Westchester County.  
The Keynote Speaker, Fern Fisher, presented a comprehensive program entitled, "What is Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers?".  In addition to the keynote, breakout sessions included trainings on Early Literacy, Appropriate Social-Emotional Curriculum, Developing Responsive Curriculum, Music in Early Childhood Settings and Early Intervention Services.  The participants were enthusiastic and participated in a variety of hands on and group activities during the sessions.  The conference was an enjoyable day of learning and a dynamic exchange of ideas.
2016 Annual Toy Drive

Share the spirit of the holidays by joining our annual toy drive. There are many ways you may help:
*Donate an unwrapped toy
*Join us in the community to help encourage holiday shoppers to donate a toy
*Help us sort toys with the Toys for Tots volunteers
*Share the below flyer with friends, family etc. 
Click here to print the flyer:   2016 Holiday Toy Drive
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

All funds raised on #GivingTuesday (11/29/2016)  will be used to purchase Brain-Building Kits for child care providers who serve children from low income families. The kits are filled with items that are critical for early brain growth. Children who have access to the materials like the ones below are more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn, move grade to grade on time, avoid risky behavior, graduate high school, earn good wages, and be healthy as adults.
Please consider helping us reach our goal!

Help Us Win $$$  for Child Care!

Please click the link below to visit Westchester  Toyota's 21st Give Back Campaign Facebook page and vote for the Council as your favorite charity. Spread the word and have your friends and family vote too! 

Your votes will help us win up to $1,500 that will support our efforts to make sure children in Westchester have access to quality early care.

New and Renewed Child Care Programs:

Family Day Care:
Play & Learn Daycare
Esther Tejada

School Aged Child Care:
Village of Rye Brook
Gym Care Inc.

Welcome to CACFP:
Walterine Clayborne

Congratulations to Our CDA Course Student!!

This early childhood professional completed a Council CDA course and then went on to receive the Child Development Associate credential from the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC. She worked very hard  to improve her skills and knowledge of working with young children.  
Congratulations Mary Small!
To find out more about the CDA credential or for information about the Council's CDA classes, please contact Idie Benjamin, Director, Professional Development, at 
Freedom of Movement in Infants
Congratulations to the Virginia Marx Children's Center at Westchester Community College and the White Plains YWCA for achieving the Freedom of Movement Certification.  They are the first programs in Westchester County to receive this certification.

The goal of the Freedom of Movement Certification Program is to provide non-mobile infants with environments that encourage them to get in and out on their own, which is important in helping them reach developmental milestones. Allowing for Freedom of Movement promotes self-confidence and encourages interest in the world around them. Click here to read more.

Infant Toddler Regional Coordinator Jennifer Sorby was thrilled to work with these programs to help them earn this important certification.  For more info, please contact Jennifer at

STEM is a way of looking at science for  children of all ages, even the very youngest. STEM is a focus on  four specific disciplines in an interdisciplinary and applied approach:
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering 
  • Mathematics 
The "T" in STEM is technology, but NOT electronic technology.  When you hear the word technology, you might think of computers and tablets, but in the preschool curriculum, technology refers to using tools that inspire curiosity and problem solving. Tools also help children develop eye-hand coordination and strengthen their hand and finger muscles for writing, typing, and drawing.

You are probably using many of these tools already in your program. STEM asks you to look at these "simple" tools as important equipment for children in exploring the world around them. These tools give children ways to observe, measure, explore, and experiment. They lead children to ask questions and make hypotheses.  
To read more  click here .
NAEYC-Anti-Bias Education: The December Holidays  

Many early childhood educators have questions about how to approach the holidays. Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves offers useful information and tools for teachers as they consider the specific families in their program. The following text is excerpted from the chapter titled "Learning About Holidays & Fairness." "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 its 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?"  To read more  click here
Celebrating Holidays In Early Childhood Programs

Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities for children to learn about the traditions and values that are cherished parts of people's lives. But many early childhood professionals wonder what holidays to celebrate in the program or classroom and how to respect the cultures represented by all children. Many parents also wonder why programs celebrate specific holidays or why they discourage any celebration at all.

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. The important thing for all to remember is that when planning holiday activities, the rules of good practice continue to apply: Are the activities meaningful to the children? Are their needs and interests being met? Is the activity a valuable use of children's time? To read more click here

Book Club Story Time

Join the Pottery Barn Kids Book Club Story Time Club and hear a special story every Tuesday morning. Become a member and receive a special gift after 5 visits. 11-11:30 am. For children who are preschool age. FREE.

Pottery Barn Kids- 125 Westchester Ave., White Plains. (914) 949-494.   For more info click here:  Pottery Barn Kids

Movers & Shakers

A fun half-hour of music, rhythm, sounds, rhymes and DANCE!!
Spontaneous music and movement are vital to the creative educational process. Amy Gardiner, with a Master of Arts in Education, leads this group for babies through pre-schoolers aged 4 mos to 3 years.
Thursdays 10:45-11:15.
Location: 171 Cleveland Drive, Croton, NY 10520
For more info call: 914-271-6612
  • Upcoming Events
  • 2017 County Budget Hearings 
  • 2016 Toy Drive
  • Nominate great child care/after school staff 
  • New programs in the child care community
  • 2017 Membership is Open
  • Americans with Disabilities Act 
  • Fall Training Calendar
  • Support the Council on Giving Tuesday
  • Holidays in a child care program
  • and more 
2017 Annual Awards Breakfast 
Friday, May 19, 2017
Westchester Marriott
Tarrytown, NY 

Legislative Breakfast
February 2017
Look out for more information in early 2017

Council Office Closings 
All day
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016
Monday, January 2, 2017

Early closings (at 3pm)
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Nicholas Pirrotta, Clarfeld Financial Advisors

The Council welcomes Nicholas to the Council Board of Directors. 
Staff Development Day 

Staff development is an important aspect of our agency. We come together at least monthly to increase our skills and knowledge, strengthen our communication and teamwork and share ideas.    

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 opening:  

For more information contact Juanita Pope at 914-761-3456 ext. 106 or email at  
Take Advantage of the Early Bird Membership Perks!!!

Become a 2017 member by November 30th and receive a training voucher. 

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
  • Free access to the Council's Children's Resource Corner
  • Early announcements of special programs and opportunities
  • Free Notary Public Services
  • Invitation to attend free member only networking meetings
  • Complimentary Council 2016 Calendar
  • Participation in our membership referral program
  • Invitation to attend 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:

Above photo of our 2015 Joey Award Winner, Dawn Meyerski, Mount Kisco Child Care Center 
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)
20 17 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 read more. 
Bruce Museum Programs

The Bruce Museum offers several different ways for teachers and students to experience their collections.  Whether your program visits the Museum or the Museum comes to you, the Bruce Museum educators are trained in the most up to date educational theories and have experience working with different audiences. Click here to read more. 

For more information on these programs, please contact Corinne Flax at
Family Time 

Family traditions include practices and reflect beliefs that create positive feelings in families.  Traditions are a valuable way to strengthen relationships and create lasting memories. shares ideas on ways to spend time with family.  Visit their website below to learn more.  

Special Days in December

December 12th is National Gingerbread House Day.  Gather with the children, bake up some gingerbread and start building and decorating your very own gingerbread house. 
What's Cooking?

Banana Bran Muffin

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas, (2 medium)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, (see Ingredient notes)
  • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, (see Ingredient notes)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, (optional) 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.


Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in bananas, buttermilk, wheat bran, oil and vanilla.


Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they'll be quite full). Sprinkle with walnuts, if using.


Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.



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 .

Support the Council

There are so 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!

Sign up at:   SMILE.AMAZON.COM