Rockland Child Care News
January-March 2021
Welcome 2021. We are glad to see you.
Now that 2020 and the holiday season are behind us, (NYS) Budget Season is here. The timing could not be better. With the emotional, physical, and financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic still fresh in our minds and still impacting our lives, state officials will spend the coming weeks planning how to meet the needs of state residents and businesses (for-profit and non-profit alike). 

How did 2020 impact you? Were you an essential worker looking for child care only to discover $300 a week (or more) per child was impossible to afford? A parent waiting anxiously for the PreK lottery results? A child care provider who had to close? An employer whose business struggled because employees couldn't find appropriate child care? 

These are your stories to tell. Now is the time to tell them. As we begin 2021 the Governor will propose his policy agenda and the state’s budget for the coming year. The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is vast; will Governor Cuomo propose deep cuts to agency and program budgets? Our representatives in the State Assembly and the State Senate will debate the proposals through the end of March; the new budget year begins April 1st. How will state legislators respond? Telling your stories, sharing your experiences, advocating for services and support, standing up for children and families here in Rockland will shape that response. 

What kind of world do you envision for our children? For yourselves? Lend your voices to the conversations around policy decisions affecting families, children, early childhood and school-age care and education. You know what is best for you, and our policymakers need to know what you need. 

Are you in? Here’s what to do next:
📧 Send me an email to let me know. We’re planning calls with Assembly Member Zebrowski, Assembly Member Brabenec, Assembly Member Schmitt, State Senator James Skoufis, and Rockland’s two new state legislators, Assembly Member Mike Lawler and State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, so they can hear from you directly.
📣 Reserve Statewide Child Care Advocacy Day on your calendar - it’s February 2nd. In past years we’ve headed to Albany by the busload to meet legislators and stand together on the Capitol steps. This year, it’s virtual (of course), which means you won’t have to take the day off – you can join from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere you choose. We’ll share specifics when the schedule is finalized.
📹 Tell your story in a quick video. You can record it on your phone or on a camera connected to your computer. Post the video to social media. Go ahead and tag CCRR and Rockland’s state representatives (including the Governor). Don’t want to post? Not on social media? Send us the video and we’ll post your videos to our accounts. Not sure what to say? We can help.
🧑🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏼 Ask others to help. If you’re a provider, ask your families to share their stories. If you are a parent, ask your provider and your employer to share their experiences. Post to social media often; you can easily share CCRR’s and my posts, too (we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and I am on LinkedIn). 

We were reminded last year every voice has impact. Change cannot happen unless we stand up and stand together for children and families. Let’s do this, together. For more information about policy and budget priorities, please visit our website.

Vicki Caramante
CCRR, Executive Director
A New Year's Message from the Board President
Child Care Aware® of America, in their recently published report captioned Picking Up the Pieces: Building a Better Child Care System Post COVID-19, offers the following sobering assessment of the child care system during the reality of COVID-19:

When COVID-19 was layered onto the already fragile child care system, it shattered. Among the report’s main findings on the pandemic’s impact on child care:

  • As of July 2020, 35% of child care centers and 21% of family child care programs remain closed nationwide.

  • Child care attendance and enrollment remain significantly lower than they were at the start of 2020. Seventeen of 32 states that submitted data for July 2020 lost more than 25% of their child care capacity.

  • The cost to provide quality child care is also likely to increase due to lower provider-child ratios and increased costs for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies. Quality may suffer as child care providers focus on ways to stay in business.

  • Without significant public investment in our child care system, providers will likely have to pass along extra costs related to COVID-19 to parents who are already struggling to stay afloat during this economic downturn.

The child care reality here in Rockland County is no different and the urgent need for us to address the issue has never been greater. At the start of the New Year, many of us focus our attention on resolutions to improve our lives. While each of us may strive to achieve those personal goals, collectively, we at CCRR will resolve to redouble our commitment to improving access to child care, to making child care more affordable and to improving the quality of child care here in our community. We fully recognize that the success of our work will result in life changing benefits for the children of our community and with that reality in mind, we must embrace the challenge no matter the difficulty.
After the seemingly endless challenges that confronted each of us during 2020, we now excitedly look forward to 2021 with a sense of great anticipation that it will be a year that provides us with the blessings of happiness, health and success.

As Oprah Winfrey once said, "Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

Stephen M. Fromson
CCRR, Board President
Lift Up Children - Our Annual Appeal
After a very challenging year, we are beginning the new one with the hope that together we can build back a better child care system. Will you help us?

As a child care resource and referral agency, the many stories we've heard from parents and child care providers have fully inspired us and underscored the importance of our work - and there is much work to do in 2021 to ensure all families have access to safe, high quality early care and education. That's why we are asking for your support today.
Many parents, child care providers, and businesses have long suffered from our nation's weak child care system. But the pandemic has now brought the child care crisis to the forefront and proven that child care is essential to our nation's recovery.

As Rockland County's only child care resource and referral agency, we are doing everything possible to help parents, support providers, and ensure the healthy development of all children. A contribution to our Annual Appeal will help us to assist parents in finding the best child care setting for their children and will help us to provide training to child care providers and support them in keeping their programs open. Your donation will contribute to Rockland's economic vitality by helping to keep parents working and businesses running.

Please donate today and help to lift up children by giving them access to safe, high-quality child care programs now and better outcomes later in life. Thank you.
Infant Toddler Development
Developing Trust in the World
Supporting Young Children’s Social Emotional Health
by Jenny Spampinato, Infant/Toddler Quality Enhancement Specialist
Infants and toddlers work hard to understand new feelings and ideas. They are learning about each of their caregivers, how to understand the world around them, and how to interact with others. When significant adults consistently provide responsive care and emotional support, the young child’s sense of security starts to develop; they begin to have a sense of self and recognize they have needs to be met. Helping children to develop trust in the world around them is vital to their social and emotional development. Please read more here.
Nurse's Notes
Cold Weather Safety Kristin G. Saunders, RN, BSN
New Year Greetings to All!

There is lots of fun to be had outdoors in the winter time. Don't let the cold weather keep you in; get outside with the children to get some exercise and to have some fun adventures. And, of course, be safe! Please read all about cold weather safety in this helpful article from and be sure to read The Great Outdoors further down in this newsletter for some fun outdoor activity suggestions.
A Shout Out to the 2020 Children's Champions!
We've been celebrating Rockland County's children's champions for almost 30 years and are very grateful to our most recent awardees for their commitment to Rockland's children. We look forward to honoring them and to celebrating with you when we can gather safely together. Until then, we say thank you to the 2020 Children's Champions - you make us proud.
Q&A for Child Care Providers
I saw and heard the governor and the news say child care is an essential business. That sounds important, so why don’t I feel important? Why am I only just getting by, and why is there such limited financial assistance to help child care providers and programs?
That is the concern that has plagued our industry for years. Child care is among one of the lowest paid fields in the nation and we know many families struggle to afford tuition. Child care providers are responsible for our youngest children at an age where we see the greatest brain and physical development. We strongly urge you to advocate for yourself, the children, the families, and the profession.

After the election in 2020 we find ourselves with several new elected officials in the NY State Legislature and in Congress. Our Executive Director, Board Members, and staff will be calling, meeting, and writing to these officials on your behalf. You can do the same. Give Executive Director Vicki Caramante a call at 845-425-0009 x417 or send an email ( to let her know you would like to attend one or more of the meetings she schedules.

You can contact your representatives (be sure to send us a copy of any emails you send or let us know about calls you make): Assembly Member Karl Brabenec, Assembly Member Michael Lawler, Assembly Member Colin Schmitt, Assembly Member Ken Zebrowski, Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnnick, Senator James Skoufis, Congressman Mondaire Jones. You can get ready for the February 2, 2021 Child Care Advocacy Day. And you can participate in social media advocacy campaigns. If you have other advocacy ideas we want to hear them. Contact us anytime. We look forward to hearing from you. 
Agency Program Updates
Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and its administered by each state. The program reimburses child care programs for meals and snacks that they serve to the children. 

The CACFP offers benefits for the children, the child care providers, and the parents. The program’s two main objectives are to ensure all children in care receive nutritious meals and to promote good eating habits that will last a lifetime. In addition, the program also helps child care providers with cash reimbursement to buy nutritious food and to plan menus using those quality ingredients. 

Since March, our CACFP Coordinator, Teresa Ortega, has continued to work with child care providers. Onsite visits are not allowed, so she transitioned to providing technical assistance and trainings all virtually. As a result of COVID-19, close to 30 of the 70 Rockland County child care programs enrolled in the CACFP had to close. At this time, however, all but a few have reopened. Teresa helped these programs to reinstate the CACFP and even enrolled and trained two new programs.

Not all the children have returned to their child care program, but New York State allows those children to still participate in the CACFP while at home. Some child care providers deliver a week's worth of nutritious meals and snacks to those households without their own transportation. Below are meal and snack items prepared for five days and pre-portioned to meet the CACFP requirement.
All center- and home-based child care providers are eligible to participate in the CACFP and the required trainings make it easy! If you are a home-based child care provider and would like to learn how you can participate, please contact Teresa Ortega, CACFP Coordinator, at 845-425-0009 x633 or  Child care centers should call the New York State Department of Health's CACFP office: 1-800-942-3858. 
Breastfeeding is Welcome Here
Child Care Resources of Rockland is excited to be working with the New York State Department of Health in assisting home- and center-based child care programs in becoming Designated Breastfeeding Friendly sites. We provide technical assistance, training, and lots of materials.

We are currently conducting virtual pre- and post-assessments. If your child care program serves infants and toddlers and you are interested in becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Site, please contact Elaine Trotta at 845-425-0009 x421, or Jenny Spampinato at x419,

To learn more about creating Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care, please visit our website.
Region 6 Pyramid Model Update
Did you know that, according to a 2017 study by the Center for American Progress approximately 250 children are suspended or expelled from preschool every day across the United States? Did you know CCRR has been working with child care providers in Rockland and Orange counties since 2018 to help reverse this trend by implementing The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children, a positive behavioral intervention and support? 
Meeting the needs of young children exhibiting challenging behaviors can be frustrating and overwhelming. The Pyramid Model gives providers and parents tools and skills to nurture young children’s healthy social and emotional development.

CCRR serves as coordinator for the Region 6 (covering Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Sullivan, Duchess, Putnam, and Ulster counties) Pyramid Model Hub, shepherding a new group of child care providers, known as NYS Cohort 4, through the process of implementation. Working closely with Sheridan Provemba, our consultant and a Master Cadre Trainer, the Hub’s Community Wide Leadership Team (CWLT), which includes representatives of various regional stakeholders (the Region 6 resource and referral agencies; implementing providers; OCFS; Region 6 Infant Toddler Network; and others), is guiding Head Start of Rockland, Newburgh School District PreK, Little Harvard Preschool in Washingtonville, and Campus Fun and Learn in Suffern through implementation. While the COVID-19 health crisis has meant pausing or slowing implementation in some cases, the CWLT has used the time to plan introductory workshops on the various training modules and reached out to a wider audience of stakeholders in the areas of professional development, mental health, and others to support this initiative. We can’t wait to see what 2021 brings!
If you are interested in learning more about the Pyramid Model, its implementation here in the Lower Hudson Valley, or how your child care program can participate, please contact Executive Director Vicki Caramante, 845-425-0009 x417.

To learn more about the Pyramid Model, please click on the image.

Funding for this initiative comes from the Preschool Development Birth Through Five Renewal (NYSB5) Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families. 
The Great Outdoors
HAVE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN spent more time than usual sitting indoors in front of screens over these past 10 months? Feeling a bit restless? If the answer is yes, then it's time to get out and explore the great outdoors!

Make a plan to head for the hills, wander into the woods, explore the forest floor, listen to a waterfall, build a fairy house, hunt for natural treasures.....
There is plenty to do outdoors with the children, even in the winter! As long as everyone is dressed appropriately, there is no reason to let the cold keep you in.

PLAY IN A PARK Since 1965, the Rockland County Park System has grown to a network of 30, comprising over 3000 acres. Winter is a great time to explore them. For a list of parks and a map, go to the Rockland the County Park System.
TAKE A HIKE This winter, take some time to explore and learn in nature's classroom! The American Hiking Society says, "One of the key things to remember when hiking with children is that the trek no longer becomes about getting from point A to point B, but more about exploring the trail and what is on it." Learn more about family hiking on the website.
"Kids need to spend time outside and off screens now more than ever. Time spent playing outside makes for happier, healthier, smarter kids. Playing in nature gives kids confidence and independence. It promotes creativity and teaches responsibility. This website [] is dedicated to helping parents get their kids outside and back to nature, one adventure at a time." - Sara McCarty
100+ WINTER ACTIVITIES The Run Wild My Child website, created by a mom and dad in St. Louis, MO, offers a huge range of activities. They've put together over 100 fun things to do in the winter. The list includes great ways to get fresh air, Vitamin D, and lots of exercise, as well as instructions for crafts, like nature confetti and frozen suncatchers!
Congratulations New/Renewed Licensed/Registered Programs
Child Care Center
Haverstraw Daycare Inc.
Powerhouse Learn & Play
Red Owl Academy LLC.
Tiny Scholars Town LTD
Family/Group Family Child Care
Naneez Playhouse
Purposely Caring Childcare

School Age Care
JCC Rockland Inc.
CCRR New/Renewed Members

Veronica Armas
Regina Barone
Clara Boyce
Dina Einhorn
Geraldine Maguire

Anne Nissen
Lynda Valery
Salvation Army
St. Paul's Christian Day
The ARC Rockland
Contact Us
For the CCRR Staff Directory please click here. Board of Directors list can be found here.

OFFICE CLOSINGS: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: January 18, Presidents Day: February 15.
Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community
and world better than you found it. -Marian Wright Edelman
Lift up children. Donate now.