March 2020              
#1 - Census 2020 -  Children Must Count
Did you know?  A million children didn't show up in the 2010 census which resulted in a loss of funding to our community.  The Census results determine how much funding our state will get for such vital programs as: 
  • Child care 
  • CACFP nutrition program
  • Special education
  • Child welfare
  • Child abuse and neglect 
  • Children's justice
  • Over 100 more programs!
Educate your parents, friends, family and community!
Share the below flyer with your parents. 

#2 - OCFS Major Regulatory Revisions as of February 7, 2020
To ease the burden on programs and parents, OCFS has made changes to the regulations for comprehensive background clearances. This change now permits prospective staff and volunteers to begin work or volunteering with the program while waiting for the completion of the comprehensive background clearance. This rule change is time-limited and made possible through a federal waiver. Anyone who is working or volunteering while waiting for the completion of the comprehensive background clearance must be supervised by an individual who has already received an approved background check and not be alone with children.
These new regulations went into effect on February 7, 2020, and are open for public comment until April 7, 2020. OCFS appreciates your feedback as we implement these new requirements.

#3 - Donate Books
Support our 12th Annual Children's Book Drive.
Please donate books in very good condition that children ages 0-12 would enjoy. We will distribute them to Westchester child care centers and family/group family programs. We especially welcome books depicting diverse ages, abilities and cultures. We cannot accept electronic books or books for high school students or adults.  

Please  Share this flyer with parents and the community!
We spoke up for Child Care!

We spoke up about the importance of child care funding at the NYS Budget Forum on February 18th at the Westchester County Center with our colleagues from the  Mount Kisco Child Care Center Ossining Children's Center , and  St. Peter's Child Care.

If you think child care should be more affordable for parents....
If you think child care professionals should be paid fairly for their expertise and their value to the community....

You can speak up too, its not too late to send  in your written testimony. Ask your board to submit a written statement as well. Send your written comments to

For more information or to join our advocacy efforts contact Kathy Halas at
Congratulations to the Latest Council CDA Course Students who Received the CDA Credential! 
These early childhood professionals completed a Child Care Council CDA course and then went on to earn the Child Development Associate credential from the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC. They have worked hard to build their skills and enhance their knowledge of young children. The children in their care, their parents, and their programs are very fortunate to have such dedicated professionals working with them.
The Council's In-Person Infant Toddler/Family Child Care CDA Course
    • Magaly Gutierrez
The Council's In-Person Preschool CDA Course
    • Blanca Ortega 
To find out more about the CDA credential or for information about the Council's CDA classes, please contact Idie Benjamin, Director of Professional Development, at .
Health Tip: 2019 Coronavirus

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Read the OCFS Dear Provider Letter about the coronavirus, click below:
Read the CDC Fact Sheet, click below:
You want to provide your staff and families with accurate information but not cause any unnecessary panic. This is also a good time for you to review the attached information and to emphasize the importance of being completely familiar with your health and infection control regulations and your program policy and procedures related to:
  • Exclusion criteria
  • Blue Cards - Emergency contact information & permission to obtain medical care if necessary
  • Daily health checks
  • Does the child have or develop fever, chills, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children), etc.
  • Required posting of Flu information
  • Caring for mildly ill children & a child who develops symptoms of illness while in care
  • Informing parents about cases re: contagious illnesses that occurred to children attending the program
  • Awareness of signs and symptoms of communicable diseases
  • Review your infection control policy & procedures - hand washing, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and gloving.
  • Appendix A: Instructions for Doing a Daily Health Check
  • Appendix B: Hand Washing
  • Appendix E: Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting
  • Appendix F: Gloving
  • Appendix G: Medical Emergency

Click here to view Health Care Plan Appendix A - G 


                R egulation Reminder:                  418-1.15(b)(6)
 Outside Service Providers

The indoor and outdoor areas of the child day care center where the children are being cared for must not be used for any non-child care activity or other business or social purpose when children are present such that the attention of staff is diverted from the care of the children.
Professional Development 
Winter-Spring Training Calendar
Take advantage of these great trainings!
  • Medication Administration Course MAT (March 4)
  • School Age Child Care Start-up Information Session-  (March 19)
  • New Training: Supporting Social Emotional Development with Books - (March 25)
Click here  to view our 2020 Winter- Spring Training Calendar. 
Let's Celebrate The Week of the Young Child ALL MONTH
This year, the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrates The Week of the Young Child (WOYC) April 11-17, 2020. We are celebrating the entire month of Apirl. 

WOYC is an annual celebration hosted by NAEYC to spotlight early learning, young children, their teachers, families and communities.  

We are kicking off our month of special activities with a special story time at The Field Library, 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566 on Monday, April 2. You're invited! RSVP to Tyrene Gonzalez at
A full calendar of activities and events will be shared in mid-March. Look out for more details here on our website. 

For additional information, you may contact Juanita Pope at 
Raise a Glass for Child Care
Photos from our 2019 Raise a Glass Event
We're excited to host another Wine Tasting Event at Le Vino on April 30th, 6pm-8pm. Join us as we raise a glass to our educators and the child care community! Registration will be available in early March.  
To view photos of last year's event, head over to our Facebook page or view our complete event photo gallery here
Do You Know 
an Early Education Hero?

We are so excited about our  2nd annual Early Education Hall of Heroes, coming up  on Friday, June 5th from 7pm-10pm at Mercy College.  Registration opens in early spring.

Have a hero in mind?  Click here to nominate a child care professional by March 27!

For more event information,  click here
    Welcome New & Renewed 
     Child Care Programs!

Family Day Care Programs
Blessings Family DayCare
Robin Eddings
Josefa Hilario Martinez
Ana Perez 

     Welcome New CACFP Participants 
   Lainel Cruz-Soriano
Biology- The Science of Things

Science is learning about the world and everything in it.  A scientist is someone trying to find an answer. A scientist asks, "What is this?" "What do you think will happen if?" and "Why?"
You are doing more science with children than you realize. Biology is NOT what you did in a high school lab. 

Biology is: 
  • Plants- Caring for houseplants (non-poisonous), planning all kinds of seeds, gardening, exploring plants outside (non-poisonous), playing in the leaves. These all give children hands-on experience with the natural world.
  • Our food- Do you know we eat seeds, stems, leaves, roots, and fruit?
  • Animals- Caring for animals teaches compassion and reduces stress in children.
  • Living/Dying- A natural part of life - Seeds sprout and babies are born and then leaves fall in the fall or a beloved pet dies. Adults can gently help children to understand the circle of life.
  • People- How do our bodies work? What do we need to live? What does a beating heart sound like? Children learn about their bodies from daily living and playing doctor.
  • Our senses- Children are hands-on learners who must smell, taste, hear, see, and most of all touch.
  • Nature- Play outside in the natural world and not only on plastic playgrounds. Bring the outside inside - sand, water, mud, rocks, slices of logs, branches/sticks, leaves, shells, bark, wicker baskets, and more. Put natural materials throughout the room, not just on the discovery table.
Coffee, Crafting & Kids
Socialize with other adults while your kids are crafting.  Includes storytime and snack. Located at Bear Mountain Coffee Roasters on the first floor.

When :  Friday, March 20
Where: Jefferson Valley Mall
650 Lee Blvd, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Cost: Free 
For more information,  Click here
  • NYS Budget Forum
  • Annual Wine Tasting Event 
  • Early Education Hall of Heroes 
  • The Month of the Young Child

  • 2019 Coronavirus 
  • Children's Corner
  • What's Cooking
  • Family Fun and more
Spring 2020 Early Childhood Conference
Dobbs Ferry High School
505 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY
April 25, 2020

Raise a Glass
Annual Wine Tasting
Le Vino
171 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
April 30, 2020

Early Education Hall of Heroes  
Mercy College
555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY
June 5, 2020
Registration will open late March 
Welcome, Tyrene!
We are excited to announce our new Communications Associate, Tyrene. Tyrene is excited to join the Council and share her knowledge in communications, marketing and a variety of other areas. If you have any questions about events and the Council membership program you may reach her at (914) 761-3456 x152.
Welcome, Desiree!
We are happy that our new Special Events Intern, Desiree Acey, will join us for her spring internship.  

Are you or someone you know interested in an internship? Join our team. Contact Juanita Pope for more information at
Pajamas Day in the Office
We were  excited to enjoy a work day in our pajamas while enjoying some hot chocolate. Thank you to our wonderful STAR committee for creating this fun-filled activity. 
Join our 2020 Membership!

 Benefits Include:
  • Membership Certificate to post at your site
  • Discounted calendar trainings and on-site trainings 
  • Listing on your website with a link to yours 
  • Free postings on the Council's job bank
  • Free Members Only networking events 
  • Lakeshore Learning coupon and discount 
  • Printed Council Training Calendars
  • Free promotional gift
  • Refer a friend and receive voucher for a free training 


FREE Business Series for members, 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 with 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 Sarah Merrifield, CCCW Infant Toddler Specialist at or (914)-761-3456 ext. 107.

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 or Kim DeSalvo at

Join the network today!

Please note the networking groups do not meet in August. 

The Council is pleased to host these groups. We encourage you to attend their meetings.

Let Us Help You to Renew Your Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) 
We can tell you everything you need to do AND review your training certificates to tell you if you have met the requirements.
We can also help you to apply for an EIP award to pay the renewal fee.

For more information, contact or 914-761-3456 ext.108 .
Let's Work Together for Children!

We have specialists eager to work with you! Do you have some questions about your program, want someone to take a look "with a fresh pair of eyes", or want to try something new.    Maybe you have some new staff that could benefit from some individualized coaching? Maybe you are thinking about adding an infant room?
Our specialists are available to work in both home and center-based settings, at all age levels, from infants to school age.  
We can help with:
  • Arranging environments
  • Implementing a curriculum
  • Introducing new activities
  • Managing children's behavior
  • Anything else you can think of
So please talk to us about what we can do to support you in your important work!

For more information, please contact Idie Benjamin, Director of Professional Development, at or (914) 761-3456 x108.

Networking Event! Coffee and Conversation with The Westchester Chapter (WAEYC) of AEYC

Join us for coffee and conversation to share and network with peers and like-minded early childhood educators to share your ideas, challenges, strategies, and ask questions to help strengthen your program or classroom while improving your own practice.
The coffee is strong and the connections are stronger, so come connect.

It's a Free Event!

Date: March 2, 2020
T ime: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road Valhalla, NY 10595

Click here to register.
Helping Children to Thrive in Our Tech Dominant World

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a nonprofit fighting a tough battle - putting children's needs first! Those needs include time for hands-on play, time for nurturing relationships, and time away from media, even "good media".

Are you confused about what tech is okay for children and at what age? If you should incorporate tech into your program? Are you looking for resources to share with your parents?

What's Cooking?

Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe

  • 1 Pound Spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 ¾ cups grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  3. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.
  4. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
  5. Serve
For more information on reimbursements for meals and snacks, contact Latoya Ramsey, Provider Services Supervisor at (914)-761-3456 x 118 or email her 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:
How Delicious It Is to Give Back!

Shake Shack's Hartsdale location contributes  5% of sales of their Pie Oh My Concretes 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 Concretes to support the Council!