What a crowd! It was such a pleasure to see so many of you at our Dining for Dollars event at Sam's of Gedney Way.
It certainly was a fabulous evening supporting the Council's Early Opportunity Fund, which was created to help ease the financial burden of early care for hard working Westchester families.
We would like to extend a special thank you to restaurant owners Peter and Karen Herrero for collaborating with us on this special event.
For more event pictures, check out our Facebook page!
A special thank you to Westchester Talk Radio, Sharc Creative, and Andrew Castellano for broadcasting live from our event. To listen to the podcast from the event, click here!
The Child Care Council of Westchester is launching a new "Advocacy on the Go" campaign to tap the power of Westchester parents to improve child care access, quality and affordability - starting with "Calls for Kids" in November. Teams of Council staff, Board members, and volunteers will visit child care and after school programs all ofver Westchester to encourage parents to call their County leaders and ask them to increase child care funding. These "Calls for Kids" will be made on the spot as parents arrive to pick up their children at the end of the day.
No one can convey the critical importance of safe, reliable, quality child care better than working parents, many of whom struggle to pay for care. The Council is eager to involve more parents in on-going child care advocacy. With over 20 programs signed up to participate in Advocacy on the Go, the Council expects to engage hundreds of parents for the first time.
So if you are interested in empowering your parents, sign up your program for "Calls for Kids" today.
This coming year, the Child Care Council will be celebrating it's 50th Anniversary. Each year since 1988, the Council recognizes exceptional individuals caring for and teaching our children in early care and education programs, selected from nominations by parents and colleagues.
Over 160 individuals have been awarded during our Annual Awards Breakfast, adn we would like to keep the tradition alive by asking you to nominate one individual who has made outstanding contributions to child care and quality of life for children and working parents.
Awards are presented in the following categories:
Family Child Care
Center Based Child Care
School Age Programs
Staff or Administrator
General (corporation, community organization, etc.)
Please mail, fax, or scan your nomination to:
Joey Awards Committee
Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc.
313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Fax: (914) 761-1957
Click here to nominate your candidate.
Deadline for Nominations is 5pm, Friday, January 5, 2018
Save The Date:
Awards will be presented on Friday, May 18, 2018
The Council's Annual Awards Breakfast
Westchester Marriot, Tarrytown Hotel
3.5 Training hours include a keynote presentation "It's You and Me Baby: How Relationships Impact Infants, Toddlers, and Caregivers", five break-out sessions from which to choose, resources and materials, and continental breakfast.
When: Friday, November 17, 8:30am to 1:55pm.
Where: Peas & Karrots, 16 Elizabeth Street, Ossining NY 10562
Cost: $30 CCCW Members, $45 Non-members
Registration Deadline: $10 additional fee for registration after 10/25/17
Click Here to Register Online
Click Here for a Registration Form
Join us Saturday, October 21 for our Westchester School Age Conference. This year's subject will be "Full STE(A)M Ahead: Bringing STE(A)M To School Age Programs" for new and experienced staff and directors in School Age Programs.
4 Training hours include a keynote presentation "Teaching Kids to Think!" by Rob Kissner of The Digital Arts Experience, two break-out sessions, and continental breakfast.
When: Saturday, October 21, 8:30am to 1:05pm.
Where: Peas & Karrots, 16 Elizabeth Street, Ossining NY 10562
Cost: $40 CCCW Members, $55 Non-members
Registration Deadline: October 17, 2017
Click Here for the Conference Brochure
Click Here to Register Online
Welcome, New Board Members
The Child Care Council of Westchester is proud to announce the addition of five professionals to our Board of Directors.
Stephanie Ebanks Ashmeade of Stamford, CT is the Director of Finance and Administration at eScholar LLC in White Plains, where she is responsible for the financial operations and all functions of the human resource department. eScholar is the United States’ leading innovator in education data solutions that support personalized education to over 20 million students across the country. Prior to joining eScholar, Stephanie worked at Nine West Footwear and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She earned her MBA from the University of Connecticut and her Bachelor of Science from Atlantic Union College. She has been committed to the advancement of children since she was a child herself, starting as a peer tutor and continuing to mentor through the years. Stephanie is very active in her church and with youth organizations such as Pathfinders, Adventurers and Girl Scouts.
Joyce Cadesca of Valhalla is an experienced general manager with a passion for early childhood education. Her corporate experience includes human resources, operations, and finance roles at a number of top firms, including her current role at Morgan Stanley. Joyce spent the first six years of her professional career in the nonprofit education sector, serving as the Director of Alumni Services at Beginning with Children Foundation. Previously, Joyce was an elementary and high school teacher . She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Bryan Fryer of Pleasantville is a Senior Manager at Maier Markey & Justic, LLP, a White Plains-based accounting firm. Bryan acts as the outsourced CFO for many enterprises, with a concentration on nonprofits throughout the Bronx and Westchester. He has a deep understanding of the funding needs of his clients, and the difficulties of procuring these funds to promote the client mission. Prior to joining Maier Markey & Justic in 2015, Bryan acted as the controller of an ultra-high net worth family office, focusing primarily on the office’s tax and reporting compliance for individual, corporate and nonprofit interests. Bryan was recognized as one of the Business Council of Westchester’s 40 under 40 “Rising Stars” for 2017.
Lola Gazivoda of Bedford is a Senior Relationship Manager – Vice President with M&T Bank’s Business and Professional Banking Group in Westchester where she serves business clients with $2 to $30 million annual revenue. She proactively executes integrated sales, service and relationship strategies to support growth and retention of business customers, and develops new-to-bank business relationships, as well as cross-marketing /needs fulfillment for existing clients. Lola has more than 12 years of business banking experience, and held positions with Chase Bank and Capital One Bank prior to joining M&T Bank in 2013. Lola was born and raised in Albania and is very proud of her heritage. She is involved with many of that community’s nonprofits, supports March of Dimes, and volunteers with Grace Outreach.
Melissa Thornton of Greenburgh, Chief Executive Officer of LSW Chauffeured Transportation (LSW), was introduced to the transportation industry at an early age. Her parents, Douglas and Chris Thornton, were the owners of Biltom Tours, a charter bus service they founded in 1978, which evolved into a company that operates today as DLC Ground Transportation Services (DLC) and LSW. Melissa worked part-time in the family business as a driver and dispatcher while attending college and graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems. She then spent 12 years working for Fortune 500 companies Phillip Morris, Pfizer Pharmaceutical, and Barclays Capital. Melissa joined the family business as Chief Operating Officer in 2008, and took the reins as Chief Executive Officer in 2012. With her investment in a first-class fleet, cutting-edge technologies, and ongoing staff development, LSW has doubled in size and revenue. It is a certified woman- and minority-owned business.
“The five professionals who have joined our Board of Directors this summer are not only talented but exceptionally committed to the care and education of young children,” said Child Care Council of Westchester Executive Director Kathy Halas. “I look forward to working with them toward a brighter future for our communities and county.”
We congratulate the 28 dedicated and determined child care providers who graduated from our 7-month, 120-hour Child Development Associate (CDA) course in June, taught by CDA instructor Cecilia Scott-Croff. They are now eligible to receive the CDA credential from the Council for Professional Recognition.
This credential, which satisfies New York State licensing requirements, is a training standard for national organizations including the National Association of Family Child Care and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and a key stepping stone in the path of career advancement for child care providers.
Our CDA course graduates are now better equipped to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of the children in their care, who are the real beneficiaries of this effort.
This professional development opportunity is funded by the Westchester County Department of Social Services Office of Workforce Investment. Our thanks to Donnovan Beckford and OJ Yizar for their support.
ADVOCACY VICTORY! The "Thriving Families Resolution" unanimously passed the Board of Legislators last night. We hope you will click below and read the entire resolution, but the key is that the Families Task Force will be developing strategies and programs to ensure more of Westchester's families have access to the high quality housing, child care/after school care, employment and job training, schools and home supports, transportation, and medical and mental health services in our county.
Because children only benefit from quality early learning programs, the Child Care Council strives to recognize and support examples of quality experiences. This year, the Council is awarding four Cate Riley Innovation for Quality Prizes, three to Westchester programs and a fourth to a child care resource and referral agency in Syracuse. Funding comes from the Cathryn Riley Leadership Fund established years ago at the Council for a respected and beloved Council staff person who died in a tragic accident. The selections were made by a committee comprised of Lottie Harris, former Council executive director, Dr. Pat Amanna of the Child Care Center at Purchase College and Mary Lou Sgro, Westchester Community College faculty member and current president of WAEYC, and Kathy Halas, Executive Director of the Council.
- It Takes a Village to Educate a Child, Sonia-Marshall Brown, Executive Director, for “Cooperative Play Skills with Lego Robotics” an afterschool program for children with special needs and typically developing children together, that teaches social and leadership skills embedded in a Legos Robotics class.
- Little House Day Care, Elizabeth Knowles, Owner/Director, for “The Fundamentals of Play”, a new support community for family and group family programs through hands-on trainings and forums.
- Little Angels Child Development, Angela Bayer-Perseeco, Owner/Director for “From Seeds to Sharing”, a community garden project where the children will create a vegetable garden from scratch and donate their produce to the Sharing Community, so that they learn about both gardening and giving.
- Child Care Solutions, Inc., Lori Schakow, Executive Director, for ”Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read and Sing”, to improve the kindergarten readiness of children enrolled in legally-exempt care in Onondaga County, part of a county-wide initiative of the Early Childhood Alliance.
All of the recipients will be sharing the results of their projects so that the Council can share with the Westchester early care and education community.