News Press Releases Updates - Child Care Council of Westchester

All child care and after school providers should be approved by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to administer medication.* In order to do so, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have and maintain current first aid and CPR certificates that cover the ages of the children in your care
  • Have an Office of Children and Family Services-approved Health Care Plan with a policy for the administration of medication, and have a Health Care Consultant of record who reviews and approves the Plan. Learn more about the Council’s Health Care Consultant services and get help with your plan.
  • Be listed in your program’s approved Health Care Plan as a medication administrant, and have your Health Care Consultant review and sign your plan, to approve you as an administrant
  • Have the signed Health Care Plan approved by your program’s licensor or registrant
  • Work in a program where the oriented license or registration states the program is approved to administer medication
  • Successfully complete the Office of Children and Family Services approved Medication Administration Training (MAT) Course offered through the Council

In 2016, the course is offered at the following dates and times:

Date:Time:Code:
Saturday, January 6, 2018 9:00am – 6pm 80106
Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:00am – 6pm

80224

Saturday, March 3, 2018 9:00am – 6pm 80303
Saturday, April 7, 2018 9:00am – 6pm

80407

Saturday May 5, 2018 9:00am - 6pm 80505

Special TWO PART Weekday Opportunity - Must Attend Both Sessions

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

 

9:00am-1pm 80403


To read the registration and cancellation policy, and to register, you can:

pdfDownload the Medication Administration Training registration form

external link icon Go to online training registration

Questions? Contact Elissa Guzzardi, Director, Health Care Consultant Services, at (914) 761-3456x 154 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

* with the exception of over-the-counter topical ointments, sunscreen and topically applied insect repellant.

We want you to succeed in providing high quality child care, and in running your business. When you’ve got questions, we’re here to answer them and assist in any way we can. Reach out to us for help with best practices for providing child care, regulations, child behavior, curriculum, quality indicators, business administration practices, marketing, family engagement, children’s health, and more.

The Registration Department assists with the successful completion of the initial or renewal Family Day Care or School Age Child Care application for registration, and helps family child care providers and school age programs who are already registered with the Office of Children and Family Services improve regulatory compliance and promote quality regulated child care.

The Legally Exempt Department provides assistance to providers and parents receiving or applying for a child care subsidy, and to providers who want to complete the legally exempt enrollment application or need help setting up a program, operating a registered/licensed facility, maintaining business records, enhancing children’s activities, and joining the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Department helps Family Day Care and Group Family Day Care providers successfully plan nutritious meals and snacks, complete menus and attendance sheets, and remain in compliance with all aspects of CACFP.

The Health Services Department helps providers develop health care plans and medication procedures, and reviews and approves documents related to the program’s medication administration policy. See Health Services and Information.

For Registration, Legally Exempt or CACFP, contact Dorothy Jenkins at (914) 761-3456 x123 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For Health Services, contact Elissa Guzzardi at (914) 761-3456x 154 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Not sure who you need to speak to? Contact Idie Benjamin at (914) 761-3456 x108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


When you are seeking comprehensive quality improvement that goes beyond the basics, we encourage you to take advantage of the in-depth, Intensive Technical Assistance available from the Council’s Professional Development Department.

These goal-oriented services will help you provide infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children with higher-quality care, through onsite observation and one-on-one support from a member of our trained and knowledgeable staff.

We work directly with child care center teachers and directors, and home providers and their staff, on every aspect of caring for children and running a child care or after school business. We will:

  • Help you decide how you would like to strengthen or enhance your program
  • Assist in planning and arranging environments, implementing a curriculum, introducing new activities, managing children’s behaviors, and more
  • Inform you of best practices for the care and teaching of infants, toddlers,  preschoolers and school age children
  • Coach and mentor you and your staff

Ready to get started? Contact Idie Benjamin at (914) 761-3456 x108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Technical Assistance
Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Health Care Consultant Services

For child care and after school providers who want assistance to create a useful, easy-to-follow Health Care Plan, and want to become approved by New York State Office of Children and Family Services to administer medication, the Child Care Council offers the services of a Health Care Consultant.

The Health Care Consultant Service includes at least one site visit, with follow-up consultation, and all of the following:

  1. Assistance in developing policies and procedures related to health and infection control regulations, including:
    • Child health policies and procedures
    • Staff health policies and procedures
    • Staff training
    • Daily health checks
    • Infection control policies and procedures
    • Emergency policies and procedures
    • Caring for mildly-ill children
    • Caring for children with special health care needs, like asthma, allergies requiring medications, seizure disorders, diabetes, etc.
    • Medication administration policies and procedures, including required permission, instructions, safe administration, documentation, storage disposal, etc.
  2. Resource material that will help you comply with your policies and procedures
  3. Updates regarding any changes that may impact your Plan, including regulations, forms, immunization schedules, etc.
  4. Updates to your plan as needed, like adding or removing authorized staff to administer medication. Copies of your updated Plan will be provided to your licensor/registrar for final approval.
  5. Ongoing technical assistance as needed

The fees for Health Care Consultant Services are as follows:

Price for Council Members Price for Non-Members
Family Child Care Provider $100   Family Child Care Provider $125
Group Family Child Care Provider $130   Group Family Child Care Provider $165
Child Care Center $220   Child Care Center $270
School Age Program $220   School Age Program $270

$25 discount for each additional site

Optional package:
For an additional $25, you will receive a well-organized binder that contains your Health Care Plan, featuring tabs that separate each topic area and include specific policies, procedures and resource and reference material, as well as a certificate for two hours of training which covers four different topic areas.

To get started with the Health Care Consultant, print and fill out the two following forms, and return to Elissa Guzzardi.
By fax: (914) 886-0281
By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
By mail: 313 Central Park Avenue, Scarsdale, NY 10583

When it comes to children, health and safety come first. Since most children in the United States under the age of six spend significant time in child care settings outside the home, child care providers play a very important role in their health.

To help you keep the children in your care healthy and respond to illnesses and emergencies that will inevitably present themselves, the Child Care Council offers the services of a professional Health Care Consultant.

What you need to know:

All child care and after school providers/programs are required to have a Health Care Plan. Our Health Care Consultant, Elissa Guzzardi, can walk you through the process of creating a useful, comprehensive plan with clear policies and procedures. We’ll make sure you’ve got everything you need to meet best practice standards, keep children healthy, stay up-to-date on the latest health news and developments, and demonstrate to parents that their children’s health and safety is your priority. Learn more about how Elissa can help you.

Beyond having a Health Care Plan, we recommend that all providers become approved through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to administer medication to children in a child care setting. To do so, you will need to compete a Medication Administration Training Course, among other things. Learn more about how to become approved.

Learn about our Health Care Consultant services and how we can help you prepare your Health Care Plan.

Published in Health Services & Info

The quality of care that children receive between birth and age 5 sets the stage for the rest of their lives. With that in mind, we want to help Westchester's child care professionals provide the very best care possible, and we do that in a variety of ways:

Technical Assistance and Quality Improvement Support
The Child Care Council provides a range of technical assistance services to current or prospective child care providers to help with a wide variety of topics. Learn more about Technical Assistance and Quality Improvement Support.

Accreditation
Beyond the basic regulations established by the New York State Office for Children and Family Services, accreditation by a national organization requires child care providers to meet a higher level of standards. The Child Care Council encourages all programs to pursue accreditation as one method of improving care.

pdfSee a list of accredited programs in Westchester

The following organizations offer accreditation based on national quality standards:

external link icon The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)


external link icon National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)


external link icon AfterSchool Works! New York


external link icon Council on Accreditation (COA)


external link icon American Camping Association (ACA)


Professional Credentials

Child Development Associate (CDA)


external link icon Infant and Toddler Care and Education Credential


external link icon Children's Program Administrator Credential


external link icon Early Care and Education Trainer's Credential


external link icon Family Child Care Credential


external link icon School Age Child Care Credential


external link icon Family Development Credential


pdfSee information on the CDA and various other credentials for child care professionals.


A Degree in Early Childhood Education
Several colleges and universities in our area offer degrees in Early Childhood Education:

external link icon Westchester Community College


external link icon Lehman College


external link icon Fordham University


external link icon Manhattanville College


external link icon Mercy College


external link icon Monroe College


external link icon SUNY Purchase


external link icon College of New Rochelle


external link icon Empire State College


Directors Network Meetings
Share best practices with other Westchester child care program directors.

Westchester Early Childhood Directors Association Meetings:
The Network meets every third Tuesday of the month from 1 PM-3 PM at the Child Care Council office. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

School Age Directors Network (SADN):
The Network meets every third Tuesday of the month from 10:00 am -12 pm at the Child Care Council in Scarsdale. Call Hope O'Conell at (917) 617-0903 or Joanna Saporta at (914)238-3295 for details.

Conferences
Attending a conference can be a great opportunity to learn from and network with peers from across the county, state or country.

National Conferences:

external link icon NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo


external link icon North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Summer Conference


external link icon NAEYC – Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development


New York State Conferences:

external link icon WAEYC Conference


external link icon Annual National Afterschool Association Convention


external link icon New York State Association for the Education of Young Children

SCARSDALE, NY (March 2, 2015) –The Child Care Council of Westchester and the Westchester Children’s Association hosted a “town hall” at the YMCA in White Plains on February 28th, where young people lead a Q&A with County Legislators Benjamin Boykin, Catherine Borgia, Michael Smith and Alfreda Williams. Also present were Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett, and Regent Harry Phillips, along with an audience of approximately 100 educators, child care professionals, community and non-profit leaders, and parents.

Published in News
Monday, March 02, 2015

Child Development Associate

The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is a way for child care professionals to substantially increase your knowledge of the early care and education best practices, demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the area of early childhood care and education, and advance your career in a meaningful way.

The nationally recognized CDA credential is awarded after:

  • Successful completion of a 120 hour professional training program
  • Demonstration of skills needed to work with children and their families
  • Successful completion of a resource file
  • Submission of a credential assessment application to the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C.
  • Successful completion of a formal written and oral review by a representative from the Council for Professional Recognition

Successful completion means you are able to:

  • Establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment
  • Advance physical and intellectual competence
  • Support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance
  • Establish positive and productive relationships with families
  • Ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs
  • Maintain a commitment to professionalism

There are two ways to obtain the CDA:

  • Our online 120 hour eCDA training program – infant-toddler or pre-school or family – with some in-person support. This program can be started at any time.
  • Our in-person 120 hour class for infant-toddler teachers that is held from September to June. Sponsored by the Westchester County Office for Women, there is no cost for this class.

Participants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have at least one (1) year’s work experience in a licensed child care program or nursery school
  • Be able to speak, read and write in English fluently enough to fulfill the responsibilities of a CDA candidate

For information about the eCDA, the online CDA course, or the in-person infant-toddler CDA, contact Idie Benjamin, Director of Professional Development, at (914) 761-3456 x108 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in CDA
Monday, March 02, 2015

Training

Participation in trainings and other professional development efforts is an important part of providing quality care and education. The New York State Office of Children and Family Services regulations require staff to receive 30 hours of training within each two years of a program's registration period with 15 hours completed in the first six months of employment.

The Child Care Council's Professional Development team of subject-matter experts offers a vast array of trainings and technical assistance for early care and education professionals to help you expand your skills, improve the quality of care you provide to children, and meet NYS licensing requirements.

On-Site Trainings
The Child Care Council's Professional Development team brings the training to you, at a date and time that's convenient. We can train your entire staff, for a reasonable price. Membership and multi-session discounts apply.

Choose from a variety of topics (below), or request a topic of your choice:

  • OCFS Regulations and procedures, including health and safety and child abuse prevention
  • Program assessment
  • Social/emotional development
  • Infant and toddler and preschool development, behavior issues, and appropriate curriculum
  • Partnering with parents
  • Team building and stress management
  • Early learning standards/assessments
  • Behavior management/child development
  • Working with children with special needs
  • Child abuse identification and prevention
  • Observation, assessment and document

To learn more or schedule, contact Dana Doyle, Professional Development Coordinator, at (914)761-3456 x 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Training
In partnership with Child Care Aware of America, the Child Care Council now offers online training, designed specifically for early childhood professionals, in all NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) categories. You can create your own training package, and get OCFS training hours and/or earn Continuing Education Units (CEU) for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential renewal.

Courses are categorized by their primary New York State Office of Children & Family Services (NYS OCFS) training topic. For a complete list of available courses, click here.

external link icon View and purchase online courses

pdfSee instructions to purchase online training.
For assistance between the hours of 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, call 1-800-261-6248.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Training
Earn the CDA credential to advance your career and make a difference in the lives of children who will benefit from your knowledge of early development and passion for quality care. Learn more about CDA Training.

Help Paying for Training
If you need financial assistance to meet your training obligations, we recommend you explore the
external link icon Educational Incentive Program.

Published in Training
Monday, March 02, 2015

Marketing Your Program

To put it simply, whether you are just starting out or are well-established, you have two basic responsibilities when it comes to marketing your child care business: making sure parents know about it, and convincing them to choose yours over the competition.

Here are the basic elements of a good marketing plan:

Identify Your Target Audience
Once you know the age of children you provide services for, consider what geographic area you should market to. From how far away will parents travel to use your services? Is your program or center geared toward families with specific values or beliefs, financial circumstances, or curriculum preferences? Narrow down your potential customers as best as you can.

Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition
In order to convince parents that their child(ren) should be with you rather than another provider, you need to demonstrate what sets you apart and/or makes you better.

Does your child care program:

  • Offer a specific educational curriculum?
  • Provide supplemental activities such as language instruction or classes for parents?
  • Employ staff who hold special credentials or have unusual skills or talents?
  • Have accreditation, or has it achieved other awards that note exceptional quality?

Describe your business:

Whether you are preparing a brochure, writing text for a website, or describing your services verbally, you need to carefully define the features and benefits of your program.

When you talk about the features of your child care program, you are telling parents about all the basic, important details (just like you would describe features of a car). For example: days and hours you're open, class size, age of children you provide care for, whether meals or snacks are served, qualifications of staff, descriptions of the space, what the curriculum will be, etc.

When you talk about the benefits of your child care program, you are selling your unique child care services to parents. Focus on how you will improve or add value to the lives of children and their parents. For example: maybe parents will be able to relax knowing their child is in good hands, and get to work on time because you are reliable. Perhaps their child will flourish due to your exceptionally caring staff and creative learning opportunities.

Published in Marketing Your Program
Monday, March 02, 2015

Cost of Care

It can be tempting to set your prices based on what you think parents can afford and/or what other providers are charging, but that's not the way to sustain a successful business. You need to make sure you have a firm understanding of all the costs associated with providing quality child care, and then set your fees based on those numbers. Otherwise, you will not be able to cover expenses, make a profit, or develop a financial reserve for unexpected expenses.

First, determine your expenses. Consider the following:

  • Accounting services
  • Cable, Internet and telephone service
  • Child supplies and materials
  • Computers
  • Employee wages, benefits and taxes
  • Food
  • Furniture and equipment
  • Insurance
  • Janitorial services and cleaning supplies
  • Legal services
  • Licenses
  • Loan Payments
  • Marketing
  • Mortgage or rent payments, and property taxes
  • Office supplies
  • Professional Development and training
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Travel expenses
  • Utilities

Once you know your total monthly expenditures, you can determine how much income you need to cover those expenses. Then, considering how many children you realistically plan to care for, you can begin to think about setting rates.

For comparison, the following documents will give you a general idea of the fees currently charged by programs and providers in Westchester County:

We're here to help!
Call the Council at (914) 761-3456
x108 for additional information about the cost of care. 

Published in Cost of Care
Page 10 of 12

Contact Us

Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc.

313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, New York 10583

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Phone: (914) 761-3456
Toll-Free: 1 (844) 387-7525

Fax: (914) 761-1957

Email us

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