News Press Releases Updates - Child Care Council of Westchester
Friday, April 10, 2015

2014 Family Tech Day

Published in Gallery
Thursday, April 02, 2015

Newsletter Archive

Donor/Supporter Newsletters

The Council sends newsletters to donors and supporters.

Parent Connections Newsletters

The Council provides e-newsletter for parents.

  • external link icon May 2018: Child Care $$$- Last Chance Applications Due May 16th, FREE Community Resources, What Parents Need to Know About Social Media and Anxiety, and more!
  • external link icon April 2018: Child Care $$$, The Joy of Reading, Fidget Spinner Safety, and more!
  • external link icon March 2018: Safe Child Care: Violence Prevention, Four Reasons Early Care and Education is Essential, Clean & Healthy NY, and more!
  • external link icon February 2018: Tipping Hazards, Everyday Prevention, Money in your pocket, and more!
  • external link icon January 2018: Child Care Council News & Views, Looking for Hazards, Join the Empire State Campaign for Child Care, and more!
  • external link icon December 2017: Help Support Children in Child Care and After School Care, Food Allergies Can Be Fatal, Keeping Toys Safe, and more!
  • external link icon November 2017: 5 Ways to Stop Your Phone Addiction, Vote For Kids on November 7th, First Encounters with Race and Racism, and more!
  • external link icon October 2017: Provider Saved the Life of a 3 Year Old Girl, How to talk to your children about the Las Vegas shooting, Dining for Scholarship Dollars at Sam's of Gedney Way, and more!
  • external link icon September 2017: Does Your Care Giver Know Where Your Child Is At All Times, Outstanding Nonprofit of 2017, Are You Ready, and more!
  • external link icon August 2017: Summer Vacation Boredom Busters, Fun thing to do with the family, When You're Ready to Think About After School Care, and more!
  • external link icon July 2017: Preventing Child Heat Stroke Deaths in Vechicles, Be entered to win $100 AMEX gift card, Immigration Assistance, and more!
  • external link icon June 2017: Apply for a Child Care Scholarship, Ready for Camp, Immigration Assistance, and more!

Provider Newsletters

The Council sends e-newsletter for child care providers.

  • external link icon June 2018: CACFP and KidKare, What the New Tax Law Means for Family Child Care, Keeping Track of Children in Your Care, and more!
  • external link icon May 2018: Alert! Defective Fire Extinguishers, Child Care Scholarships are Available, Directors Health and Safety Training, and more!
  • external link icon April 2018: Fidget Spinner Safety, Child Care Referrals, FREE Paper, and more!
  • external link icon March 2018: Transportation, OCFS New Directors Health & Safety Training, Spring 2018 Directors Leadership Series, and more!
  • external link icon February 2018: Tipping Hazards, Apply NOW for the In-Person Preschool CDA Credential Course, Kaplan Early Learning Company, and more!
  • external link icon January 2018: Looking for Hazards, New Directors Health & Safety Training, Join the Empire State Campaign for Child Care, and more!
  • external link icon December 2017: CACFP Meal Pattern Changes, Keeping Toys Safe, New Application Prices for the CDA Credential, and more!
  • external link icon November 2017: Do You Or Anyone You Know Need Health Insurance, Take Attendance Throughout the Day, CDA Renewal Amnesty Program, and more!
  • external link icon October 2017: The Council for Professional Recognition Announces Amnesty for New CDA Renewal, CACFP Meal Pattern Changes, Nominate Outstanding Child Care and After School Professionals, and more!
  • external link icon September 2017: Important Changes to Program Compliance History, Group Training in Health and Safety, CDA Renewal Amnesty Program, and more!
  • external link icon August 2017: Mandatory Training for New Directors, Spanish Foundations in Health and Safety Course, Child Abuse Training Not Covered by Foundations, and more!
  • external link icon July 2017: Child Care Subsidy Tip, Foundations in Health and Safety Training Required, Renew Your CDA Credential, and more!
Published in Newsletter Archive

1. View Your Profile

You can review your profile that is supplied to families. To request a copy contact our R&R Database Administrator at (914)761-3456 x139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Let us know about any changes you can fax, call or choose one of the options below.

2. Submit a Complete Update Online

Provide the Council with all the information about your program to share with parents. Parents will be able to receive a complete referral profile of your program and allow the Council to connect you with parents who are seeking the care that you offer. You may not be connected to parents if your information is not updated annually and if it is not accurate. Once you submitted this form, your information will be entered within 2 business days. external link icon Submit a Complete Update Form Online.

3. Submit a Short Update Form Online

Want to provide a quick update on your available openings, current schedule and rates! Complete this short form to update just your basic information. Fill out the online form and click to send. Once you submitted this form, your information will be entered within 2 business days. external link icon Submit a Short Update Form Online.

4. Call Us at 914-761-3456 ext 139

Our R&R Database Administrator will be able to update your information immediately on the phone. This service is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Complete Staff Directory

EMPLOYEETITLEDEPARTMENTCONTACT INFORMATION
(914) 761-3456 ext. #
Kathy Halas Executive Director   Ext. 102
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Juanita Pope Office Manager/Community Events Manager Administration Ext. 106
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Janelle Rodriguez  Receptionist Administration Ext. 0 or 100
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Michelle Guena Communications Associate Administration Ext. 152
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Dana Lawless Director of Development  Administration  Ext. 127
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Michael Goldman Director of Finance and Administration Finance Ext. 104
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Christine Iacovello Bookkeeper Finance Ext. 163
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Idie Benjamin Director of Professional Development Professional Development Ext. 108
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Elizabeth Rodano Infant/Toddler Regional Coordinator Professional Development Ext. 219
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Dana Doyle Professional Development Coordinator Professional Development Ext. 113
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Sandra Arasim Infant/Toddler Specialist Professional Development Ext. 134
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Laura Cleare Quality Specialists/Family Provider Network Coordinator Professional Development Ext. 169
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Jami Flynn Early Childhood Quality Specialist Professional Development Ext. 136
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Teresa Garcia Bi-lingual Early Childhood Quality Specialist Professional Development Ext. 142
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Cynthia Miller Family Engagement Worker Professional Development Ext. 131
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Jenitza Marte Family Engagement Worker Professional Development Ext. 161
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Vacant Quality Specialist/Nurse  Professional Development  Ext. 159
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Yvette Homar  Babies Step Forward Teacher's Assistant  Professional Development  Ext. 153
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Juliana Leshi Administrative Assistant Professional Development  Ext. 111
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Dorothy Jenkins Director of Provider Services Provider Services Ext. 123
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Lindsay Tiernan Assistant Director of Provider Services Provider Services Ext. 115
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Alexandra Santana Bi-Lingual Registrar Provider Services Ext. 114
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Michele Sardullo Registrar Provider Services Ext. 112
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Evelyn Henriques Registrar Provider Services Ext. 137
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La Toya Carney-Ramsey Registrar Provider Services Ext. 118
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Elsa Sanchez Registrar Provider Services Ext. 164
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Mabelyn Portorreal Bi-Lingual Legally Exempt Enroller/Registrar Provider Services

Ext. 172
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Jason Thomas Legally Exempt Enroller Provider Services Ext. 133
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Monica Soto Legally Exempt Enroller Provider Services Ext. 168
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Flor Tello Provider Services Department Assistant Provider Services Ext. 110
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Donna Lewis CACFP Case Manager Provider Services Ext. 167
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Jury Martinez CACFP Case Manager Provider Services

Ext. 138
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Janet Romano-Fernandez CACFP Bi-Lingual Case Manager Provider Services Ext. 203
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Noreen De Lacy CACFP Administrator Provider Services Ext. 110
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Nicole Masucci Director of Family & Employer Services Resource & Referral Department Ext. 139
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Sarah Merrifield Resource & Referral Database Administrator Resource & Referral Department

Ext. 117
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Debbie Gonsalves Resource & Referral Coordinator  Resource & Referral Department Ext. 120
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Cathy Fernandez Resource & Referral Counselor Resource & Referral Department Ext. 122
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Arlene Leuzzi  Resource & Referral Asst. and Child Care Counselor  Resource & Referral Department Ext. 121
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Melanie Santana  Child Care Subsidy Specialist Resource & Referral Department Ext. 144
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Elissa Guzzardi Director of Health Care Consultant Services Health Care Consultant Services Ext. 154
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Published in Directory

CURRENT REALITY:

One of the most expensive places for child care in the U.S., Westchester center-based infant care averages over $20,000 annually. At every income level Westchester parents struggle to pay for care, sometimes sacrificing more stable and educational child care arrangements to lower costs. Both parents and employers acknowledge that common child care issues negatively impact workers’ attendance, punctuality and productivity. Child care businesses also struggle with flat reimbursement rates and rising costs; this situation will only worsen with the new minimum wage. State-funded PreK has drawn both 4 year old children and teachers away from Westchester’s child care sector.

OUR VISION:

All parents have access to affordable, quality early care and education options that enable them to work and advance in their careers and launch their children for success in school and life, so that Westchester has a skilled and productive workforce today and tomorrow.

WHAT WE SUPPORT:

More investment from every level of government so that:

  • No family under 150% of state median income pays more than 7% of their income on child care
  • The number of children eligible for subsidy doubles and families pay a fair share on a sliding scale
  • Funding is available for high-quality preschool programs for low and moderate income children as well as a higher matching rate for infants and toddlers
  • Workforce compensation and training improve so educators achieve parity with elementary school teachers with similar credentials and experience
  • The Council’s child care subsidy specialist position to help parents successfully apply is funded
  • OCFS increases the NYS Market Rates by reinstating the 75% percentile
  • All Westchester contracted programs are reimbursed at OCFS Market Rates
  • Child care tax credits are expanded to help more moderate income families lower child care costs
  • QUALITYstarsNY is fully implemented to help parents find the best child care options for their families
  • PreK funding outside NYC is increased

More private investment of funds and talent from individuals, businesses and foundations so that:

  • The Council awards at least 50 child care scholarships annually to working parents over-income for the subsidy
  • Innovative business models are implemented that enable community-based programs to provide high-quality care to infants and toddlers
  • New shared services models are developed that increase options for parents, lower child care costs and increase quality

More coordinated planning and integration of programs, funding streams and regulations so that:

  • Increases in one do not negatively impact the other
  • Options reflect the real needs of parents including those working full-time and/or non-traditional hours
  • All staff are reasonably compensated and have pathways for career growth
  • Child care businesses have opportunities to negotiate fair contracts
  • Child care programs operate as part of a larger system that includes PreK as well as public, religious and charter schools
Published in Public Policy Agenda

The Child Care Council of Westchester recently completed two separate surveys, of Westchester parents and Westchester employers, which together paint a clear picture of the child care-related challenges facing our county.

Respondents:
715 families: geographically and economically diverse
41 employers: for- and non-profit

Of the Westchester employers who responded to our survey, 75% find that child care issues result in absenteeism or productivity loss among employees. Even so, 98% of employers report that child care issues are handled on a case-by-case or ad-hoc basis, rather than in a more formal way.

Westchester’s working parents agree that child care issue affect their work: 50% of parents surveyed report that child care has impacted their job in the past year, causing them to:

Call out - 68%
Leave early - 65%
Arrive late - 51%
Feel distracted at work - 49%
Feel unproductive at work - 25%
Cut back working hours - 20%

429 parents say that child care impacted their job in the last year, due to child care issues that include:
• lack of child care
• unreliability
• inability to pay for child care
• worry about quality of care or safety

The bottom line: Both employers and employees recognize that lack of quality, affordable, reliable child care negatively affects the workplace, yet employers offer few parent-friendly benefits other than mandated maternity leave, despite their general belief that doing so would be positive for their organizations and their employees.

The Child Care Council can help! Our professional staff work with employers and directly with parents to provide resource and referral information related to finding, evaluating and paying for child care.

pdfRead more on the Council's Parent Child Care Survey.

pdfRead more on the Employer’s Report.

Government Funding

The Council’s “Advocacy on the Go” campaign, launched in 2017 with support from the Westchester Community Foundation, helped to secure $1.6 million of new funding for child care subsidy in the 2018 Westchester County budget. A new statewide coalition, the Empire State Campaign for Child Care, formed after last year’s child care cut in the NYS budget, brought together new allies in the fight for the 18-19 NYS budget. Although the Trump administration “fat budget” contained cuts to child care, the budget bill passed by Congress and signed by the president in early February included an unprecedented boost to child care.   The additional federal child care money anticipated for New York however, eliminated the momentum for an increase in the state budget.

Westchester County

Although the Council’s advocacy efforts over the years on the county level have been successful, we have always wanted to get more parents involved. So we launched “Advocacy on the Go” on the principle that if we could bring advocacy opportunities directly to parents, they would participate. Our first “Calls for Kids” campaign brought Council staff and board members to 20 programs around the county in November, following the release of the proposed 2018 County budget. Many parents made calls of support on the spot at their child care programs, while others called from the convenience of their own homes. Council staff and board members attended and testified at the county budget hearings as well. In the end, the Budget Committee approved a $1.6 million child care add, which was part of the final budget adopted for 2018. DSS used this funding to implement a 3.5% reimbursement rate increase for contracted programs, the first such increase in many years.   

With the new County Executive’s interest in child care, the Council convened a special meeting for him with child care and after school leaders, along with members of the Council Board, staff and Business Advisory Council, on February 28th at the YWCA White Plains. Following a tour of the Y’s early childhood center, County Executive Latimer listened intently to the challenges and ideas offered by the audience and repeatedly expressed his desire to assist, along with members of his team. The audience left hopeful and energized. The Council subsequently generated a list of recommendations to strengthen child care derived primarily from that meeting and submitted them to the County Executive.  These recommendations are being considered in regular meetings between the Council and the administration.

We’ll be making our “Calls for Kids” this fall, coming to a child care and after school program near you.  We will be bringing info on child care funding, goldfish crackers, and special thank you gifts for parents.   We would love to visit as part of a parent or family event, or at pick-up time – at your convenience.   Want more info?  Contact Council Executive Director Kathy Halas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New York State

Governor Cuomo restored the $7 million cut from child care the prior year.  He also maintained funding for QUALITYstarsNY at $5 million and proposed an increase in PreK funding of $25 million.    The advocates “ask” for $100 million won considerable support in the Assembly, fueled by interest by the Women’s Legislative Caucus, which had identified child care as a top priority.  The Council participated actively in multiple statewide coalitions including the resource and referral network coordinated by the Early Care and Learning Council, Winning Beginning, and the Empire State Campaign for Child Care.   Ultimately the efforts to increase state investment stalled when the additional federal child care funding was announced.   

The coalitions all understand that advocacy is a year round effort and have continued planning throughout the year to secure new state investments in 2019.   We urge everyone to join the Empire State Campaign, simply click here: https://www.empirestatechildcare.org/

The Council’s “Advocacy on the Go” initiative, so useful in Westchester County budget advocacy was also employed for the state budget effort.  We visited child care and after school programs all over the county, encouraging parents to make calls to Governor Cuomo and their state elected officials in support of more child care funding.  We look forward to a new, even more robust statewide advocacy campaign later this year.

United States

Child care subsidy got a huge boost in the budget bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in early February with an historic increase, basically doubling discretionary funding for child care.   The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) estimated that after funding the reauthorization costs, the funding would allow another 230,000 children across the nation to receive a child care subsidy.  Initially New York was expected to receive $106 mil of new funding but that was later lowered to $96 million.   The House Appropriations Committee recently recommended maintaining this increase in the next federal budget.

With child care costs burdening families all over the nation, this significant lift at the federal level was most welcome.  Child Care Aware of America’s latest report, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2017 documents that child care expense often exceeds housing costs. New York shows up in several undesirable “top ten” lists, weighing in as the sixth least affordable state for center-based child care for infants, and #1 for center-based care for four year olds. To see how the whole country is doing, and where New York stacks up, read the full report below:

pdfView the Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 2017 Report

 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Concerns and Compliance

Before you choose a child care provider, you may want to check whether there is a history of violations. While it’s not uncommon for programs to have an occasional regulatory violation, ongoing or serious violations are cause for concern.

To check the compliance history of a program, visit the NYS Office of Children and Family Services website or call the Spring Valley Regional Office at (845) 708-2400.

To check the specific complaint history of any registered family and school-age program in Westchester County, call the Child Care Council at (914) 761-3456 x123.

 

To Discuss a Concern or File A Complaint

If you have concerns about a child care provider or want to file a complaint, call the Child Care Council at (914) 761-3456 and dial 0 to be connected to an operator immediately. To report suspected child abuse or maltreatment, call The Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 342-3720.

Published in Concerns
Monday, March 16, 2015

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SCARSDALE, NY (March 16, 2015) – The Child Care Council of Westchester - a nonprofit resource organization that works to ensure every child in Westchester has access to quality early care and education – announces the 2015 recipients of its Champions for Children Awards: Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Family Services of Westchester, and Sarah Lawrence College. Honorees will be recognized at the Annual Awards Breakfast, sponsored by Polaris Properties, on Friday, June 5, 2015 from 8:00 to 10:00 am at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown, NY. Tara Rosenblum of News 12 Westchester will be Master of Ceremonies.

Published in News
Page 9 of 14

Contact Us

Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc.

313 Central Park Avenue
Scarsdale, New York 10583

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Child Care Specialists extended hours are available on Tuesdays until 7pm to help you make an informed decision about child care.

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

Fax: (914) 761-1957

Email us

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