2012 LIKE Awards Announce
The 2012 Lanza Investment in Kid’s Early Education (LIKE) Awards, announced at the end of December 2011, are sure to make a great impact on the lives of 20 Westchester County families this year. This is a new Child Care Council scholarship program, made possible by Patricia Lanza and The Lanza Family Foundation.
“The scholarship is a godsend,” says Laura Perez, mother of Marvin Romero, who attends the Early Childhood Education Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco. “Although my husband and I both work full-time, we were barely able to afford the quality daycare program that our son so enjoys. The scholarship has enabled us to keep our son in this wonderful program for a second year.” The other individuals who received scholarships for their children include a bank teller, a teaching assistant, an accounting assistant, a licensed practical nurse, and a bank credit officer.
The scholarship program, which was developed by the Child Care Council of Westchester, sought applications from parents who live in Westchester, are employed full-time, and meet income and family size requirements. Children are required to be enrolled full-time (at least 30 hours per week) in a child care center or family child care program that serves infants, toddlers, or preschoolers which is in Westchester County and is regulated by the Office of Children and Family Services. In addition, if the center or program is not nationally accredited, it must participate in a Child Care Council of Westchester quality enhancement program, if it has not already done so.
The scholarships are made possible with a significant gift from Patricia Lanza and The Lanza Family Foundation. Mrs. Lanza is well-known as a passionate benefactor to many organizations that support women, children, and families. Her philanthropy has been focused where she lives—for example, she has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships to Westchester County high school girls—but it has also reached as far away as Swaziland, where she has provided the tools for hungry families to grow vegetables for food and profit. She recently received the 2011 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year award from the Association of Development Officers.
“With the suspension of Westchester County’s child care scholarship program and the sluggish economy, this scholarship program is so crucial for working families,” says Kathy Halas, Executive Director of the Council. “Mrs. Lanza has really immersed herself in the early care and education world, making significant investments in Westchester’s early childhood sector. She has made an enormous difference.”