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Our children are precious. So are the people who care for and educate them.

So let's pay them like the professionals they are!

Right now the NYS child care workforce makes less than 96% of all NYS occupations.

Because of these low wages, many child care jobs go unfilled, leading to programs unable to enroll new children.

Caring for and educating our young children is not babysitting. It is demanding work, calling for skill and knowledge and patience. The people who do this important work, generally women and often women of color, should be compensated like the professionals that they are.

The Council's new Child Care Survey reveals that Westchester teachers in child care centers earn 44% less than entry-level kindergarten teachers.

The Governor proposes another one-time workforce recruitment and retention initiative, using unspent federal funding. This will not fix the child care staffing crisis.

Time to invest NYS $ in a permanent child care compensation fund that reflects the true value of these indispensable educators.

To call on Governor Hochul and your NYS legislators to make the proper investment in the child care workforce, Click Here!

For more info on the Child Care Council's new Salary Survey, Click Here!

For questions and/or more information, contact Kathy Halas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Our children are precious. So are the people who care for and educate them.

And yet the child care workforce makes less than 96% of all NYS occupations.

Because of these low wages, many child care jobs go unfilled, leading to programs unable to enroll new children.

Caring for and educating our young children is not babysitting. It is demanding work, calling for skill and knowledge and patience. The people who do this important work, generally women and often women of color, should be compensated like the professionals that they are.

The Council's new Child Care Survey reveals that Westchester teachers in child care centers earn 44% less than entry-level kindergarten teachers.

The Governor proposes another one-time workforce recruitment and retention initiative, using unspent federal funding. This will not fix the child care staffing crisis.

Time to invest NYS $ in a permanent child care compensation fund that reflects the true value of these indispensable educators.

To call on Governor Hochul and your NYS legislators to make the proper investment in the child care workforce, Click Here!

For more info on the Child Care Council's new Salary Survey, Click Here!

For questions and/or more information, contact Kathy Halas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Child Care Advocacy Day in Albany was Great....but the Budget Campaign Continues!

We were delighted to join hundreds of child care professionals, parents, advocates and others in Albany to call for increased child care funding. But we're not done yet, and neither are you!

The Governor's budget includes another one-time workforce recruitment and retention initiative, using unspent federal funding - no new NYS investment. And frankly, the amounts will be lower than in the prior rounds.

This will not fix the child care staffing crisis that exists because of persistently low salaries.

The Council's new Child Care Survey illustrates the problem - Westchester ECE teachers in centers earn 44% less than entry-level kindergarten teachers. 70% of the programs responding to the survey were below licensed capacity, citing between 4 and 10 open positions.

Parents can't use child care without a strong child care workforce.

To call on Governor Hochul and your NYS legislators to adequately fund a child care compensation fund to move these indispensable educators toward parity with the K-12 system, just Click Here!

For more info on the Child Care Council's new Survey, click here - Westchester Salary Survey

For questions and/or more information, contact Kathy Halas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday, February 09, 2024

Early Ed Hall of Heroes is Back!

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Mark your calendars for the 2024 Early Education Hall of Heroes event taking place on Friday, September 27th, from 7pm to 9pm. We are excited to celebrate and induct a new slate of child care and afterschool professionals. It will be a fun-filled night of entertainment, dinner, awards, networking, and more. So be sure to mark September 27th on your calendar and be on the lookout for when nomination submissions open.

For questions or more information, contact Juanita Pope at 914-761-3456 x106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Here's a quick flashback to last year's event:

 

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View the full 2023 event gallery here.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

A New Chapter: Kathy Halas Stepping Down

Celebrating 21 years of leadership and achievement

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After more than two decades of dedicated service and exceptional leadership, our esteemed Executive Director, Kathy Halas, has decided to step down later this year. Kathy’s impact on the Child Care Council and our community has been nothing short of transformative.

One of her most remarkable contributions has been her relentless advocacy for policy change and increased investment in child care. Kathy spearheaded successful efforts to reduce parents’ share of financial assistance (subsidy) – once as high as 27% of income over the federal poverty level and now just 1% - and increased income eligibility to families, making assistance more widely available. Most recently, she helped secure the continuation of the Westchester Works Child Care Scholarship, the most widely-available child care scholarship in our county’s history. Through her strategic vision and tireless efforts, and in partnership with supportive government leaders, early child care and education has become much more accessible and affordable for countless families.

During Kathy’s tenure, the Child Care Council tripled in size and launched many new critical initiatives to help improve the quality of early care and education available to families. These include the Quality In Action program, which supports home-based and Spanish-speaking providers, mental health support services for infant/toddler care providers throughout Westchester and the region, and an early literacy/family home library project that engages 20 child care programs annually, among others.

Recognizing that a strong child care system could be a compelling community asset, Kathy engaged and worked closely with other organizations, including the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester County Association, Nonprofit Westchester, the United Way of Westchester and Putnam, as well as with elected leaders and the business community.  

Appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul following a nomination by NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Kathy serves on the NYS Child Care Availability Task Force and on the Workforce Committee of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, in addition to many past and present leadership positions within local organizations, including the Westchester Women’s Agenda and Nonprofit Westchester. She is a former board president of the NYS Early Care and Learning Council (ECLC), the coordinating agency for the state network of child care resource and referral agencies. She serves as co-chair of the Westchester Families Task Force, along with County Legislator Nancy Barr.

The Board of Directors of the Child Care Council of Westchester is forever grateful to Kathy Halas for her incomparable and tireless dedication to advocating for all families, children and providers, to increase access to quality early childhood education and care across Westchester County,” said Board Co-Chair Christie Noelle Krase.

 “This has been a remarkable time to work in early care and education, and there is no better place than Westchester County, with such commitment from government, business and community leaders,” said Kathy. “I have such admiration for Westchester’s child care and after school educators and am rewarded to see that the field is finally beginning to enjoy the respect it deserves. I have been blessed to work with such a wonderful team of Council colleagues and to feel the support of a wonderful Board of Directors. I look forward to the next chapter for the Council.”

Please join us in expressing our deepest appreciation to Kathy. While we will miss her in her current role, we are excited to see the ways in which her influence will continue to positively shape our community and look forward to continuing the important work she has inspired us to carry forward.

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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

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