dream big honorees

(Pictured from left to right: Congressman Mondaire Jones, Laura Rossi of the Westchester Community Foundation, Jason Barnett of RXR, Kathy Halas of the Child Care Council of Westchester, Craig Ruoff of Colliers International)

What's in a name?

We first developed "Dream Big" as a theme for one of our annual awards breakfasts - long before we transitioned to an evening celebration. At that time, we were thinking mostly of children - and how positive early learning experiences would allow them to dream - and achieve - big things. But we realize now the phrase represents so much more: the dreams of working mothers who want to build a career, of all parents who want better for their children. And, with your support, we at the Council have been able to dream bigger - about who and how many we can help, and the ripple effect in every direction, for so many years, when just one family gets the support they need. We raised more than $200,000 at Dream Big on April 7, and we are so very grateful for what these funds will make possible. THANK YOU.

View the full journal here.

View the gallery here.


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Let's do something great for Westchester's childen!

  • Do you have an amazing idea for your child care/after school program that needs some resources?
  • Something you've always wanted to try?
  • A promising approach that will make great things possible for Westchester children?

Then we encourage you to apply for a Cate Riley Innovation for Quality Prize. Three (3) grants up to $2,000 each will be awarded.

Child care centers, after school programs, family and group family providers, nursery schools and child care resource and referral agencies are eligible.

Applications are due by close of business on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

For more info: CLICK HERE!

For an application: CLICK HERE!

For questions, email Kathy Halas, Executive Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A message from Kathy Halas, Executive Director

The 22-23 NYS budget is a good step toward what we need for child care in New York, making care more affordable and delivering some additional compensation to the grossly underpaid child care workforce.

Here are the highlights, with details, especially around the timing, still pending:

  • Income eligibility for the Low Income Child Care Subsidy goes from 200% FPL to 300% as of 8/1/22. A family of 4 can now earn up to $83,250 and be eligible, up from $53,000.
  • Parent co-pays are capped at 10% of income over FPL for families with incomes under 300% FPL.
  • Parents enrolled in higher education are now eligible for child care subsidy without having to meet a work requirement.
  • The market rate, the basis of provider reimbursement, will rise from the 69th to the 80th percentile.
  • $343 million is invested in a stabilization fund, 75% of which must go to the workforce in the form of wage increases, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, retirement/health benefits, etc.
  • $125 million increase for PreK slots, including $25 million in a competitive grant for new slots at the $10,000 per child level.

We thank our entire Westchester State Delegation for its support, especially Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for making child care a priority and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, for leading the charge on PreK.

To all of you reading this message, especially those of you working in child care, none of this would have happened without your speaking up on our child care crisis, your participation in our letter-writing campaigns, call-ins and virtual advocacy events. On behalf of the Child Care Council Board of Directors, and our entire staff team, we thank you.

But we're not done, far from it

We're going to keep working, building on the progress this year, until we get to a truly universal system of child care in NY!

#fundchildcare #NYSUniversalchildcare #UniversalPreK

The application portal for this new $70mil funding opportunity opened on Monday, April 11th at  https://ocfs.ny.gov/cc-deserts!

The funds are part of a $100 million program from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), to expand the supply of new child care slots across the state, especially in areas that are “child care deserts”, with little or no supply of regulated child care. Grant recipients can use the funding to support start-up expenses, personnel costs, general child care business expenses and staff expenses in accessing COVID-19 vaccines. Additional details on eligibility and requirements of the grant can be found in the Request for Applications.

Applicants must have submitted their request for an application for a license before their grant application submission. All applicants must complete the OCFS online orientation before applying at  https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/providers/cdc-orientation.php. Once the orientation is completed, applicants can request a licensing application. Please visit the OCFS website here for more information and to apply for the grant.

Need more info on what is involved in various types of regulated child care?  To register for one of our FREE modality-specific info sessions pdfclick here .

Need help understanding the business challenges involved in running a child care program?  Join us at our Blending and Braiding Training, offered on 3 different times, and the Core Business Training, a series of 6 sessions that not only goes into budgeting and financial management, but also staffing, marketing, contracts and more.  Check out these FREE training opportunities pdfclick here .

Child care for Westchester working parents is about to be a lot more affordable thanks to historic funding by Westchester County.

Recognizing that the cost of child care is a burden for so many Westchester families and often a barrier to employment, the County raised income eligibility for its Child Care Subsidy Program, and then worked with the Council to create the Westchester Works Program to help working parents at even higher incomes, up to 85% of State Median Income.

Once “over-income” for child care financial assistance at $34,841, a family of two can now have a gross income of up to $60,674 and be eligible for the Westchester Works Child Care Scholarship Program.

As of April 1st, the Council is accepting applications for the new Westchester Works Child Care Scholarship Program.

Applications are available in both English and Spanish:

For English pdfclick here

For Spanish pdfclick here

For more information on the Program, including income eligibilitypdfclick here.

On behalf of the Council staff, our Board of Directors, and Westchester’s hard-working parents, we want to extend our thanks once again to County Executive George Latimer, the Board of Legislators and the Department of Social Services for this tremendous investment in our workforce of today and tomorrow!


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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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