Thursday, February 24, 2022

Dream Big Honoree Spotlight: Craig Ruoff

After more than 16 years of Board service, including four as President, we can't wait to celebrate Craig Ruoff at Dream Big on April 7th at Captain Lawrence! He is a committed, energetic leader and a passionate ambassador for our organization and those we serve.

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Screenshot 2022 02 24 144703"Through the Child Care Council, I have learned and witnessed that quality child care makes all the difference, and I strongly believe that every child should have access. I'm proud to make that happen, and grateful to be part of such a wonderful organization."

Craig is an Executive Managing Director with Colliers International, where he specializes in tenant and landlord representation in Westchester and Fairfield counties, as well as on a national and international basis. Considered one of the market's most accomplished brokers, he has 30 years of experience and is known for his ability to save clients money and protect their interests by crafting creative solutions.

Our 2022 Dream Big "Children's Champion" has received numerous awards and honors over his long career, including being named a 40 Under 40 Rising Star and Ambassador of the Year by the Business Council of Westchester.

Join us to celebrate Craig and support the Child Care Council.









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A big thank you to the hundreds of parents, child care professionals, advocates, child care resource and referral (CCR&R) staff and boards who joined our Mid-Hudson Regional NYS Child Care Briefing last Friday.

Seventeen (17!) elected officials participated in our Briefing and we thank them for making child care a priority.

Now we urge Governor Hochul and the NYS Legislature to work together to make our child care system stronger THIS YEAR! A $5 billion investment will open up child care to many hard-working families, give thousands of young children the start they need, and begin to pay the child care workforce a decent wage.

Please take 2 minutes and send your letter of support to Albany, just CLICK HERE!

If you missed the Briefing, or you want to be inspired all over again, here it is, just CLICK HERE!

Read the details of our advocacy ask here.

With your help we can make New York THE state for child care!

#fundchildcare #NYSUniversalchildcare

Carmelita Bota, Infant Toddler Quality Specialist, announced that Dr. Walter Gilliam, whose research on early childhood expulsions and suspensions, especially among young children of color, sparked a national conversation, will deliver the keynote at the Council’s 2022 Virtual Spring Early Childhood Conference on Saturday, April 30, 2022.


Dr. Gilliam, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology and Director of the Edward Zigler Center at Yale University Child Study Center also serves as Vice President of ZERO TO THREE and a past president of Child Care Aware of America.  Often quoted in the national media, Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the U.S. and frequently presents U.S. Congressional testimony and briefings on issues related to early care and education.

Entitled Working Together: Supporting Children and Responding to Challenging Behaviors, our conference is relevant not only for those working in early childhood, but for everyone working with young children and families.  Dr. Gilliam will not only speak to the issue of early childhood expulsion and suspension, he will address strategies for staff to help children succeed, in partnership with their parents.

The line-up of presenters is still in formation, but is expected to include other voices addressing alternatives to expulsion/suspension, its impact on families and what can be done on a policy level to better protect our young children.

Registration to open soon!

REGISTER TODAY for the Mid-Hudson Regional NYS Child Care Briefing on Feb 18th at 12 noon. Over 150 people registered already!

Representatives from 6 child care resource and referral agencies, along with parents, child care providers and nonprofit and community leaders from the Mid-Hudson Region - anyone who cares about kids, equitable access to child care, and our economic recovery - is invited to join us.

We'll share our concerns and ideas with our elected leaders, and ask them to #fundchildcare. You can speak up, or just listen and lend your support. The state of child care is dire right now.

With your help we can make New York THE state for child care!

Register here to receive the Zoom link:

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) recently announced that $70 million in grant funding is available to new licensed, registered or permitted child care programs in areas of the state with the least supply, known as child care deserts. The funds, which are part of a $100 million child care initiative approved in the 2021 Enacted Budget, are being made available through the American Rescue Plan Act and will be administered by OCFS.

The application portal will open in April, but providers should familiarize themselves with the process now, as some requirements must be met beforehand. Keep reading for important details.

The grants will support new child care providers in creating their child care program and in recruiting, retaining and training staff to meet workforce demands. Grant recipients can also 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 license before grant application submission. All applicants must complete the OCFS or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) online orientation before applying at 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.

Programs applying to become a NYCDOHMH Article 47 day care center must attend a pre-permit orientation before applying for a new permit (check the box next to “Group Child Care and Summer Camp Orientation Sessions,” then click “Continue” at the bottom of the page).

Applicants needing assistance with starting child care programs can contact the Westchester Regional Officer of OCFS at 845-708-2400, or call the Child Care Council at 914-761-3456.

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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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