Leadership Breakfasts are Back!

After several months on pause, the Leadership Breakfast Series is back! We are meeting via Zoom for now, but will resume in-person events as soon as it is possibly to safely do so.

Check out the FAQ by clicking here.

Even virtually, every session promises to be such a positive and productive way to start the day. Hope to see you soon. ❤️

Weekly Round-Up (June 5)


ADVANCING EQUITY: NYAEYC created an excellent collection of resources to help early childhood educators take action in the necessary work of undoing institutional and systemic racism. You can access these tools (and the NYAEYC statement) here.

Additional Updates:

  • REGULATORY UPDATE: OCFS released emergency regulations that impact child care providers of all modalities. Review the regulations and supplemental resources here.
  • CCRN UPDATE: You can access the agency’s weekly newsletter here.
  • PPP UPDATE (RECORDED WEBINAR): Together with the Child Care Council of Westchester and Kangarootime, Shira Leibowitz Ph.D. discussed different strategies for PPP loan forgiveness for childcare centers that accepted the loans. You can access the recording here.
  • PPP UPDATE (UPCOMING WEBINAR): On June 9, InspireCare360 is hosting a free webinar focused on the changes to PPP Forgiveness. You can register for this session here.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The NAEYC Virtual Institute (6 weeks of presentations, open to all) is now open. Learn more and register here.
  • EARLY LEARNING GUIDELINES: The NYS Early Learning Guidelines have been revised. You can learn more (and download a copy) here.

Weekly Round-Up (May 29)

DAL is committed to continuing to help you manage the current health crisis. Here’s a round up of this week’s news, curated especially for child care leaders.


  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The NAEYC Virtual Institute (6 weeks of presentations) opens on June 1 and is open to all.
  • CAREER SUPPORT: WNY’s early childhood career development coordinator, Gerald Smith, explains the (free!) services he provides in this brief child care chat.
  • CCRN UPDATES: This week’s CCRN newsletter includes helpful information about the NY Forward Loan Fund, (free) virtual training options, and more. Access the newsletter here.
  • ADVOCACY: If you’re wondering what you can do to urge Congress to provide child care relief, check out these “Take Action Now” tools. The Child Care Relief campaign is a nationwide collaboration of child care stakeholders; learn more about the collaborators here.
  • ERIE COUNTY DSS: It was announced that the COVID-19 waiver has been extended to include June payments, with a reminder that parent fees are covered by the waiver (paid by the county) so programs cannot collect fees from parents.

Weekly Round-Up (May 22)

You did it! Another week of managing multiple changes and leading through uncertainty is successfully complete. Kudos to you for your efforts — and here’s hoping that the long weekend is full of relaxing, joyful moments.

As always, DAL is committing to helping you stay connected and informed. Here’s this week’s round up of useful resources and helpful hints:

  • CDC Updates: Pages 40-44 of this document include the CDC’s specific guidance for child care settings.
  • Child Care Chats: In this episode, Christina has an opportunity to catch up with Kim Puma (Infant Toddler Network). Kim shares insight about self care and infant toddler mental health.
  • CCRN Updates: You can access CCRN’s weekly newsletter, focused on supply delivery and training opportunities, here.
  • Toolbox Talks: If you’re interested in learning more about the ways that children may be using play to help them understand the world, you’ll love hearing Alison’s discussion of pandemic play.
  • Advocacy: On May 27, InspireCare360 is hosting a free webinar focused on creating a unified ECE voice. Learn more here.
  • Crisis Management: On May 28, Kangarootime is hosting another free webinar focused on learning from this crisis. This session features author, humorist, and ECE administrator, Vernon Mason.

Weekly Round-Up (May 15)

DAL is committed to continuing to help you manage the current health crisis. Here’s a round up of this week’s news, curated especially for child care leaders.

  • CDC Update: The CDC released a decision making tree specific to child care. You can access it here.
  • Reopening Guides: Kangarootime has two free guides to help with your reopening plan; these guides include insight from DAL committee members, Cheri, Christina, and Kim. You can download the guides here.
  • CCRN News: You can access the May 13 edition of CCRN’s weekly newsletter here.
  • NAEYC News: Beginning in June 1, NAEYC will offer a virtual institute, a unique professional development opportunity with more than 100 hours of free content. Learn more here.
  • Safety Plan: NYS requires all business to have a written safety plan (to reopen or remain open). This plan does not need to be submitted for approval but must be available onsite. You can find a template here.

Weekly Round-Up (May 8)

We’re committed to continuing to help you manage the current health crisis. Here’s a round up of this week’s news, curated especially for child care leaders.

  • Advocacy: Wondering how your voice can be heard in current advocacy initiatives? Kristen Kerr shares some terrific insight here and Beth Starks provides an excellent interview on NPR here.
  • Updates: Looking for updates about local advocacy efforts and regional decisions? Access the CCRN’s weekly update here.
  • Leadership: You don’t need to set yourself on fire to keep others warm. Interested in some strategies that can help during this crisis and beyond? Check out Christina’s presentation here.
  • Child Development: The Brain Architects, a podcast from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, created an informative special series to focus on child development during this crisis. Access the podcast and its transcript here.
  • OCFS Training: In the busyness of crisis management, you may have missed the announcement that ECETP added a new online course, “What to expect when you’re inspected.” You can access this free 1.5 hour course in the e-learning course catalog here.

Weekly Round-Up (May 1)

As part of our ongoing effort to help you manage the current health crisis, here’s a round up of this week’s news, curated especially for child care leaders.

  • Trauma- informed Support: Local advocate (and DAL committee member!) Kim Stewart partnered with our friends at Kangarootime to facilitate an excellent webinar focused on supporting children, families, and staff with trauma-informed strategies. You can access the full recording here.
  • CCRN Updates: In an effort to ensure that WNY child care providers are informed about local efforts to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the Child Care Resource Network has committed to sharing a weekly update. You can access the April 29 newsletter on CCRN’s Facebook page here.
  • 4/30 Conference Call: Tiffany Malone, WNY child care advocate and business owner, took a few minutes to catch up with DAL’s leadership consultant, Christina Fecio. Tiffany kindly recapped the April 30 conference call that included updates from OCFS, Erie County DSS, and CCRN. You can access this Child Care Chat here.
  • Advocacy Update: Beth Starks, WNY child care advocate and program director, also took a few minutes to catch up with Christina. In this brief interview, Beth shares insight into her involvement in statewide efforts to help child care providers navigate (and recover from) the pandemic. You can access this Child Care Chat here.
  • Staying Connected with Families: Lindsay Kilijanski, education specialist and AEYC committee member, took some time to catch up with Christina, too. Lindsay shared some of the strategies that Holy Cross Head Start is using to stay connected with families during their closure. You can access this Child Care Chat here.

Weekly Round-Up (April 24)

As part of our continued effort to help you mitigate the impact of COVID-19, here’s a round up of this week’s news, curated especially for child care leaders.

  • Funding Update: ECLC and the statewide CCR&R network are partnering with the Cuomo Administration and OCFS to provide $30 Million in Child Care Scholarships for Essential Workers and Supplies for Child Care Providers. Access the details here.
  • Financial Support: You can view a recording of Kangarootime’s Financial Forecasting webinar here.
  • Financial Support: You can view a recording of Kangarootime’s Financial Resilience webinar here.
  • Professional Development: Next week’s webinar option from our friends at Kangarootime features DAL advisory committee member, AEYC leadership committee member, and early childhood advocate extraordinaire, Kim Stewart. Learn more and register for the webinar here.
  • Self Care: “As we navigate an incredibly traumatic time in our personal lives and in our world…we are being called to love in ways we never have before.” If you’re feeling anxious, fearful, or overwhelmed, this article may be exactly what you need.
  • Health & Safety Tips: Looking for easy-to-read and easy-to-share tips? These graphics were made especially for you!

Keep well, friends.

Weekly Round-Up (April 17)

Time is an odd commodity right now. As we all try to mitigate the impact of the current health crisis, it sometimes seems like the hours, days, and weeks are passing in a blur… and sometimes, the days or weeks can seem endless. (Full disclosure: sometimes both of those feelings occur during the same day, or even the same hour — and that’s okay, too.)

With that in mind, we thought it might be helpful to post a weekly round-up, which is exactly what it sounds like: one post where we gather the resources we’ve come across this week and share them in one spot. Some may be new to you and some may be reminders, but they’re all here in one convenient post, so you can refer to it later if you need to.

Here’s this week’s round-up:

  • Kangarootime’s April 16 webinar, “Considerations for Early CHildhood Programs Operating During the Coronavirus Pandemic” was outstanding. You can access the full recording here.
  • Child Care Resource Network (CCRN) added a library of COVID-19 resources for providers, with content related to health & safety, business management, regulations, and more. You can access the collection here.
  • The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health created a fantastic collection of mental health resources for parents, caregivers, and their families. You can access the tools here.
  • The Office of Child Care and Family Services (OCFS) has moved all of its COVID-19 guidance documents to a new page. You can access the collection of documents here.

Keep well, friends.

Work Together Wednesday

“Work Together Wednesday”

It means something different this year, doesn’t it?

I’ve never been more acutely aware of our need to provide a united front, to advocate for our industry, and to support one another. The pandemic crisis brought to the surface what we’ve always known to be true: child care is essential, yet is painfully undervalued and often overlooked.

I have also never been more proud. I see you advocating, asking questions, and tirelessly researching for the most up-to-date guidance… all while searching for supplies, supporting teachers, and loving children.

This work is never easy and that’s never been more obvious; managing your fragile business, while trying to lead with optimism and grace, is no easy task.


I have a million more thoughts, and even more questions, but even in this uncertain time, I am sure of one thing: we really are better together.

Thank you for bringing new meaning to this whole “week of the young child” initiative, adding a new level of appreciation for Work Together Wednesday.

Thank you, for everything. ❤️

— Christina Fecio, Educational Consultant