Issue Eighteen

September, 2012

  ECAC Logo   

Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
ECAC Spearheads Efforts to Expand Enrollment in CACFP
QUALITYstarsNY Implementation Moves Forward
New Brief From Schuyler Center
Member Corner

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



See below for news about the ECAC's efforts to support the expansion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program in New York State and check out the progress made in QUALITYstarsNY implementation and related activities to help improve quality early care and education in New York State.  Whether you have been a subscriber from the beginning, or are receiving this newsletter for the first time, we look forward to having you as our reader. As always, please send comments and concerns to 

ECAC Spearheads Efforts to Expand Enrollment in CACFP




The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded nutrition program that provides reimbursement for healthful meals and snacks served to children in early care and education programs. Participation in CACFP ensures children's nutritional needs are met and is free of charge to providers and programs. CACFP plays an important role in improving the quality of child care and helps reduce the cost of child care services. 


According to a recent national study, The Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Nutrition of Preschoolers, by Sanders Korenman and others, published August 2012 in the journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly, low-income 4 year old children who attend child care centers that participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program consume more milk and vegetables and are less likely to be overweight or underweight than children attending centers that do not participate in the program.


Within New York State, there are still eligible early care and education settings that do not yet take advantage of the opportunity to participate in CACFP. As a result, they miss out on the tremendous benefits that CACFP provides to their program and their children's nutrition status! In fact, in recognition of the significance that CACFP has on program quality, one of the QUALITYstarsNYstandards for both family child care homes and centers is that the program participates in CACFP, or, if not enrolled, follows the CACFP meal patterns.  


For these reasons, the ECAC has joined forces with the Early Care and Learning Council to work with CACFP staff at the NYS Department of Health to help expand participation in CACFP in early care and education programs throughout the state.


Efforts include the following:

  • A brochure, Good Nutrition Pays, has been updated, for both family child care homes and center-based programs, that explains the purpose and value of CACFP to children and to the quality of their program. These brochures will be dessminated in a variety of ways, including:
    • Mailing of the brochures with a letter from the ECAC Co-chairs to programs participating in QUALITYstarsNY that encourages enrollment in and underscores the benefits of CACFP, including that it will help programs increase quality and meet a standard within QUALITYstarsNY.
    •  Mailing of the brochures wtih a letter from the ECAC Co-chairs, OCFS Deputy Commissioner for Division of Child Care Janice Molnar and DOH Division of Nutrition Director Loretta Santilli, to all licensed and registered homes and centers in the state that encourages enrollment in and explains the benefits of CACFP, including how enrolling in CACFP will help their program increase quality and get ready for QUALITYstarsNY.
  •  Quality Improvement Specialists will provide individual follow up to programs/providers participating in QUALITYstarsNY to help them understand the application process and answer questions.
  • CCR&Rs will provide outreach throughout the state to follow up with all registered and licensed programs and providers to help them understand the benefits of CACFP and complete the application process.
 In addition, CACFP staff are in the process of developing an eLearning curriculum that will teach the CACFP meal pattern requirements for nonparticipating programs. Their goal is to have the curriculum completed by early November. Programs can also access many materials regarding CACFP on the CACFP website.




 QUALITYstarsNY Implementation Moves Forward



QUALITYstarsNY is moving forward on schedule. With over 400 programs and providers, many selected in late July from areas of the state with high priority school districts (Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Capital District, Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Roosevelt) and including former field test sites, they are now participating in a variety of implementation activites:

  • Selected participants have been attending initial orientation sessions hosted by the Quality Improvement Specialists. Participants are going through the standards self-study through October 31, 2012.
  • Some participants are also attending Environment Rating Scale training and conducting self-assessments using the tools.
  • Participants are also attending training on Aspire, the Workforce Registry. Staff qualifications and experience information entered into Aspire will inform a site's QUALITYstarsNY rating.

In addition:

  • Recruitment of public school-based Universal Prekindergarten programs in underway. The Early Care & Learning Council is managing this process through various local recruiting agencies. Applications are due by October 31st. The application is available here:

Environmental Rate Scale Assessors Are Needed 

  • QUALITYstarsNY is looking for reliable Environment Rating Scale assessors. Click here for the application and description of the assessor position.   Deadline to apply is October 1st, 2012.


New Brief from Schuyler Center Highlights Importance of Quality Early Care and Education



The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy has released a new report, Quality: What It Is and Why It Matters in Early Childhood Education. The release coincided with State Education Department Commissioner John King's Back-to-School Tour, which included stops across the state, including in Albany at Victory Child Care, a QUALITYstarsNY implementation site.


The brief describes why quality matters, what it looks like, and how it's measured. The brief cites research that shows that high-quality programs improve children's skills prior to entering school and that low-quality programs can be detrimental. Finally, it recommends implementation of QUALITYstarsNY to provide programs, parents, policymakers and the public with a means to achieve and measure quality in early care and education.

Member Corner

On October 22nd, the Center for Children's Initiatives in New York City will honor several early care and education leaders, including ECAC Member Pedro Cordero at its Champions for Children Awards Luncheon. Pedro Cordero, the Director of Early Childhood Services, Goddard Riverside Community Center, is being honored for leadership in policy, advocacy, and excellence in early care and education. For more information about the event contact CCI Director of Development, Tema Fishbein, at The Center for Children's Initiatives, whose Director is ECAC Member Nancy Kolben, champions early care and education issues, especially within the New York City area. CCI is celebrating 30 years of Building Bright Futures for Children!



 Marsha Basloe, ECAC Member and Co-chair of the Quality Improvement Work Group, and Executive Director of the Early Care & Learning Council, has been prominently quoted in an August 16th online article, Child Care Costs Exceed Rent in Most States in CNN Money.

Thank you for your interest in the Early Childhood Advisory Council. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at:


Regina Canuso

Project Manager 

NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council

View our ECAC e-mail Newsletter Archive