How did Champions of Child Care get started?
For many years the Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc. held a luncheon at a local restaurant for its Annual Meeting with speakers, election of the Board of Directors and recognition of child care providers. The recognition of providers was at the end of the meeting and as the program seemed to last longer each year, many in the audience had returned to work before the recognition took place.
Then in 2003, a small group of us decided “to give it a shot” and host an event solely to recognize and honor child care providers. There was little time to plan, so we hoped it would all come together. We had no intention of doing this again.
Approximately 100 people attended (more than we had anticipated) at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. The son of one of the Council staff entertained with a spectacular tap dancing routine and everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner. The rest of the evening was devoted to presenting awards and honoring child care providers. As people were leaving, we were overwhelmed with the many sincere thank you’s. But one family day provider’s comment made all the difference as she said, “I was planning to close my doors because I felt discouraged and unappreciated. But after tonight feel appreciated and I’m staying open.”
That one comment gave us the reason and the inspiration to continue to celebrate the many dedicated, caring and passionate people who care for our children every day.
How many awards have you given out? (updated 5/2019)
Special Awards: We have given awards to 307 child care providers that have been nominated by their peers.
- 5 Year Milestone Awards: 278
- 10 Year Milestone Awards: 155
- 15 Year Milestone Awards: 85
- 20 Year Milestone Awards: 54
- 25 Year Milestone Awards: 28
- 30 Year Milestone Awards: 14
- 35 plus Year Milestone Awards: 12
TOTAL Milestone Awards: 626
- Child Development Associate: 133
- Family Development Credential: 4
- School Age Credential: 12
- Accreditation/Re-Accreditation: 13
- Associates Degree: 49
- Bachelors Degree: 34
- Masters Degree: 22
- Doctorate: 1
- NYS Teaching Assistant Certification: 7
- Other: 12
TOTAL Education Awards: 287