Do Day Care Programs Benefit Children? The Lois Bronz Center Does. Celebrates 50th Anniversary Next Week

WPCNR THE FEINER REPORT. Special to WPCNR from Town of Greenburgh Town Supervisor, Paul Feiner. May 19, 2016:

The Lois Bronz Children’s Center, the first child care center of its kind in Westchester County, has been serving children since 1966.
The center is located in a town owned building – 30 Manhattan Ave White Plains (near Route 119, a short distance from the Crossroads shopping center).  The center currently serves 155 children.  The board of directors has increased and the members are fully committed to the continuous growth of the center.
About 3 years ago, the center changed its slogan and  brand to the Genius Child Vision to demonstrate that they are focused on Developing the Genius in Every Child.  They will ensure that each child demonstrates the right level of competency so they can hit the ground running and succeed when they go to kindergarten and continuous learning learning thru elementary school.  The  children must have the right competitive advantage day one.
Although the Center closed a classroom in the 2010-11 school year and are continuing to streamline administrative overhead costs – they have recently been able to offer children and families additional services.   Westcop has shown confidence in their dilligence and compliance with their guidelines that they have given the resources to open an Infant room that is up and running for the last several months.
They  have integrated an interactive and creative curriculum to encompass a love of reading, math and science to help prepare our children for Kindergarten and beyond. The Board of Directors along with the administrative team adopted the “Genius Child Vision” which promises to meet the individual needs of every child. They welcome 6-week-olds to 12-year-olds and will provide an array of activities like gymnastics, swimming, tennis, artist in residence and trips to enhance the educational hands on experiences for our children.
 The Lois Bronz Children’s Center continues to develop successful and productive people in our society.  As indicated by one of the alumna who attended the center as a child and was a former chair of the Board of Directors Mrs. Susan Somersille Johnson who said I am a proud alumna of the Lois Bronz Children’s Center. The dedicated teachers helped me build a strong foundation of skills that has given me great career options and opportunities. Even today, in my current role as a leader in a Fortune 500 organization, I am deeply grateful for the people of LBCC; and I continue to support the vision to nurture the genius in every child“.
Susan Somersille Johnson, Corporate Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Also from another alumna of the Lois Bronz Children’s Center, Ms. Denisha Mayo who said “My fondest memory of the center is the variety of activities I experienced as a child.  I enjoyed attending trips, swimming and roller-skating.  I loved learning about the different cultures like Japanese and African American culture through visitors who shared stories, poems, crafts and music.  My positive experiences with both my friends and teachers inspired me to become a teacher.  I share what I have learned to the students at the center today” – Denisha Mayo, Teacher at the Lois Bronz Children’s Center
On May 26th, the Lois Bronz Children’s Center will have a awards dinner at the Doubletree hotel in Tarrytown at 6:30pm to celebrate
the courageous aspect of service to others shown by dedication, sacrifice, and commitment to fulfill the needs of others.  The theme for the celebration is “Answering the Call”.  Awards to be presented include:

– The Community Service Awards to the African American Men of Westchester, El Centro Hispano, Calvary Baptist Church, and
   the Bruce Museum.
– The Leadership Award for Vision and Outstanding Service for Children
will be presented to Reverend Erwin Trollinger,
   William (Bill) Carter- posthumously, Isabel Villar and Mrs. Lois Bronz.

Ticket for the event is $125.00 per person.  To purchase a ticket or table, please contact the Lois Bronz Children’s Center at 914-761-6134, x303 or email

The need for organized childcare in Greenburgh, NY was clearly demonstrated when the 1960 census indicated that 55 percent of the women living in the Fairview community were employed, and were forced to make whatever arrangements they could for their young children.
In one instance, June Castleberry, a resident in the community and a member of Union Baptist Church was providing child care services for seventeen children ranging from infants to nine-year olds in her home. They would become the first children to be enrolled when Union Child Day Care Center (UCDCC) opened its doors in 1966.
Reverend Charles H. Churn, then Pastor of the Union Baptist Church on Manhattan Avenue, and an early advocate for day care, offered the basement of his church as a site for the day care program and Ms. Castleberry became the first staff member.
All of this was made possible by an active community committee led by Mrs. Marion Goodman, former Chairperson of the Office of Economic Opportunity Task Force on Day Care, in cooperation with Phyllis Shearer, former Director of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, and with the support of “seeding funds” from a private family foundation.
In its second year of operation, UCDCC became part of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, and received Federal Head Start funds to meet a major part of its costs. In 1968, Union was incorporated under regulations of the New York State Department of Social Welfare.
Since day care centers serving infants could not be licensed, Temporary Incorporation was granted while UCDCC participated in a pilot program to determine the effects of group day care for infants. The positive results enabled UCDCC to become the first center licensed for infant care in New York State.
By 1969, the Union Child Day Care Center had outgrown its church quarters. The available space was inadequate to house the growing numbers of children needing care. This began a discussion of plans for a new facility.
The center was able to secure a loan under the New York State Youth Facility Act to build a new center. In 1972 we welcomed the first child into our new home, at our current location.
For many years the center struggled to pay back it’s loan, so the Board of Directors, led by Barbara Holland and the Executive Director, Rita Hulkower were approached by the Greenburgh Town Supervisor, Anthony Veteran and Lois Bronz, then a member of the Town Board to negotiate with the state of New York to have the Town purchase our building for one dollar. This agreement (finalized in 1987), states that UCDCC can operate a child care center in this building for 99 years.
In the year 2000, the Board of Directors developed a comprehensive Strategic Plan for emphasizing our educational focus, strengthening the curriculum, expanding parenting support services, and bolstering the Center’s administrative infrastructure and fundraising efforts.
The plan also included a name change, and in 2006, UCDCC was renamed in honor of County Legislator, Lois Bronz. From its inception, the center attracted and was enormously enriched by the efforts and dedication of a great many volunteers.
We chose Lois Bronz for her many years on the Board of UCDCC; for founding and chairing the Phone-a-thon, our major fund raiser for 25 years; and for always being a strong advocate for all children. Over the years, despite the development of her political career and stature in the community, she has never forgotten our center which proudly bares the name The Lois Bronz Children’s Center.

Comments are closed.