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Latino Services Team Receives Innovation for Quality Award

Latino Services Team Receives Innovation for Quality Award

Child Care Council Inc.’s Latino services team has received an innovation award for its successful outreach to Spanish-speaking child care providers.

Coordinator Hector Santiago and the Latino services team were awarded the Cathryn A. Riley Innovation for Quality award in recognition of the team’s development of comprehensive services and an effective outreach campaign for Spanish-speaking providers. The award was presented at the Early Care & Learning Council’s annual meeting in Albany, N.Y.

“All of us at Child Care Council are absolutely thrilled that Hector Santiago and our Latino services team have earned this well-deserved award,” said Child Care Council CEO Barbara-Ann Mattle. “Hector’s personal story of how he joined the Council is inspirational, and the team’s success is a testament to its innovative spirit and approach to expand the Council’s services to Spanish-speaking child care providers and to the Latino community as a whole.”

A Truly Innovative Team
Child Care Council’s Latino services team supports child care providers and ensures the Council communicates effectively with limited English-proficient individuals in the community. The team started as a one-person operation, when Hector Santiago came to the Council to be fingerprinted as a child care provider – walking more than four miles from his child care center on a cold and snowy winter day with no coat. Council staff took note of his determination and of his early childhood education degree, and encouraged Hector to apply for a job with the Council.

During the interview process, it became clear that Hector’s command of the English language was not sufficient for the job for which he applied. However, all the managers agreed to hire a part of Hector’s time, so he began working as a combination registrar, child and adult program specialist, legally exempt enrollment specialist and Spanish-language translator.

After working in these roles for one year, he approached Council CEO Barbara-Ann Mattle with the idea of increasing the Council’s visibility in the Latino community. He recruited more child care providers to utilize the agency’s services and helped grow the number of Latino professionals on staff.

The innovation has achieved numerous results, including:
– The number of Latino providers participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program has steadily increased from 10 providers when Hector started, to 60 providers today.
– In 2015, for the first time, Child Care Council offered its CDA training course in Spanish. Fifteen Latino child care providers completed their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential coursework and graduated during a special ceremony – making it the largest Spanish-language child care provider training class of its kind in Upstate New York.
– The Latino services team has grown from one to six staff members.
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