In 1984, a group of dedicated volunteers came together to look at the child care needs in the community. These individuals represented a broad spectrum of the human services system in Erie County as well as the legal, educational, political and business communities.
Through a grant from the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, a child care conference was held in March of 1984. After the conference, the committee studied the possibility of a Child Care Council on the Niagara Frontier. Building upon the interest and commitment of the volunteers, additional grants were secured from the United Way and the Wendt Foundation. In 1987, an alliance was formed with the YWCA to provide resource and referral information services to parents.
The volunteers continued to meet and in 1988 applied for a grant from the New York State Department of Social Services to establish an agency that would be devoted exclusively to the child care needs of Erie and Niagara County. The Coalition was established as part of a state wide system of child care resource and referral agencies.
On April 1, 1989, Dorothy B. Millard began serving as the interim Executive Director for the new agency, named the Child Care Coalition of the Niagara Frontier, Inc. Community support continued through an additional grant from the United Way, and the donation of office space, telephone service and clerical support from Westminster Presbyterian Church. Hundreds of volunteer hours were committed to the agency and continue to be one of the foundations of the organization’s development and success. The Executive Directors since Dottie have included Judy DiPaquale, Peg Agnello-Kulu, Mary Jo Hunt as interim and Dr. Valerie C. Cooley, Ed.D. Susan E. Block has been the Executive Director since September of 2008.
The first location of the new agency was 989 Elmwood Avenue at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and West Ferry Street, in the heart of Buffalo. The Coalition moved from its location at 1160 Main Street to 2635 Delaware Avenue in November of 1998. In February of 2003, the Child Care Coalition expanded to include a new provider training and resource center in a second site at 2625 Delaware Avenue. After 18 years of serving children and families, the Coalition decided to change its business name to be more reflective of the services provided by the agency and our reliance on our partners throughout the region, the state and the country. Effective January 1, 2006, the DBA (Doing Business As) name changed to Child Care Resource Network. A new logo designed by Roberta Modeas, a child care provider, was unveiled at the Annual Meeting on November 14, 2005. In 2008 we moved from our two locations on Delaware to one larger location at 1000 Hertel Avenue where we reside today.
Child Care Resource Network is a not-for-profit agency that works with New York State, Erie County, the City of Buffalo, federal agencies, the business community, and private foundations to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of child care throughout the region. The agency brings together parents, child care providers, community members, business and the government to develop and support accessible and affordable quality early care and education for families and children in Buffalo and Erie County. This collaboration values, respects, and nurtures cultural and individual differences.
The agency is a member of a statewide (39) and a national (700+) system of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. This membership enhances and expands the base of the agency, ensuring a broad perspective on pertinent issues and concerns. The agency has a Board of Directors comprised of a representative group of professionals in the field of Early Care and Education and the community at large. The staff members of Child Care Resource Network are professionals in the fields of Early Care and Education, Special Education, Human Services, Health Care, Finance and Communication.
Child Care Resource Network is the lead agency for a statewide infant toddler initiative and hosts the Western New York Infant Toddler Resource Network.