Comprehensive in its approach, and innovative in its methods, our Center was founded in 1966 to address the growing needs for childcare in Westchester County.
The Center has since evolved into a multifaceted program offering a myriad of early childhood educational programs and services to families and children that reside or work in the County.
Our Center is a well-equipped facility which enables us to care for approximately 200 children annually.
The Lois Bronz Children's Center (LBCC) is committed to creating a safe and nurturing educational center in which families, teachers and staff are in partnership. We provide an environment that enables each child to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, culturally and socially. We value each and every child and strive to ensure that they reach their maximum potential.
It is an honor to serve as the Chief Executive Officer & President of this esteemed organization. With a history spanning back to 1966, we have been dedicated to serving the Westchester County community.
Our commitment to addressing the needs of the community is paramount, and I am deeply enthusiastic about the accomplishments and programs that have played a vital role in nurturing the education and personal growth of countless children.
My primary objective is to continue the mission outlined by our Board of Directors. To achieve this, I will work closely with the administration, teachers, and parents, ensuring that our center remains the foremost choice for providing a safe and nurturing environment for your children.
At the Lois Bronz Children’s Center, we fulfill our child care mission through a dynamic approach. We incorporate innovative methods, such as a creative curriculum, social-emotional development, and Brigance screenings. The center's focus is to enhance the quality of our programs and services, guided by our Education philosophy, which is rooted in the Genius Child Vision. This vision seeks to boost self-esteem by recognizing and nurturing each child’s unique developmental journey.
For our youngest learners in Early Childhood, our primary goal is to equip them with competencies in reading, writing, science, technology, and mathematics before they enter Kindergarten. We are committed to providing continuous learning and development opportunities for elementary students, offering diverse and comprehensive learning experiences.
Our dedicated teaching staff meticulously plans and implements daily activities to ensure that each child benefits from our program. We gauge their progress and growth through checkpoints in our Creative Curriculum, the Social Emotional Curriculum, and Brigance Screenings.
I am truly excited about the opportunity to serve in this capacity and look forward to collaborating effectively with parents, staff, and teachers to continue the legacy of excellence at our center.
Joan Lewis Shepherd
Chief Executive Officer & President
The need for organized childcare in Greenburgh, NY, became evident in 1960 when the census revealed that 55 percent of the women in the Fairview community were employed. Yet, they had to scramble for childcare solutions for their young children. In an inspiring example, June Castleberry, a community resident and member of Union Baptist Church, took it upon herself to provide childcare for seventeen children, ranging from infants to nine-year-olds, in her own home. These children would later become the first to enroll when the Union Child Day Care Center (UCDCC) opened its doors in 1966. Reverend Charles H. Churn, the Pastor of Union Baptist Church on Manhattan Avenue at the time and an early advocate for daycare, generously offered the basement of his church as a location for the daycare program, with Ms. Castleberry as its first staff member.
This remarkable endeavor was made possible through the unwavering commitment of an active community committee led by Mrs. Marion Goodman, former Chairperson of the Office of Economic Opportunity Task Force on Day Care, in collaboration with Phyllis Shearer, former Director of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program. Support also came from "seeding funds" provided by a private family foundation.
In its second year, UCDCC joined the Westchester Community Opportunity Program and received Federal Head Start funds, significantly offsetting operational costs. In 1968, Union Child Day Care Center was officially incorporated under New York State Department of Social Welfare regulations. Remarkably, UCDCC was among the pioneers participating in a pilot program to evaluate the effects of group daycare for infants. This led to it becoming the first center licensed for infant care in New York State.
By 1969, the Union Child Day Care Center had outgrown its church premises. The available space proved inadequate to accommodate the increasing number of children needing care, prompting discussions about a new facility. The center secured a loan under the New York State Youth Facility Act to construct a new center. In 1972, the center celebrated the arrival of its first child at the new location, where it still operates today.
In the face of financial challenges related to repaying its loan, the Board of Directors, under the leadership of Barbara Holland and Executive Director Rita Hulkower, engaged with Greenburgh Town Supervisor Anthony Veteran and Lois Bronz, then a member of the Town Board. Together, they negotiated with the state of New York to facilitate the Town's purchase of the center's building for one dollar. This agreement, finalized in 1987, stipulated that UCDCC could operate a childcare center in the building for 99 years.
In 2000, the Board of Directors embarked on a comprehensive Strategic Plan aimed at strengthening the center's educational focus, enhancing the curriculum, expanding parenting support services, and fortifying the Center's administrative infrastructure and fundraising endeavors. As part of this plan, the center underwent a name change in 2006, honoring County Legislator Lois Bronz.
Throughout its history, the center has thrived due to the invaluable contributions and unwavering dedication of numerous volunteers. Lois Bronz, a pivotal figure in the center's journey, was chosen for her many years on the Board, her founding and leadership of the Phone-a-thon, a significant fundraiser for 25 years, and her continuous advocacy for all children. Despite her rising political career and prominence in the community, she has remained a steadfast supporter of the center, which proudly bears the name "The Lois Bronz Children's Center."