QUALITYstarsNY sat down with Stephen Madey, Director of Pelham Children’s Center.

Stephen Madey received the Child Care Council of Westchester’s “Early Education Hall of Heroes Award”. This hall of fame recognizes individuals who have helped advance early care and education in the Westchester community. Stephen has been the director of PCC since 2018. In that time, he has had a positive and lasting impact on a number of Pelham’s toddlers and preschool-aged children.

What do you feel has brought you to this point?

There have been a lot of changes over the past few years, in terms of our Center. I am glad to say that we have come from a place with no waitlist to 100+ on the waitlist. We are financially solvent. I’m proud of the fact that our classrooms are well stocked with play materials, which supports children in engaging in complex and imaginative play. Children’s curiosity just blooms when they have that kind of environment. Children here at PCC experience not just the richness of classrooms and outdoor spaces, but also the richness of the community! They learn and discover through trips we take-whether it’s going in Greenwich by train, Grand Central Station, playgrounds, etc. By being in the community they learn that they are part of the community.

As an early Childhood Professional, what does this award mean to you?

My background wasn’t originally Early Childhood. Now, in this field, I’ve never worked harder in my life. And I’ve never learned more. When I received notice of this award, it was one of the first times I’ve ever been silent! I was speechless, and very honored. I shared the information with our Board of Directors, and with the staff and the families. To me, this is not a “me” award. This is an “us” award. This serves as recognition for everyone here at the Center. I feel it’s Pelham Children’s Center that should be in the Hall of Heroes!

How has QUALITYstarsNY supported you in your role as Child Care Center Director?

QUALITYstarsNY has been instrumental in promoting my own growth experience in this field. From funding to go to NYSAEYC conference, to the training on Environment Rating Scales, it has focused my learning, and has shown me things I wanted to continue to strengthen at the Center. QUALITYstarsNY has aided our teachers in redesigning some of the classrooms, by providing materials and equipment to better define the learning Centers. Additionally, Education Staff are starting to meet with the CUNY PDI Career Development Coordinator to explore higher education degrees in early childhood, funded through QUALITYstarsNY!

Congrats on your achievement, Steve! Thank you for being a wonderful example of quality child care in the Westchester area.