January 2021 Honoree
Kimberly Suminski, CEO
Child Care Resource Network
Kimberly Suminski joined the Child Care Resource Network in May 2019 after three years as director of the Early Childhood Direction Center at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital. As CEO she oversees a budget of $3 million and 37 employees.
Suminski is on the Erie County Emergency Child Care Task Force and serves on the board of Early Care and Learning Council. She is a member of National Association of the Education of Young Children, Western New York Behavior Collaborative, United Way Birth to Eight Collaborative, Infant Toddler Leadership Circle, and Live Well Erie County Task Force.
She has a master’s degree in education administration from Canisius College and has 25 years experience at every level from pre-school director to high school principal. She was also an adjunct instructor for the early childhood program at Villa Maria College.
Founded in 1987, Child Care Resource Network (CCRN) is the only resource and referral agency serving Erie County. It works to promote quality, affordable, accessible care and learning for all children by supporting and empowering families, caregivers, education professionals, and employers. CCRN believes all children should have access to high-quality care and learning experiences, helping them to reach their full potential.
Its staff provide continuing education, coaching, credentialing, and quality improvement projects to help the WNY child care providers provide high quality care. CCRN is the only Erie County agency authorized by the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) to provide the full range of child care, before and after school care, or day camp referrals to parents. It also advocates for greater and more comprehensive legislation surrounding early child education. It works with child care providers and programs and ensure that these programs have the proper licenses to open and operate and that they are following all NYS laws and regulations. CCRN also provides funding to providers to ensure that children are receiving healthy meals and snacks while in care.
Kimberly says one of the biggest challenges CCRN faces is helping people understand the importance of child care and how it impacts the workforce as a whole. “The availability of quality child care allows parents to go to work with piece of mind that their child is safe, healthy and thriving. Child care matters. It is no longer a woman’s issue or a parent’s issue – it is truly a community issue.” She added, “Western New York has limited access to child care. Simply put, the demand for child care exceeds the supply. We know that children who receive high-quality care and early childhood learning opportunities are better prepared for Kindergarten. We need increased supports for child care programs to better meet the needs of our community.”
“Also, many won’t know this but a few years ago, Child Care Resource Network started an annual Diaper Drive. Diaper need is a real struggle that faces many families in our community and without diapers a parent cannot send their child to child care. During our annual Diaper Drive we collect diapers and money to purchase diapers. One hundred percent of the proceeds of this drive is given directly to child care providers who serve families in need. This takes the burden off of the parent to purchase diapers for their children in child care. Last year alone we were able to provide approximately 100,000 diapers!”