Author Archive

CCC was the recipient of the Central Penn Business Journal’s Management Operations & Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award.

Posted on: May 17th, 2024 by Kristen Miller

Child care costs vs. college tuition: Here’s why that’s a false comparison

Posted on: March 1st, 2024 by Kristen Miller

Click here for the full article

2023 Annual Report

Posted on: January 29th, 2024 by Kristen Miller

Click here for Community Connections for Children’s year in review.

Governor Shapiro Visits York to Highlight Expanded Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and Celebrate new Early Childhood Education Initiative, Every Child Has Opportunities (ECHO)

Posted on: January 11th, 2024 by Kristen Miller

Click here for the whole story.

York County Early Learning Investment Commission ECE Educator Awards 2023 Report

Posted on: November 15th, 2023 by Kristen Miller

Click MORE ON THIS STORY for the full report.

ELIC Report 2023

2022 Annual Report

Posted on: May 19th, 2023 by Kristen Miller

As reflected in our annual report, 2022 was a year of tremendous growth, accomplishments, and transition for Community Connections for Children. We are proud of the work we do, in collaboration with many in the communities we serve, to ensure that every child and family succeeds. We thank you for your support and look forward to our continued partnership.

A Brand New Name: Community Connections for Children

Posted on: March 15th, 2023 by Kristen Miller

Child Care Consultants Announced Rebrand

Written By: Shelley Candy and Christy S. Renjilian

Have you heard the news?! Child Care Consultants (CCC) is now Community Connections for Children. 

After 35 years in the non-profit field, CCC has evolved to provide expanded resources and programs for the families in their community. 

Rest assured, Community Connections for Children is still the same beloved nonprofit, providing high-quality early learning and educational solutions in Central Pennsylvania — solutions like financial aid, quality child care, provider education, and community partnerships. 

With such a comprehensive list of services, the name Child Care Consultants no longer encapsulated all of the work that our organization does. Enter a new name — Community Connections for Children — new logo, fresh look, and new branding campaign. 

CCC actively works in 13 counties across Pennsylvania. We are in the business of connecting communities, school districts, early childhood education providers, nonprofits, and businesses together to support children and families. 

Community Connections for Children and the new logo reflect our mission, vision, and values of ensuring that every child has the resources they need to be successful in school and that families are able to remain in the workforce. 

We know that early childhood education and child care are the foundation of our local economies and educational systems. 

Our efforts to ensure that children and families have the best possible start impact the trajectory of each individual — and our collective whole. We strive for educational and life success. 

And CCC is thrilled to start this new chapter. 

A New Name For Increased Clarity and Understanding

In the past five years, the team and board of directors discovered the name Child Care Consultants did not accurately reflect all of the wonderful work our team does each day. 

And as we continue to grow and evolve, we needed more clarity and understanding about our mission and vision for the services we provide. In our most recent strategic plan, a name change was prioritized. And we’ve been laying the groundwork over the last few years to make it happen. 

With our new name — Community Connections for Children — you’ll instantly know our purpose: to develop connections for children and families that will support, grow, and see them thrive.

If you’re in a similar space, considering a complete rebrand or a refresh of your mission, vision, or brand, here’s a look behind the scenes to highlight the steps we took to launch our new brand image.

How We Approached the Rebranding Process

The first step in our rebrand process happened years ago, during our last strategic planning meeting. In talking with our staff, board, and client community, the need for a refreshed brand was highlighted time and time again. And in doing so, we were able to gain the support of the staff, board of directors, and stakeholders.

Next, funds were allocated to work with a consultant, a public relations firm here in our community. And we went through a public process to select our consultant — LUMI — and to implement a marketing strategy to develop and announce our new name and fresh look.

When it was determined earlier this year that we were moving forward with a major rebrand, we formed a small committee — a task force — of staff and board members to lead the transformation. 

The task force dedicated countless hours to the process and was very deliberate and thoughtful as they considered various names and logos. It was critical to have a broad group working on the project to ensure diversity of thoughts. 

Rebranding was an exciting, energizing process that helped us to better articulate our mission, vision, and values and plan for our future.

In addition to the task force, here are some of the critical tasks the staff completed during the process:

  • Created a request for proposal (RFP) and selected LUMI as our partner. They have been very patient, easy to work with, and provided a lot of assistance.
  • Gathered feedback about the logo and brand color palette and styles.
  • Reviewed and held brainstorming sessions to discuss name options.
  • Compiled the thoughts on the brand and name suggestions for further discussion.
  • Reviewed our mission, vision, and values. Reflected on what we do and why, our role in the community, and the message we want to share and convey.
  • Aligned our efforts with our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) vision, policy statement, and values.
  • Involved the Leadership Team, Marketing Committee, and Board in selecting the final name and logo.

And now, we’re working on marketing collateral, like business cards, letterhead, brochures, digital signatures, and social media content. As well as the legal and financial changes that come when a nonprofit changes its name.

Additional steps include LUMI creating a branding guide, the announcement of our name change, and working with those we serve to assist them in knowing and utilizing the new name.

It’s been an amazing opportunity to connect our brand with those who already are familiar with us and with the community at large. It also helps us increase and strengthen our outreach efforts and build relationships with the communities we serve.   

The Biggest Struggles We Faced in the Rebrand

The hardest part of the process has been selecting a new name for the organization. 

The Committee was presented with three rounds of names to consider, and there was much debate on the meaning of words, how they would be received, and if they encompassed our mission and vision. We also wanted to ensure the longevity of the name.

Another challenge was developing and designing the new logo. With many creative options from our talented team, it was hard to land on one. And even once it was selected it took time to make adjustments to the style, font, and tagline.

As with so many organizations, it was a struggle to incorporate all that we do into just a few words. Not to mention, navigating the different meanings and values that people bring to specific words. 

We spent a lot of time talking about who are our “clients” and “audiences” (we have many) and their association with us and how the “language” used varies from program to program. Something seemingly as easy as what is the name of the sector we are in – “child care” vs “early childhood education” vs “early learning” became a sticking point.

Be aware of these sticking points as you approach a rebrand, and allow for time, discussion, and dissent. It’s important that your team and leadership embrace your new brand, and it’s important for everyone to be heard and understood.

How the New Brand Elevates Our Impact

Our former name and brand looked and felt a bit dated and much more formal. It was also narrow in scope and left someone new to our organization questioning our mission. Whether it was a potential client looking for assistance with childcare, an early childhood educator in search of training, or a community partner they were often confused.

Some thought we provided childcare — we do not. 

And others interpreted “consultants” as individuals you could hire to help you with a project. 

The name did not incorporate all the various programs and services we provide. The logo also didn’t really tell our story. The fact that it was only vertical also made it challenging to use in all the formats and ways we wanted to.

The new name, Community Connections for Children, and logo feel more relational, representing our approach and mission. It’s more open, and positive, and speaks to the heart of our work, connecting the community — in all the ways that can be defined — to support children. 

It aligns with our mission and tells you exactly who we serve and why. The logo symbolizes familial connections, growth, inclusion, and strength. It connotes a firm foundation for the child and family as well as upward movement and growth.  

We hope you love it as much as we do, and we look forward to serving our community for decades to come.

Community Connections for Children (CCC) is a nonprofit centered in the heart of Pennsylvania. They are the backbone of the economy, serving childcare providers and low-income families ‒ the ones that have been impacted the most by the pandemic. 

For you and your business, CCC helps keep childcare options open for your employees ‒ saving missed work hours and lowering on-the-job stress levels. They work with early childhood education programs and home-based providers to improve the quality of care, ensuring that all children enter school ready to be successful.

Christy Renjilian serves as its Executive Director, and Shelley Candy is its Community Engagement Manager. Shelley was instrumental in the rebranding process, spearheading CCC’s efforts, managing the task force, and even suggesting the new name.

To learn more and to donate, visit

For more information on the consultant we partnered with, visit

Permission to Figure It Out in 2023

Posted on: February 7th, 2023 by Kristen Miller

Claiming Grace, Truth, and Patience in the New Year

Written By: Christy S. Renjilian

New year, new me.

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before. And as corny as it may sound, the new year really does bring a time to reflect and make changes that will make us happier, more fulfilled people. 

As I’ve reflected on what I want for myself and those around me in 2023, I kept coming back to three words: grace, truth, and patience

What Does Grace Mean To You? 

Grace means extending courtesy, compassion, respect, honor, and approval to someone (or yourself) regardless of whether or not you think they, their behavior, or the situation warrants such emotions. 

Grace is not transactional –it isn’t something a person can earn. It’s a way of being in the world regardless of your particular circumstances, a mindset of acceptance and giving.

One quote that’s always stuck with me about grace is this: 

“Grit determines that life challenges will neither defeat nor define us. Grace gives kindness to ourselves and others even when it’s hard.”  

— Anonymous

Now, if only it was as easy to extend grace to yourself as it is to just talk about it. 

One area I always struggle to give myself grace is public speaking. It’s not an area I feel is my strength, and I am my own worst critic. I can close my eyes and relive the dreadful experiences of my failures at various points over the years. 

But then one time when I was beating myself up about a presentation I thought should have gone better, someone asked me a question that changed my whole way of thinking. 

“Would you treat a colleague this way and say to them what you say to yourself?”

Taking a step back, I realized that the answer was no. Of course, I wouldn’t speak to someone else the way I was talking to myself.

It’s so much easier to have grace for others, but we need to give it to ourselves too. We cannot expect perfection in every moment. 

“Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.” 

— Brené Brown

Professionally, extending grace comes with the territory. An office full of imperfect people is bound to make a few mistakes. 

This reveals another area where grace needs to be the focus for both myself and others.

As a leader, I’ve related to the old adage “every success belongs to your team and every failure is yours.” It’s easy to blame myself for every minor setback or shortcoming in our organization. 

But over the years I’ve learned that beating myself up provides no progress. Instead, I must focus on how the mistake can be corrected and learned from. And how we can create systems and processes in order to not make the same mistake again. 

Reprimand is not necessary for the team member that actually made the mistake. They are likely beating themselves up, just like I would.

Instead, a leader must support and develop that individual through the mistake. And foster a culture where every team member feels confident to take risks, make mistakes, find solutions, and grow from their experience. 

Seeking Truth in Personal and Professional Settings 

Truth means you believe and share the facts about a situation. You are honest and forthcoming both with yourself and others. 

Truth is being open in your words and actions. Speaking the truth isn’t always easy in the short term, but it’s better in the long run.

I believe in sharing all information, both good and bad, with all of my team members. 

Some leaders operate from a “need to know” perspective, only telling each employee what they need to know to get their job done. Fostering a culture of secrecy instead of camaraderie. 

I operate from a “why wouldn’t I tell you” perspective. I know I function better, and my decisions are better when I have lots of information, facts, and perspectives to inform me about all the options. 

And I know that every single person that works with me can also do their job better with more information. 

This leads to valuing transparency, even when that’s not the norm. 

There is no place in a thriving workplace for people who are not truthful and open. Falsehoods, withholding information, and whispered secrets create toxic environments, resulting in poor decision-making. And in the long-term, it erodes relationships and culture.

Being honest in work relationships allows the opportunity to address issues promptly and prevent further problems from festering. 

Valuing Time and Having Patience While Waiting 

I don’t know about you, but I am not a patient person. 

Waiting is hard for me. Always has been. And I have little tolerance for people who don’t respect and manage time well—those always tardy folks. 

It’s a struggle and growing edge for me, to extend grace to those who have a different relationship with time than I do.

And waiting is a skill that is necessary not just for personal matters, but professional ones as well. 

For example, CCC has a policy that emails must be responded to within 24 hours. Feeling the urge to be available and responsive, I try to respond to emails more quickly. Especially if the other person is waiting on me to respond in order to move forward with their work. 

But not everyone has the same mindset. Some find it very difficult and distracting to always be checking their inbox. 

They may only check it at certain points throughout the day, responding to all the emails at once. 

This isn’t ideal for me, but if it helps others be more productive, I need to have the patience to wait for a reply. 

I am also learning to have patience not just in the small things like emails, but in the big things—like funders releasing a Request for Proposals, providers taking the steps to improve their quality, or families being ready to move forward towards achieving their goals. 

I have no control over the urgency and timetable of others. All I can do is make sure my team and I are ready to respond in a timely manner with all the support that is needed when those individuals are ready for it.

Taking a pause often helps with an impatient mindset. Before responding to someone, I take a minute and wait. 

To sit with things and allow others to sit. To ponder and reflect. To ask more questions than I give answers. 

Truth be told, some days this is a lot easier than others. Some days I think that there’s too much to do and my quick knee-jerk reaction gets the better of me.

But in every instance where I’ve prioritized a pause, the benefits are always worth that temporary discomfort. 

My Most Important Piece of New Years Advice

Just Be.

We are conditioned to always have a goal, to determine “what’s next” in both our personal and professional life. To be busy, contributing, achieving, and growing. 

These past several months I have worked hard at just being and not pressuring myself to do.

It’s been hard. I come from a long line of doers. You could say it’s in my blood. 

Both of my grandmothers worked outside the home, as did my mom. And they all were very active volunteers in their communities and various organizations. 

I can’t recall a time when I saw them just sitting, just being. And if by some miracle they were sitting after a long day at work or serving others or taking care of their families, they were still doing— knitting, quilting, sewing, making baskets. Always doing.

While I admire these matriarchal figures in my life in many ways, this is one place where I want my life to look different. I want to have value in being, not only value when I am doing.

As a society, we are very focused on what’s next. 

We ask young children what they want to be when they grow up. We ask high schoolers what their plans are for a career and beyond. 

When someone has been in their job for a while, we ask them what promotion or position they’re going after next. We ask young families when the next baby is due or when they’re moving to a bigger house

As if life is only about getting, achieving, doing, always more and more and more.

But there is so much joy and peace to be found in just being. 

Being content with what you have. 

Loving the people already around you. 

And taking time to relax and enjoy life. 

In 2023, I hope you give yourself permission to just be. To sit and do nothing. To look up at the stars and enjoy the beauty of your corner of the world. To reflect on your life and year with grace, gratitude, and joy.

Cheers to you — and to grace, truth, and patience.

About Community Connections for Children

Community Connections for Children (CCC) is a nonprofit centered in the heart of Pennsylvania. They serve childcare providers and low-income families ‒ the ones that have been impacted the most by the pandemic. 

For you and your business, CCC helps keep childcare options open for your employees ‒ saving missed work hours and lowering on-the-job stress levels. They work with early childhood education programs and home-based providers to improve the quality of care, ensuring that all children enter school ready to be successful.

Christy Renjilian serves as its Executive Director. 
To learn more, visit

A Little Encouragement for Your 2023

Posted on: January 24th, 2023 by Kristen Miller

Written By: Christy S. Renjilian

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Or identify a word of the year?

Or maybe you took a look at your life and set goals or priorities.

If you’re anything like me, you struggled with accomplishing all of the above. 

This year I am trying hard to set meaningful, mindful goals and priorities. To focus on what I need and want more of.

If you read my previous blog, you know some of them…

To extend internal grace. And practice patience.

To simply be and not always feel like I have to do.

I made a handful of professional goals, too. Like securing a new five-year Early Learning Resource Grant for CCC. And effectively leading and collaborating with my team, creating and recreating our vision for our work, culture, and goals.

And maybe you’ve heard our big announcement, we’ve rebranded CCC from Child Care Consultants to Community Connections for Children. Stay tuned for more information! 

In 2023, I want to challenge myself to find ways to share the lessons I’ve learned as a leader with others. And to seek out and learn from aspiring leaders in my community. To find ways, in particular, to support women leaders, especially those in the next generation.

And then there are big, BIG goals… like moving the bar of progress in the early childhood education field and improving the financial conditions within the industry.

As well as educating, challenging, and nudging community leaders in the private and public sectors to make meaningful systemic changes.

Current Trends Around New Year’s Resolutions

Have you ever wondered how others feel about this time of year, and the goals or resolutions they set? 

In a recent poll conducted by Forbes Health/OnePoll, “29% of respondents stated they feel pressured to set a new year’s resolution. 

And more people cite improved mental health as a top resolution (45%) compared to improved fitness (39%), weight loss (37%), and improved diet (33%).”

And New Year’s resolutions struggle to stick with us. 

According to a OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans in 2020 and reported by the New York Post, “February 1 is the day we call it quits on our New Year’s resolutions. It takes just 32 days for the average person to finally break their resolution(s) — but 68% report giving up their resolutions even sooner than that.

In fact, one in seven Americans never actually believe they’ll see their resolution through in the first place.

Dismal statistics, which is why I set both specific goals and overarching goals. And fill my social feed, inbox, and life with uplifting messages to keep me on track.

And today, I’m bringing you a bit of support as you reach for the goals, visions, and resolutions you’ve set for 2023.

Seven Quotes to Give You Encouragement

  1. Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.”

— Melody Beattie

  1. “Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.”

— Morgan Freeman

  1. “What would you do if you were putting yourself first in your own life?”

― Ingrid Clayton

  1. “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

— Hal Borland

  1. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”

— Nido Qubein

  1. “But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others…It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.”

— Brené Brown

  1. “As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear.”

—  Tracee Ellis Ross

Stay True To Yourself, Always

It’s important not to get caught up in the hype or in the hustle culture that the Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuks of the world promote.

Staying true to yourself often happens in the simple things, the things you believe intrinsically. And if you’re like me, you want to embrace those things. For me, it looks like finding a better work-life balance and practicing self-care.

Trying new things AND giving myself permission to do nothing at all.

I hope 2023 is a year in which you reflect on your real priorities and what brings you joy, and you give yourself permission to do more of that.

Additional Reading

Forbes: New Year’s Resolutions Statistics 2023

NY Post: The Average American Abandons Their New Year’s Resolution By This Date 

About Community Connections for Children

Community Connections for Children (CCC) is a nonprofit centered in the heart of Pennsylvania. They serve childcare providers and low-income families ‒ the ones that have been impacted the most by the pandemic. 

For you and your business, CCC helps keep childcare options open for your employees ‒ saving missed work hours and lowering on-the-job stress levels. They work with early childhood education programs and home-based providers to improve the quality of care, ensuring that all children enter school ready to be successful.

Christy Renjilian serves as its Executive Director. 
To learn more, visit

York County Early Learning Investment Commission ECE Educator Awards 2022 Report

Posted on: January 18th, 2023 by Kristen Miller

Click MORE ON THIS STORY for the full report.

ELIC Report 2022