January 22, 2018

PAEYC is now Trying Together

“We need to remember that children are trying, too — trying to understand their feelings and their world, trying to please the people they love, trying to grow. When grownups and children are trying together, just about anything can be possible.” — Fred Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 1986

For 55 years, The Pittsburgh Association for The Education of Young Children (PAEYC) has collaborated with early care and education professionals, families, and other individuals to advocate together, partner together, and learn together, to create a future in which caregivers feel valued; children have access to high-quality, early learning environments; and families have the resources they need to support their children’s early childhood experiences.

Trying Together

Today Monday, January 29, 2018, PAEYC will officially rebrand as Trying Together.

Our current Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts will change over to Trying Together today as well.

To continue to engage with us on Facebook, please “like” our new page @TryingTogether.


January 18, 2018

Job Opening at Trying Together

Trying Together is currently seeking to fill an opening for Program Coordinator, Buzzword Pittsburgh.

This position will work closely with The Homewood Early Learning HUB and Homewood-Brushton Family Support Center staff as well as collaborating program partners to implement and manage a grant-funded, community-wide language and literacy project: Buzzword Pittsburgh.

Read the full position description.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and a minimum of three work-related references to: Phone calls will not be accepted. Posting will remain open until filled.


January 11, 2018

Free Lead Testing Services for Children

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) offers free lead testing services to children in Allegheny County.

Testing takes place at the ACHD’s Immunization Clinic on Tuesdays (9 a.m.- Noon) and Thursdays (Noon – 4:00 p.m.) each week. No advance appointment is necessary. The clinic is located on the fourth floor of the Hartley Rose Building (425 First Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219), but patrons are advised to enter the building via Cherry Way.

Blood lead level tests at the Immunization Clinic will be done via a capillary screen or what is commonly referred to as a ‘finger stick.’ Parents and/or guardians should call the Health Department at 412-687-ACHD (412-687-2243) to find out if they qualify for these services.

ACHD reminds parents that all children in the county (unless otherwise exempted) must have their blood lead levels as of January 1, 2018. The regulation, which applies to all residents and schools of Allegheny County, aims to boost early detection and treatment of lead poisoning and reduce the incidence, impact, and cost of the problem. This measure also enhances countywide surveillance of childhood lead poisoning.

For more information about ACHD’s approach to preventing lead exposure, visit, and for a comprehensive Q&A about the new universal blood lead level testing regulation, visit


Coming Soon: New PD Registry

Early Learning Professionals – are you ready for changes to the PD system?

Beginning January 20, 2018, the PD Registry will enter a brief hiatus until the launch on February 1, 2018.

Be prepared by completing the following steps:

  • Save your professional development plan. In the new PD Registry, professional development plans will be available in early summer. In the interim, print or save an electronic version of your current Professional Development Plan. Current professional development plans will no longer be available after this date.
  • Print your transcripts. Your transcripts will transfer to the new system, but if you anticipate needing these files before February 2018, either print a copy or save an electronic version.

Want a sneak peek of the new system? Register now for webinars being offered. 

  • The “New PD Registry Tutorial” session will cover topics including:Updating Profiles & Finding Professional Development
  • “New PD Registry Tutorial for Instructors, Regional Keys, PDO’s” will cover topics including:Reporting & Scheduling Training

For those unable to attend, these webinars will be recorded and available sometime in January. For questions or more info, contact: or 1-800-284-6031.

Webinar Dates and Times:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New PD Registry Tutorial
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

New PD Registry Tutorial for Instructors, Regional Keys, PDO’s
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST

Friday, January 19, 2018

New PD Registry Tutorial
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

New PD Registry Tutorial for Instructors, Regional Keys, PDO’s
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST

Monday, January 22, 2018

New PD Registry Tutorial
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

New PD Registry Tutorial for Instructors, Regional Keys, PDO’s
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST

via PA Early Ed News


January 9, 2018

PAEYC Executive Director, Cara Ciminillo, Featured on “Our Region’s Business”

PAEYC Executive Director, Cara Ciminllo, was featured on “Our Region’s Business” on December 31st. Catch the highlights of her interview by watching the clip here. She discusses the impact and importance of PNC’s Grow Up Great Program, which “helps children from birth through age five develop a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime – and can help set them on a path to success.”

Our Region’s Business is co-produced by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and WPXI-TV. It airs on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WPXI-TV, and is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. that day; and 3:30 p.m. on the subsequent Monday.

[circle link= target=”blank”]Watch Now[/circle]


New York Times Releases Detailed Examination on Preschool Wage and Achievement Gaps

In a recently released article, “Why Are Our Most Important Teachers Paid the Least?“, the New York Times examines and details the effects and impacts of preschool teachers living on the edges of financial ruin. It studies several preschool classrooms, noting the differences in social and emotional learning and vocabulary differences, before going on to inspect the issues facing those in the District of Columbia who now must earn an associate degree by 2020 in order to teach preschool.

“Part of the problem is that the benefits of a preschool education tend to manifest unevenly. Developmental gains made by the start of kindergarten can be enough to close racial achievement gaps, but those gains often evaporate by third or fourth grade, a phenomenon that education researchers call the fade-out effect. And so far, the longer-term rebounds found in Perry and Abecedarian — in which children who attend good preschools fare better in adulthood than their peers who attend no such program — have been difficult to parse or replicate. In 2017, a group of prominent early-education researchers published a consensus statement declaring that preschool classrooms were a “black box” and that much more research was needed before anyone could say with certainty which ingredients were essential to improving long-term developmental trajectories.

‘Teaching preschoolers is every bit as complicated and important as teaching any of the K-12 grades, if not more so. But we still treat preschool teachers like babysitters.’

Amid that uncertainty, though, at least two things seem clear: Children in low-income and minority neighborhoods stand to gain (or lose) the most from whatever preschool system we ultimately establish. And the one-on-one exchanges between students and teachers — what developmental psychologists call “process quality” — may well be the key to success or failure. In other words, if preschool classrooms really are crackling with the kind of raw power that can change the course of a life, that power most likely resides in the ability of teachers like Kelly to connect with students like the little blond boy.

But if teachers are crucial to high-quality preschool, they are also its most neglected component. Even as investment in early-childhood education soars, teachers like Kelly continue to earn as little as $28,500 a year on average, a valuation that puts them on par with file clerks and switchboard operators, but well below K-12 teachers, who, according to the most recent national survey, earn roughly $53,100 a year. According to a recent briefing from the Economic Policy Institute, a majority of preschool teachers are low-income women of color with no more than a high-school diploma. Only 15 percent of them receive employer-sponsored health insurance, and depending on which state they are in, nearly half belong to families that rely on public assistance. “Teaching preschoolers is every bit as complicated and important as teaching any of the K-12 grades, if not more so,” says Marcy Whitebook, a director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. “But we still treat preschool teachers like babysitters. We want them to ameliorate poverty even as they live in it themselves.”  (Via the New York Times)


OCDEL Offering Funds for Expansion of Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs

The Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is offering funds for the expansion of evidence-based home visiting programs through a request for Applications (RFA). This application is available for the period of February 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

The home visiting program is designed to:

  • Improve coordination and integration of services for at-risk communities;
  • Identify and provide comprehensive services to improve outcomes for families who reside in at-risk communities;
  • Work effectively, collaboratively, creatively, and successfully to ensure that all families have access to high-quality programs for their children; and
  • Identify and use key data and research to improve policies and practices.

It is a part of Pennsylvania’s goal and vision to have a shared commitment to comprehensive family support services, coordinated voluntary statewide home visiting programs, and effective implementation of high-quality evidence-based practices. Before applying, please review the RFA in its entirety to ensure you qualify, and to review important dates and deadlines. Questions regarding the RFA should be directed to the RA account  Questions regarding the RFA should be directed to the RA account ( with the subject titled “Home Visiting Expansion RFA Question”. Submitted questions will be answered during the pre-proposal webinar; questions not answered in the webinar will be posted on the eMarketplace website.


January 4, 2018

Tell Us What You Think About Shared Services – Take The Survey Now!

Shared service alliances are unique organizations comprised of multiple center- or- home based early education programs that agree to share certain costs and resources.

The goal is to strengthen business and leadership in participating sites by creating a community that supports each other through the sharing of staff, information, and resources.

This survey seeks to help better understand the Pennsylvania shared services landscape and interest in participation. Survey results will be used to inform and create supportive programming for shared services and shared service alliances. All information will remain confidential.

The survey should take approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete.


January 2, 2018

Remake Learning Days – Call for Event Submissions

Remake Learning Days (RLD) 2018 aims to spread the hands-on learning experience. This year, they are looking for organizations to participate in and host events centered around multiple themes, including:

  • arts
  • maker
  • outdoor learning
  • science
  • technology
  • youth voice

Learn more about the process, and submit your event here.

For questions and more information, please contact: Dorie Taylor,