October 30, 2018

PennAEYC and PACCA Host Start Strong PA Webinar

On November 1st, Pennsylvania Child Care Association and Pennsylvania Association for The Education of Young Children are hosting afternoon and evening webinars to discuss the priorities of the Start Strong PA campaign, the work that has been done so far, and how interested parties can become involved.

Take this opportunity to learn more about Start Strong PA and how this advocacy campaign works to expand access, increase quality, and support early care and educational professionals by seeking increased investments in child care. Register now to save your spot before the October 31 deadline.

These webinars will be facilitated by Jodi Askins, Executive Director of PennAEYC, and Diane Barber, Executive Director of PACCA. Both webinars will be recorded and posted to the PACCA and PennAEYC websites afterward.

See our event page.


October 29, 2018

Trauma Resources for Families

On Saturday, October 27, 2018, 11 members of the Tree of Life Synagogue congregation lost their lives to an anti-semitic hate crime in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Trying Together extends our heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of those lost and thanks to the public health and safety professionals who responded and are continuing to provide service to the community.

In response to this tragedy, our friends and neighbors from The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh have shared the following resources to help families and children cope; these resources have been curated by experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and others. If you are local and need additional support, The Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) is working to provide counselors and may be contacted at 412.422.7200.

Additionally, resources have been shared by the following organizations: YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning. These resources have been curated by experts from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.




Israel Trauma Coalition:
Anti-Defamation League:
Dr. Debi Gilboa in NEXT Pittsburgh:
PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL):
University of Pittsburgh Book Drive:
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh:


October 18, 2018

Comment On Proposed Changes To Child Care Regulations

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) announced that the proposed changes to the Child Care Regulations at 55 Pa. Code, Chapters 32703280 and 3290 are now available for review. The proposed changes can be viewed in the PA Bulletin.

All public comments must be submitted in writing by the closing date of the public comment period on November 13, 2018. All comments, suggestions or objections must reference the Regulation Chapter, Number, Section, and Subsection.


Via email:

Via fax: 717-787-1529

Via mail:

Tamula Ferguson
Bureau of Certification Services
Office of Development and Early Learning
Department of Human Services
333 Market Street, 6th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD users) or 1-800-654-5988 (voice users).

A public hearing will be held in Harrisburg at PaTTAN Harrisburg (6340 Flank Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112) on November 2, 2018. The hearing begins at 10:00 AM. Registration is required and can be completed on the PA Department of Human Services site.

Current regulations can be viewed on the PA Department of Human Services site.


October 17, 2018

Trying Together Updates Privacy Policy

Today, Trying Together released their updated Privacy Policy. This update was guided, in part, by the recent announcement that Facebook “will begin offering businesses a first-party cookie option with the Facebook pixel.” With this change, Trying Together works to remain proactive in letting their users know about and understand how this may affect their daily usage.

Although internet browsers have been using cookies since the 1990s, internet tracking has remained a hot subject in the conversation digital privacy and security. This is no surprise as cookies themselves store specific pieces of a user’s information such as usernames, passwords, web histories, and more. However, when it comes to understanding the varying types and uses of cookies, the average American citizen may not be up to speed.

What Are Cookies?

In addition to a delicious snack, the term “cookies” is used to refer to small packages of data that are stored on our computers. These packages, or files, contain specific pieces of data in an attempt to better personalize the user’s experience. This data may consist of information such as entered usernames, saved passwords, entered addresses, and more. It’s because of these packets that users can remain logged into social media sites between uses, create “shopping carts” on online purchasing sites, and receive personalized ads based on your own shopping preferences. However, when considering internet privacy and security, it’s important to look deeper into what types of cookies are in place, which parties have access to cookies, and how each party utilizes that data.

First-Party and Third-Party Cookies

First-party cookies, as mentioned in the recent Facebook announcement, are packets of information collected by the website you are visiting. For example, if someone uses the Trying Together page and enters their name and email, cookies may pick up that information and store it just in case the user may need to insert that information on that website again in the future. These types of cookies are allowed in every web browser by default and enable features such as creating a “shopping cart” and staying logged into a social platform between uses. In general, websites utilize these cookies to increase ease of access or to curate website traffic analytics, however additional features may be included as well.

Third-party cookies, however, are packages of information that are collected by a domain that is not the website the user is visiting. One of the primary uses of third-party cookies is to track browsing history to detect trends, generally represented through benefits such as personalized ads or recommendations. In relation to affecting a user’s day-to-day usage, third-party cookies play a very small role. These cookies are also enabled by default.

As a consideration, all cookies are public, regardless of their type. It is best to monitor what type of information you are providing and to read through each website’s privacy statements to see how that data may be utilized.

Cookie Concerns

Concerns surrounding cookie use typically include topics related to privacy and security. For privacy, one concern is that because websites store packages of data and website usage, third-parties such as advertisers, users, and even government agencies can gain access to that information if given permission. For security, a major concern is security holes in browsers that may enable malicious parties to gain access to sensitive information such as credit card information, emails, and passwords. Both of these concerns hold weight and users should be proactive in looking into and understanding how their data is being utilized by the websites they are frequenting.

Disabling Cookies

If all of this talk about cookies and data storage is making you antsy, no need to worry. Users can disable both types of cookies at any time by changing their browser settings. Simply click on the “Help” menu or “Help Center” in your browser settings to learn how to adjust your tracking settings and cookie preferences. On mobile devices, this can be done by editing your “Privacy” settings through your browser.

Keep in mind that disabling cookies may impact your ability to interact with a website. While disabling third-party cookies hardly impacts a user’s daily usage, disabling first-party cookies may affect website functions such as login credentials, purchasing ability, and general efficiency.

How Does Trying Together Utilize Cookies and Data?

As a brief overview, Trying Together utilizes cookies and collected data to provide customized content, contact users, fulfill orders, and more. We use various technologies such as cookies, web beacons, and pixel tags to store limited information when users interact with our site and emails. As an example, information may include non-personal data such as a mobile device identifier or MAC address, browser type, device model, and more. It may also include elements of service usage such as date and time of access, page visits, duration of visits, and others. On occasion, more personal information may be stored such as name, username, demographic information, and other publicly-observed data.

To learn more about how Trying Together collects and utilizes user data, read our Privacy Policy.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding Trying Together’s privacy policy or data storage, please contact:


October 10, 2018

Statewide Conversations About Men in ECE Begin

Trying Together is partnering with First Up and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to conduct statewide conversations on how to better recruit, support, and retain qualified men into the field of early childhood education.

The topic of male representation in early childhood education (ECE) professions has been a popular discussion for years. In the 2017 Labor Force Statistics Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that men make up only 2.3% of pre-k and kindergartener teachers in the United States of America. Because of this low percentage, organizations and districts are looking deeper into potential causes and solutions to this gap in representation.

For individuals interested in contributing to the conversation, contact the representatives below for more information:

Rachelle Duffy
412-421-3889, ext. 113


Tyrone Scott
215-893-0130, ext. 242

Share this flyer with your networks.


October 4, 2018

Resources for Addressing Suspensions & Expulsions Released

On Thursday, October 4, Remake Learning held its monthly Lunch & Learn at Trying Together’s Hazelwood Early Learning Hub.

Approximately 30 early childhood educators attended from the Carnegie Science Center, Focus on Renewal in McKees Rocks, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Propel Charter Schools, and other early childhood programs. There they discussed strategies to address young children’s behavior and learned more about DAP responses which may be helpful for future situations.

Attendees will receive an exclusive first-look at the latest white paper from Trying Together’s policy team entitled, “End Early Childhood Suspensions and Expulsions: Developmentally Appropriate Practices and Policies For Addressing Behaviors in The Early Elementary School Grades.” A supplemental document entitled, “Addressing Suspensions and Expulsions: A Guide for Families” provides helpful tips family caregivers can employ to address their suspension and expulsion concerns. Both documents will be available to the public on Friday, October 5.

If you are interested in advocating for better policies around suspensions and expulsions, sign-up for Public Policy Alerts.


October 2, 2018

Thank Congress for Increased CCDBG Funding

The U.S Senate and House of Representatives voted in favor of a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Defense 2019 spending bill. This measure not only maintains the historic increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in 2018 but includes a $50 million increase! The legislation also includes support for other critical early care and education programs. On September 28, the President signed the bill into law.

Why Does It Matter?

With increased funding for the 2018 federal fiscal year, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning is able to lift the rate freeze for STAR 1 and 2 providers and increase base rates for all providers by two percent. In addition, the funding will support a pilot to contract for quality slots for infants and toddlers participating in the subsidy program and will further support professional development for child care teachers. The continued support and increase of this line item is critical for Pennsylvania to improve access to high-quality care for children.

Take Action

Please join us in thanking our members of Congress for understanding the importance of early care and education investments for our youngest children!


STEAM – Themed UnConference with Destination Moon

Trying Together is proud to partner with the Senator John Heinz History Center for this UnConference! To commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the mission, the Heinz History Center is partnering with the Smithsonian to host “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission”, an epic exhibition created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and presented in Pittsburgh by UPMC.

On Saturday, November 3 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., we will begin our day with an in-depth exploration of the Apollo 11 mission, the birth of the American space program, and the space race with Director of Education Mariruth Leftwich and Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Early Learning specialist Ann Caspari. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a national treasure in Pittsburgh – the Command Module Columbia.

Then, Ms. Caspari and Ms. Leftwich will lead us through interactive, hands-on STEAM exercises related to the exhibit that can easily translate into an early childhood classroom. The afternoon features STEAM oriented workshops by local organizations.

Registration is now closed. Please email Yu-Ling at for more information.