August 30, 2019

National Center Releases Guide on Children’s Eye Health

In celebration of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness is offering a newly revised guide for families to monitor their child’s vision health.


The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health supports the development of a public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of eye health and vision care for young children. In support of family education, the Center released a revised version of its resource: A Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant, and Toddler.

The guide highlights up-to-date information on a variety of topics, including visual development milestones, warning signs, strategies to help develop a baby’s vision, and more. To read the guide, visit their digital PDF page.

Learn More

To learn more, visit the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health website.

*Information provided by the U.S. Department of Education


August 20, 2019

APOST Program Finder: Helping Families Find Programs

Are you a caregiver seeking local care and education programming for your child(ren)? Use APOST’s Program Finder to identify programs near you!


The APOST Program Finder is an online tool that enables families and caregivers to search for care and education programming in their area. The tool includes many functions, including the ability to search by location, program name, and program focus area or type (summer, school-year, etc.).

What’s Included?

By using the APOST Program Finder, caregivers gain access to program:

    • descriptions,
    • age ranges,
    • addresses,
    • child care STAR ratings,
    • contact information,
    • hours of operation,
    • and more.

Learn More

To learn more and find programs near you, visit the APOST website!

For questions, contact Meredith Hoppe at

Submit Your Program

Interested in submitting your program? Visit the Program Submission webpage.


RADical Days Returns With 25 Days of Free Events

Celebrating the Allegheny Regional Asset District’s (RAD) 25th year, RADical Days is returning to Pittsburgh this September and October, featuring 25 days of free activities!


Established by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), RADical Days describes these events as “an annual thank you to the public,” featuring free admission, tours, performances, and family activities offered by organizations and attractions funded by RAD.

RAD’s mission is to support and finance regional assets in the areas of libraries, parks, recreation, cultural, sports, and civic facilities and programs. In 2019, RAD adopted a $108.6 million budget serving 104 regional assets. Some 31% of the funding will go to support libraries; 31% to parks, trails and other green spaces; 13% to sports and civic facilities; 13% to arts and culture organizations; 8% to regional facilities (Zoo, Aviary, Phipps Conservatory);  and 3% to transit.

Event Overview

RADical Days 2019 features many events, including free admission to:

    • the Andy Warhol Museum,
    • Carnegie Science Center,
    • Children’s Museum & Museum Lab,
    • Frick Pittsburgh
    • Heinz History Center,
    • Hill Dance Academy Theatre,
    • National Aviary,
    • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre,
    • Pittsburgh Botanic Garden,
    • Saturday Light Brigade Radio,
    • and more!


To see a full RADical Days 2019 schedule, visit their website or download their PDF!

Learn More

To learn more about RAD and RADical Days, visit their website!

*Information provided by RADical Days


Infant/Toddler Contracted Slots Program Accepting Applicants

Child care providers across the Commonwealth are encouraged to apply for 980 expansion infant/toddler contract slots to better serve eligible children.


The Infant Toddler Contracted Slots Program builds on the established infrastructure of the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program (PA PKC) model. PA PKC has been in existence since 2007 and provides high-quality pre-kindergarten services to eligible children. Building an infant/toddler focused program with established PA PKC programs will allow continued focus on quality programming while building strong transitions from infant/toddler to pre-kindergarten classrooms.


Eligible providers must:

    • currently serve PA Pre-K Counts funded children
    • have an established infant/toddler program

Upcoming Dates

    • Pre-Application Webinar – Friday, August 23 | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • Last Day to Submit Questions – Friday, August 30 | 3 p.m.
    • Application Submission Deadline – Monday, September 9 | 3 p.m.
    • Anticipated Applicant Award Notifications – October 2019


To begin the application process and learn more, visit the Pennsylvania Key website.

See the Application Guidance document.

More Information

Questions about the application process must be submitted via email to by August 30. Responses will be released on September 2, 2019.

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Key


August 19, 2019

Hazelwood Community to Celebrate Elizabeth Street Park Opening

The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Trying Together, in cooperation with the City of Pittsburgh, invite community members and stakeholders to celebrate the official opening of the Elizabeth Street Park in Hazelwood on Wednesday, August 28.


Located on the corner of Roma Way and Gloster Street, the Elizabeth Street Park was revitalized thanks to a grant from the Heinz Endowments. Working in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works and Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, and Trying Together contracted with various entities to design and create the park.

Efforts for the park began in March 2015, born out of a community conversation around access to play in Hazelwood. Youth, community members, and community stakeholders joined together to brainstorm and design the park as a stop along the Hazelwood Play Trail. The location of the park was selected to help bridge the division created by the train tracks that split Hazelwood.

Located across Roma Way from a KaBOOM! community-built playground, created with funds from the Heinz Endowments and partnership between the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, Trying Together, and the Hazelwood Initiative in September 2016, the park features a beautiful mural inspired by the rich history and community members of Hazelwood. The City’s Public Art & Civic Design Division released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify artists to complete the mural on the bridge, with the highest score going to local artists Edith Abeyta and Sandy Kessler-Kaminski.

Event Details

Community members are invited to join together at the Elizabeth Street Park on August 28 from 5 to 7:00 p.m. for an opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony, featuring:

    • food,
    • family-friendly games,
    • music from the Center of Life’s KRUNK program,
    • and Hazelwood-relevant information tables.

Visit the event page to learn more.


The Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative and Trying Together thank the following organizations, individuals, and entities for their dedicated support and for the work they have done to make this project a success: the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works, Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, Department of Public Safety, Department of City Planning, and Art Commission; Zone 4 Police; the Office of Corey O’Connor; the Hazelwood Initiative; the Heinz Endowments; Studio for Spatial Practice; 1 over 1 Studio; Edith Abeyta; Sandy Kessler-Kaminski; Eisler Landscapes; and the Student Conservation Association of Pittsburgh.

More Information

For more information, contact Sarah Siplak at 412.567.4386 or

Share this flyer with your network.


2020 Gro More Good Garden Grants Now Open

If you’re a Head Start program looking to integrate gardening into your curriculum, apply today for a Gro More Good Garden Grant!


Studies show that many children from at-risk backgrounds don’t have access to fresh produce on a daily basis. However, research also shows that children who grow fresh food eat more fresh food and are healthier as a result. That’s why the National Head Start Association and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation are joining forces to address this critical issue facing young children.

Through the Gro More Good Garden Grants initiative, both partners will work with Head Start programs across the country to teach children, families, and communities how to grow their own fresh produce. Their multi-year initiative will make garden grants, garden kits, educational curriculum, and garden training available to all Head Start programs with the goal of creating more edible gardens for young children and their families.

Grant Details

$5,000 grants, garden kits, and product donations will be awarded to the 10 highest scoring applicants. The Garden Grants are a three-year program with an opportunity to apply again in the fall of 2020 for the 2021 grant cycle.


As a part of the grant award, Head Start programs will be expected to host a Community Build Day, bringing together Head Start students and families, community partners, and Scotts Miracle-Gro associates in a day of community service to build and celebrate the garden. Community Build Days should be held during the March through June timeframe.


To apply for a Gro More Good Garden Grant, visit the application page.

Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on October 11, 2019.

Learn More

For more information, visit the National Head Start Association website or the grant FAQ page.

For direct questions, email

*Information provided by the National Head Start Association


August 16, 2019

Pittsburgh Farm to ECE Provider Survey

Through an online survey, Ready Set Grow! is seeking responses from Pittsburgh early care and education providers to learn more about current practices and needed supports in the field.

Ready Set Grow!

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Head Start Association, the Food Trust launched Ready Set Grow!, a Farm to ECE program new to Pittsburgh, with the intention to increase Farm to Early Learning activities on a statewide level in the early care and education field.

To learn more, visit their website.

Farm to ECE

Farm to ECE is a part of the National Farm to School Network, providing activities and strategies that offer increased access to:

    • healthy, local foods;
    • gardening opportunities;
    • and food-based learning activities to enhance the quality of the educational experience.

Farm to ECE works well in all types of early care and education settings, with activities supporting healthy eating habits, creating connections to local foods and agricultural communities, and teaching children how food grows.

Take the Survey

To submit your input, visit the Ready Set Grow! google form today.

More Information

For more information, contact Ready Set Grow via their online form.


August 15, 2019

Mobility Demonstration Project Seeks Feedback

The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has been working with a new consortium called the Pittsburgh Mobility Collective to increase mobility options, especially to and from public transit. With this, the City posted an online survey to receive early input and feedback from Pittsburgh community members.


Through the addition of electric scooters, electric bikes, rental cars, and carpooling services, the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Mobility Collective seek to expand local transportation options. Pittsburgh-native Ben Bear, Chief Business Officer of Spin, said: “while electric bikes should be available and stations with some services should be available in three to four months, electric scooters might take longer because changes need to be made in Pennsylvania law to allow them.”

To ensure accessibility and affordability in all of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, a part of the proposal for this initiative involves “donating 10 cents from every trip to a special fund to help build infrastructure such as stations and to help people in disadvantaged areas use the system,” possibly including reduced rates and alternate payment methods.

To learn more, read the full article posted on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website.

Provide Your Feedback

While the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has gathered a wide array of city and regional transportation plans, studies, and workshop feedback in pursuit of community needs and values, the Department is always looking to receive additional feedback from Pittsburgh community members.

To submit your feedback, complete the Mobility Demonstration Project: Early Input survey.


August 13, 2019

Community Members Encouraged to “Call It Child Care”

In June 2018, the Pennsylvania state legislature passed House Bill 1677 to update Pennsylvania’s regulations and code to use the term “child care” rather than “day care” to reflect the work of early learning programs more accurately.

Trying Together worked closely with the bill’s prime sponsor, Representative Jason Ortitay, who represents Allegheny and Washington counties. To further support this effort, Trying Together is launching the “Call It Child Care” initiative.

Why Call It Child Care?

Trying Together recognizes that shifting commonly used language can be difficult. However, by using the term “child care” instead of “day care,” you recognize that:

1. The impact of child care is much longer than a day.

    • Early childhood programs support lifelong success for children and families.
    • Research has shown that high-quality child care builds a strong foundation from which children grow and thrive.
    • By having access to early care and education programming, families experience multi-generational benefits, with young children achieving higher test scores and graduation rates, committing fewer crimes, and earning higher wages, to name a few.
    • Caregivers are able to reenter the workforce, increasing the financial stability of the family and the long-term professional success of the caregiver.

2. The words we use matter.

    • The words we use affect the public’s perception of the early care and education field and affect the field’s own accountability in providing high-quality care.
    • Using “child care” rather than “day care” recognizes the important work of these professionals, in addition to the work children put in to learn, develop, and grow.
    • Accurate language is critical to gaining respect, validation, and investments in currently under-resourced systems.

3. “Child care” acknowledges the complexity of high-quality early care and education programs.

    • High-quality child care programs employ, develop, and retain educated credentialed staff.
    • Child care professionals use a curriculum, lesson plans, and family engagement activities to promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of the children they serve.

How You Can Help

Please join us in the coming months as an advocate for the “Call It Child Care” initiative.

If you’re an early care and education professional, use the term “child care” when speaking about your work and update your materials as needed. If you’re a family or community member, embrace the term “child care” and use it when referencing your child’s program!

Digital Resource Toolkit

Interested in doing more? Use our digital resource toolkit to advocate for “Call It Child Care” today!

Learn More

To learn more about the initiative, visit our Call It Child Care page.


August 9, 2019

Power to the Profession Task Force Seeks Feedback

The Power to the Profession (P2P) National Task Force recently shared their next decision cycle draft, encouraging review and response. These Decision Cycles address the resources, infrastructure, and accountability structures needed across states and systems to support a prepared, diverse, well-compensated early childhood education profession. The draft is available in English and Spanish.

About the Task Force

The Power to the Profession (P2P) Task Force, in collaboration with thousands of educators, individual stakeholders, and partner organizations, is working toward a bold and audacious vision for a unified early childhood education profession. This profession will have clear roles and responsibilities, professional cohesion, and commensurate compensation. This will ensure every child, beginning at birth, has the opportunity to benefit from high-quality early childhood education, delivered by an effective, diverse, well-prepared, and well-compensated workforce.

Read the Decision Cycles 7+8 Discussion Draft.

Provide Your Feedback

Feedback will be accepted through September 13, 2019, and should be submitted via the online survey. Additional written comments can be submitted via email at

More Information

For questions, review the updated P2P Frequently Asked Questions. Community members are also invited to sign up for Virtual Office Hours to ask questions, give feedback, or explore how you can build on your work to advance the early childhood education profession.

*Information provided by the P2P Task Force