News

August 24, 2020

Early Childhood Garden Education Program Available

Interested in integrating garden and cooking activities into its classroom curriculum? Submit your application today for Grow Pittsburgh and the Sampson Foundation’s Early Childhood Garden Education Program.

About

Grow Pittsburgh and the Sampson Foundation are offering an Early Childhood Garden Education Program for early childhood centers across the Pittsburgh region. Gardens are outdoor classrooms that are adaptable to most play yards and are designed to fit the space and needs of each center.

The program will integrate garden and cooking activities into the classroom curriculum to support the development and education of the whole child. The partnership aims to support educators in teaching their students how to grow, cook, and eat fresh food while celebrating the cultures and experiences of their families and city. To learn more about the program, view the full description.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this program, early childhood centers must:

    • complete and submit the application (parts 1-6, including photos);
    • be located in Allegheny County;
    • be an early childhood facility (includes: family, group, and center) licensed in Pennsylvania;
    • have at least five organized and motivated people in your garden leadership group (can include staff and parents, but must include at least three teachers interested in supporting the program), exceptions made for smaller facilities;
    • have signatures of support from both the director and head custodian;
    • have a sustainable site for gardening on the property that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day with supporting photos for the completion of Part 3 (Grow Pittsburgh can provide support);
    • have enrollment that includes at least 50 percent of children receiving subsidized funds through CCIS, CACFP, Head Start, or Pre-K Counts.

If your program doesn’t meet these criteria, please submit as much information as possible and program hosts will work to help you in alternative ways.

Submit An Application

To apply, complete and submit the application. Applications can be submitted via email at victoria@growpittsburgh.org or postal mail at:

Grow Pittsburgh
6587 Hamilton Ave #2W
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

More Information

For general application questions and assistance, please contact Victoria Thurmond at 678.977.9389 or victoria@growpittsburgh.org.

News

August 20, 2020

School-Age Child Care Update from OCDEL

As local education agencies and private schools in Pennsylvania are finalizing and announcing their plans for the 2020-21 academic school year, OCDEL is becoming increasingly aware that many school districts are implementing hybrid or full remote instruction models for the school year.

These announcements have raised questions about how families with children enrolled in Kindergarten and beyond will be supported if they need expanded child care. Continue reading below for answers to common questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can school-age children enroll in child care if their schools have announced moving to part-time or full-time remote instruction?

Yes. During the 2020-21 school year, children whose schools have announced various schedule changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can enroll in child care. If the district has announced that children will not attend school for face-to-face instruction, then working families can enroll children in child care during those days.

Will OCDEL revise the school-age blended rate for children attending child care during the portion of the day that has typically been considered “school hours”?

For the 2020-21 school year, the calculation of the blended rate will not change. It will still be based on 25 full-time days and 180 part-time days. If a child attends a school district where students will not return to school for in-person, five-day-a-week instruction, a child care provider who accepts the blended rate will receive a part-time blended rate for the days the child attends school in-person and attends child care part-time. The provider may receive a full-time payment rate on the days the child is not scheduled to attend school in-person and attends child care full-time.

Paying the part-time blended rate, instead of a part-time rate, will compensate for any days the child was supposed to attend part-time buy may need to attend full-time because of a school’s closure, such as staff in-service days, holidays, professional development, and snow days. If school districts change how school instruction will be administered throughout the school year, related to COVID-19, the child’s schedule will be updated to reflect the school’s current schedule. View the full guidance.

Will non-licensed programs be able to serve school-age children?

Yes. Enrollment in a licensed child care facility is preferred, however, part-day school-age programs will be available to enroll school-age children during the 2020-21 school year. Enrolled children must be kindergarten age or older.

School District Reopening Plans

To view school districts’ reopening plans, visit the PA Schools Work website. To learn about the phased reopening of pre-k to 12 schools in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

More Information

For more information, view this email from the Pennsylvania Key.

News

August 17, 2020

Free Online CDA Credential Courses Available

Are you an early educator who is working with young children? Are you looking to advance your career? Join Trying Together for our nine-month online CDA courses to complete coursework with an experienced instructor and receive a nationally recognized credential upon completion!

Available Courses

More Information

For questions or more information, please contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org.

News

August 11, 2020

Free Virtual PD Sessions Available

Are you interested in hearing guidance from child development experts? Join Trying Together on August 19 and September 2 for our free virtual professional development sessions! Each session will offer one PQAS credit hour.

Both sessions are a part of our interactive Connections and Conversations Virtual Check-In series that features guidance from child development experts, information on the highlighted topic, and opportunities for early learning professionals to share questions, experiences, and expertise.

Available Sessions

    • Magda Gerber’s Philosophy of Care for Infants & Toddlers
      Wednesday, August 19, 2020  |  6 – 7 p.m.

      Join Trying Together on August 19 to explore the core principles of Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophical approach to educaring for infants and toddlers in the early childhood setting. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in conversations around developmentally appropriate practice for infants and toddlers while reflecting on how to best create a safe, challenging, predictable environment for all children.

    • Supporting Children’s Emotional Wellness with Digital Technologies
      Wednesday, September 2, 2020  |  6 – 7 p.m.

      More than ever before, early childhood practitioners play a critical role in supporting children’s social and emotional wellness. Join Trying Together on September 2 for a conversation on promoting children’s communication skills and emotional development through the use of technology and media. Participants will engage in discussion and reflection on their current practice and the impact of COVID-19.

More Information

For questions or more information, please contact Rosie Hogan at rosie@tryingtogether.org.

News

August 10, 2020

Child Care and Education Planning Tools Available

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many early learning programs and all schools in Pennsylvania had to close abruptly and drastically adjust their operations. In turn, this left many families without access to child care and education services for their children.

In response to this crisis, Trying Together and our partners worked rapidly to develop several new platforms and resources to support the continuity of care and education for families in Southwestern Pennsylvania and to support the early learning professionals who provide these services.

To learn about our tools and resources, continue reading below. Share this flyer with your network.


 

Allegheny Child Care

In partnership with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School-Time (APOST), Trying Together developed Allegheny Child Care. By using this online tool, parents and caregivers of young children can search for available child care spots at early learning, after-school, out-of-school, summer camp, and virtual programs in Allegheny County.

To use the tool, visit the Allegheny Child Care website. For additional support in finding child care and/or funding your child care needs, visit the ELRC Region 5 website or call 412.350.3577.

Family Care and Education Forum

In response to uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 school year, Trying Together launched the Family Care & Education Forum. This new resource connects parents and caregivers across Southwestern Pennsylvania and provides a space to ask questions, network, and support one another.

Upon signing up, users will be able to post questions, respond to comments, and learn more about care and education opportunities in their area. To discuss your care and education plans for this fall with other families, visit the new Family Care and Education Forum.

Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5

Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) provide a single point-of-contact for families, early learning service providers, and communities to gain information and access services that support high-quality child care and early learning programs.

To request support and learn more, visit the ELRC Region 5 website or call 412.350.3577.

 

News

August 7, 2020

Brown Mamas Launches Mama Mentorship Initiative

Are you interested in receiving advice, resource assistance, and emotional support from a mama mentor? Sign up to join Brown Mamas’ new Mama Mentorship program!

About

Motherhood can be tough, and it becomes even more challenging when you don’t have anyone to ask for advice, assist in resource acquisition, and lean on for mental and emotional support. That’s why Brown Mamas launched its Mama Mentorship Initiative. By galvanizing the collective knowledge in the Black mothering community, Brown Mamas will provide their moms with access to a group of mothering elders who have wisdom and experiences to share.

Once per month, Brown Mamas will host virtual Mama Mentoring sessions for up to 15 mamas. They will work with experienced moms from the local community to mentor new and ‘in the thick of it’ mamas through their motherhood journey. The first Mama Mentorship cohort begins in August.

Registration

If you are interested in joining Brown Mamas’ Mama Mentorship program, visit their website to complete the online signup form.

More Information

This information was provided by Brown Mamas. For more information, visit the Brown Mamas website.

News

August 6, 2020

School-Age Funding Opportunity in Allegheny County

If your Out-of-School-Time program needs funding support, check out this new school-age funding opportunity in Allegheny County.

About

With many Allegheny County schools starting the year full or partially remote, families with school-age children will face several challenges this fall. The critical work of Out-of-School-Time programs in supporting children and families is more important now than ever.

The Allegheny Department of Human Services (DHS), Trying Together, and United Way’s Allegheny County Partners for Out-of-School-Time (APOST) joined forces to support your work. Funding is available for both in-person Community Learning Hubs, as well as Virtual Pods and Programming. Interested applicants should review the information below and apply by Friday, August 14.

Funding Details

    • Funding can be requested from Community Hub programming through December 31, 2020 for staffing, learning materials, personal protective equipment (masks), cleaning supplies, technology for staff only, building upgrades (wifi), transportation, and additional partners to provide enrichment activities and/or tutoring support.
    • For Virtual Pods and Programming, funding will not exceed $50,000 per program for programming through December 31, 2020. This funding may be used for staffing, learning materials, online learning platforms, technology for staff and/or students, and additional partners to provide enrichment activities and/or tutoring support.

Eligibility

To receive funding, programs must meet a list of requirements, including requirements related to, but not limited to, staffing, enrollment, health, safety, and reporting. Before submitting an application, please review the full list of requirements carefully.

Only apply if this is something you are committed to pursuing. If this is not the right fit for your program, there are many other ways to support children and families this year.

Apply for Funding

If your program is interested in providing this expanded service, please complete this online application form and submit a budget by Friday, August 14. Submit your budget to Amy Malen via email at amy.malen@alleghenycounty.us.

Please note that there is no guarantee that funding will be available for all agencies that are interested in providing this service. DHS, Trying Together, and the United Way will review all applications submitted and assess how to best match interested agencies with specific needs and available funds. Funding will be available for both in-person and virtual offerings, however, priority will be given to in-person requests given child care needs.

More Information

For more information, please review this document.

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August 5, 2020

New Hotline Helps Families Navigate Academic Needs

Need assistance in navigating the academic and personal needs of those in your household? Call this new Family Hotline offered by the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative.

About

In August 2020, A+ Schools, ARYSE, Lawrenceville United, the Latino Community Center, the Boys & Girls Club, and Heinz Fellows launched their new Family Hotline to answer questions and offer support to families as they navigate the academic and personal needs of those in their household.

The Hotline is available in English and Spanish and will remain available until September 30, 2020. Calls can be received 24/7. A representative may answer your call, but if not, please leave a voicemail. You will receive a call back within 48 hours on weekdays. Voicemails can be left in any language.

Hotline Phone Numbers

    • For calls in English: (412) 256-8536
    • Para llamadas en Español: (412) 256-8536

Share these flyers with your network (English) (Español).