December 28, 2020

New Study on Racial Socialization and Young Children

Point Park University Doctoral Candidate Sherlyn Harrison recently launched a new research study to learn how parents’ racial socialization practices can be integrated into early childhood classrooms.


Like adults, young African American children experience racism. To protect and prepare their children for the harsh reality of living in a racist society, African American parents have historically conveyed racial socialization practices. Racial socialization practices build resilience and promote positive racial identity development among young African American children.

To explore how parents’ racial socialization practices can be integrated into early childhood classroom settings, Point Park University Doctoral Candidate Sherlyn Harrison launched a new research study entitled, “Racial Socialization and Young Children.”

If you are interested in participating in the study, complete this online survey.

Survey Expectations

Survey participants will be asked six questions, including a list of demographic items that best describe you. By completing the survey and clicking submit, survey respondents consent to participate in the study. The study should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Following the survey, participants will be invited to talk with the researcher further about the topic. To be invited, survey participants must provide their contact information in the space provided in the survey. Within a week, the researcher will contact you to schedule an interview on Zoom. The interview will consist of open-ended questions to gain more information about how the survey respondent communicates and engages with young African American children regarding race.

More Information

Participation in this study and all personal information provided will be kept confidential at all times. Participants’ names will never appear on any survey or research instruments. If you have any questions, please contact 412.583.3658 or


December 25, 2020

Carnegie Library’s 2020 Best Books for Babies

Are you looking for books to read your baby? Check out the 2020 Best Books for Babies list!



Created by a panel of local librarians and child development experts, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s annual Best Books for Babies list is a nationally recognized guide assisting parents, teachers, and caregivers in selecting quality materials to share with babies ages birth to 18 months.

View the List

To view the list, visit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s website or download this PDF.

Where to Find Them

Pick up one or more of these books at a Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branch near you. In addition to spending some cozy time together, you will prepare your baby’s brain to learn and grow!


December 24, 2020

Housing Resources for Families in Allegheny County

If your family is at risk for eviction, local resources and programs are available to help.


Housing and Eviction Resources

Housing Stabilization Program

The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Housing Stabilization Program provides one-time or short term (up to three months) financial assistance to households who are facing a temporary, non-reoccurring housing crisis. Depending on which type of support is needed, you may be able to receive funding to cover move-in fees, utilities, rent, mortgage payments, and legal fees.


To qualify, individuals must:

    • be a renter or homeowner,
    • live in the City of Pittsburgh,
    • develop a stability plan with a service provider.
Apply For This Program

If you are eligible, contact United Way by dialing 211 or texting your zip code to 898.211. Interested applicants may also contact United Way via chatroom (located at the bottom right of the webpage) or the online contact form.



Housing Legal Assistance Program

The Housing Legal Assistance Program assists individuals through the following services:

    • Tangled-Title: Legal assistance of up to $5,000 if you own a home but need the deed transferred to your name.
    • Eviction Prevention: Legal assistance of up to $3,000 if you are at risk of eviction or are currently experiencing eviction and need legal assistance.

To qualify for Tangled-Title assistance, individuals must live in the City of Pittsburgh, have an income that is at or below 80 percent of the Average Monthly Income, and not have any outstanding City, School, and County real estate taxes (or must be on a payment plan for at least three months.

To qualify for Eviction Prevention assistance, individuals must live in the City of Pittsburgh, have an income that is at or below 50 percent of the Average Monthly Income, and be experiencing wrongful threats of lock-out, eviction, or sub-standard living conditions.

Apply For This Program

To apply for Tangled-Title assistance, contact United Way by texting your zip code to 898-211 or by dialing 211. To apply for Eviction Prevention, call 412.255.6574 or email

For more information, contact Victoria Jackson at 412.255.6696 or



Just Mediation Pittsburgh

Just Mediation Pittsburgh offers free, confidential mediation services to landlords and tenants who are looking to find solutions to housing disputes. Just Mediation Pittsburgh mediators facilitate a dialogue between both parties to identify positive solutions and create a shared, legally binding agreement.

Request Services

Participation in these services is voluntary. Both parties must be willing to share their perspectives, listen to the other individual’s perspective, and create constructive solutions. To request services, visit the Just Mediation Pittsburgh page. For more information, contact 412.228.0730 or



Allegheny Link

If you are experiencing a housing crisis, the Allegheny Link can help connect you to resources. The Allegheny Link will assess your eligibility for homeless supports such as rental assistance, utility assistance, and homeless services.

Range Of Services

The Allegheny Link assists Allegheny County residents:

    • who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness in finding stable housing,
    • who are pregnant, or parents and caregivers of children up to age six years of age, get referrals to home visiting programs,
    • who are over the age of 60 live safely in their community, and
    • with any disability find services that meet their needs.

If you are in need of services, contact the Allegheny Link at 1.866.730.2368. This line will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Callers between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. will be directed to appropriate supports by an automated message. Individuals can also contact the Allegheny Link via email. This method is especially suggested for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.



Rental Payment Assistance

The Department of Public Assistance has an Emergency Shelter Fund that provides financial assistance to help individuals prevent eviction or foreclosure, obtain permanent housing, or obtain temporary shelter. Individuals must be receiving public assistance benefits to qualify. For more information, contact 412.565.2146.



Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh, Inc.

Do you feel you have been the victim of housing discrimination? Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh investigates allegations of housing discrimination. If you have been a victim of housing discrimination, all of their services are free of charge.

Report Discrimination

To file an anonymous complaint, or to speak with a member of their staff, call 412.391.2535. Individuals can also report discrimination by completing this online form.



Shelter Directory

Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Program has a Shelter Directory on its website that contains a filterable list of emergency shelters and housing providers. Shelters and providers included on the list accept homeless families and/or homeless youth. Some shelters and providers may admit single adults. Access the Directory.



More Information

Visit the Allegheny County website to learn more about housing subsidies, mortgage assistance, homelessness, discrimination support services, and more. If you are an individual experiencing homelessness, visit the Homeless Services page.


December 22, 2020

Registration Open For UnConference: Exceptional Care

Are you interested in learning about the role collaboration plays in creating inclusive environments for young children? Join Trying Together and The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh in January for “UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion.”



Young children thrive and grow in their natural learning environments, including children with developmental differences. Educators play a critical role in creating an inclusive and diverse environment for children to feel a sense of belonging, to feel valued as a member of the classroom, and to feel empowered to learn to their full ability. UnConference: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion dives into the importance of working together—with a collaboration between teachers, intervention specialists, and parents/caregivers—to provide this environment for children to learn and grow in differentiated ways yet feel included in the group.

What Do I Receive?

    • PQAS and/or Act 48 hours.
    • Networking with colleagues.
    • Interactive workshop sessions.
    • Refreshed or refined thinking about our work with young children.



Featured Sessions

Keynote: Exceptional Care with a Team Approach to Inclusion

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Presented by: Trying Together and Children’s Institute  |  Keynote Speaker: Wendy Pardee  

During the keynote session, Wendy Pardee, President, and CEO of The Children’s Institute will share how they created a collaborative environment that provides a positive view on early intervention in an effort to bring different parties together in the best interest of the child. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring an educator, parent, and intervention specialist.

Transition and Educational Support in the Early Childhood Environment

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Presented by: Kristina Berg and Loreleigh Elders, DART

Early Childhood Educators are an active and critical part of a child’s early intervention team that is often lost in the process of transition and service planning. This presentation will provide an overview of the early intervention process, as children age out of the Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Program and transition into Preschool Early Intervention Support. We will provide practical examples and resources of ways to support children and families through the transition process, as well as ways to adapt the preschool classroom environment in order for all children to be successful.

Creating and Building Inclusive Support Teams for Children

Friday, January 22, 2021, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Serena Washington, Trying Together

When thinking about what a team/collaboration approach looks like when working with children and families we must be open to asking the following questions: Why is it important to build a team for a child(ren)? What does the team/collaboration approach look like? Who and what do we need on the team/collaboration? How do we work and communicate as a team? In this workshop, join us for a robust discussion and learn strategies for creating an inclusive team to support your children.

How to Assess Your Students Needs: Using the ASQ through the Lens of Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Program

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Presented by: Gloria Rodriguez-Ransom, The Pennsylvania Keys

Through the expertise of the Infant Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) program, participants will receive an overview of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires with a particular emphasis on assessing children’s social and emotional development. The developmental screening tools ASQ3 and ASQ:SE 2 are designed for children ages three months to five years and designed for use by early childhood educators and health care professionals. Attendees will learn how to administer and score the screener and share the results of the screener with families and professional colleagues. In addition, recommendations for suggested resources will be shared if additional services are needed.

Overview of Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Services in Allegheny County Referral Through Transitioning Out of 0-3 Services

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presenters: Erica Balint and Vonna May-Miller, Alliance for Infants and Toddlers

In this workshop, presenters will discuss how the child’s 0-3 Early Intervention (EI) team collaborates with families and child care staff so that all have an understanding of how the EI system in Allegheny County operates and supports children. This session will give an overview of how children are referred and become part of the EI system. Information will include how a child is referred, eligibility criteria, evaluation process, service planning, and implementation along with transitioning out of 0-3 services.

Catering to The Whole Classroom: Lesson Development and Implementation That Speaks to Every Child

Friday, January 29, 2021 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Presented by: Daile Fordoski, Lyasha Bishop, LaRae D. Cullens, The Learning Loft

There is not one lesson in any learning environment that is one size fits all. It is the educator’s responsibility to develop ways in which a lesson can benefit every child in a classroom. This workshop examines strategies for planning and implementing inclusive activities for children of varying developmental levels. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills by dissecting a pre-made lesson and sharing ideas and strategies of accommodation that can be applied in their setting.





This is a free Virtual UnConference. Participants must register in order to receive links to each workshop session via email. To register, complete the online registration form.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Attend this UnConference Virtually?

The sessions will be hosted using the web-based video conferencing platform Zoom. Please download Zoom to your device of choice prior to the start of the UnConference. UnConference hosts will send out all workshop links via email at least 24 hours before the start of the event. Please monitor your email inbox.

How Do I Receive Credit?

To receive credit, participants must attend the UnConference and complete the attendance link at the end of each workshop you attend. Once completed, Jasmine Davis, Professional Learning Program Manager at Trying Together, will process your credit. If you have questions specific to receiving credit, please email

More Information

For questions about the UnConference, contact Yu-Ling Cheng at For additional information, visit our UnConference page.

Share this flyer with your network.


PPS Summer Dreamers Academy 2021 RFP

Pittsburgh Public Schools is looking for enrichment providers to support the 2021 Summer Dreamers Academy. Proposals must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on January 15, 2021.


The Summer Dreamers Academy is a no-cost, premier summer learning camp that offers high-quality academic lessons in English Language Arts and Mathematics and engaging enrichment activities to current Pittsburgh Public School students who have completed grades K-5.

Summer Dreamers Academy aims to encourage a passion for learning and exploration and to motivate their campers to persist in the face of challenges. Afternoon enrichment activities play a key part in helping their campers develop the curiosity, self-confidence, and perseverance that are at the core of these two goals.

Download the RFP

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, download the RFP. All proposals must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on January 15, 2021.

More Information

For questions, please contact Melanie Claxton at For more information, watch this short video and visit the Pittsburgh Public Schools website.

Information provided by APOST


December 21, 2020

MLK Day 2021: Celebrate With Service

Join United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating in their “Book Drive for Diversity” and “Family Forum on Equality and Kindness.”


To celebrate the work and teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., United Way created two meaningful opportunities for families to celebrate one of MLK’s most relevant messages for their work today: Everyone can be great… because everyone can serve.

Book Drive for Diversity

United Way has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development to increase access to books promoting a positive equity message for young readers. Because of public health concerns, the Book Drive for Diversity will be completely virtual. Help United Wat put books championing people of all abilities, genders, races, ethnicities, and economic statuses into the hands of eager readers.

To register and receive a list of thoughtfully chosen titles to purchase on behalf of the drive, complete the online form.

Family Forum on Equality and Kindness

In the teaching spirit of Dr. King, United Way has joined with YWCA Greater Pittsburgh to host a virtual forum for families to engage in meaningful discussions about social justice, learn practical skills, and encourage a more inclusive culture.

Sign up for this lively, positive online event to bring greater significance of MLK Day to your family. Participants can choose from two breakout sessions. Both sessions are led by highly experienced, engaging experts in the field. Breakout sessions include the following:

More Information

For more information, view the full event flyer.


December 18, 2020

Families Invited to Complete Online COVID-19 Survey

Do you have an elementary-age child (five to 12 years old) who goes to a public school? If yes, you are invited to participate in an online survey to share your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.



The purpose of the Children, COVID-19, and its Consequences (the “Triple C”) Project is to analyze how COVID-19 is affecting familial economic and child well-being. Triple C is the first study to provide a comprehensive portrait of the well-being of families and children across multiple cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Families who complete the survey will receive a $25 electronic Amazon gift card. Researchers may contact survey participants to complete follow-up surveys three months and nine months after the completion of the first survey.

Sign Up To Participate

To sign up, please visit the Triple C study page.

More Information

This research is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with Duke University, University of Washington, and Rutgers University. For questions, text 240.449.9898 or email

For more information, visit the Triple C Project website. Share this flyer with your network.


December 17, 2020

COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan for Pennsylvania

On December 11, 2020, the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and Pennsylvania Department of Health released a COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan for Pennsylvania (PDF). The goal of the interim COVID-19 vaccination plan is to provide a transparent strategy to vaccinate all Pennsylvanians who want to be vaccinated so that Pennsylvanians can return to everyday activities as quickly and safely as possible.

At this time, early childhood education professionals including teachers, school staff working directly with students, child care employees, and early intervention staff fall under the 1B category (page 14), defined as essential business personnel who cannot work remotely or maintain social distancing.

A variety of factors influence the distribution of vaccinations, including vaccine supply levels, number of critical personnel requiring the vaccine, and vaccine storage requirements. The vaccine supply is projected to increase quickly over the proceeding months, allowing vaccination efforts to be expanded to additional critical populations and the general public. It is important to note that recommendations on the various population groups to receive initial doses of the vaccine could change after the vaccine is available, depending on each vaccine’s characteristics, vaccine supply, disease epidemiology, and local community factors. The Pennsylvania Department of Health will follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) ACIP recommendations in identifying populations of focus.

More Resources for COVID-19

To best support these community members and the young children in their lives, Trying Together has created two resource lists, featuring helpful resources that families and educators can use to maneuver this difficult time.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the Allegheny County Health DepartmentWorld Health Organization (WHO), or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.


ECE Job Openings: 12/17 – 12/23

Are you looking to start or transition your career in the early childhood field? You’re in luck! Early learning programs in Pennsylvania are currently looking to fill positions. To view this week’s featured job descriptions, see the list below.


Featured Jobs

Overnight Therapeutic Child Care Staff

Jeremiah’s Place is looking to hire Overnight Therapeutic Child Care Staff. These professionals would be responsible for providing a safe and developmentally appropriate therapeutic environment to minimize the adverse effects of a stressful situation or traumatic experience of children in crisis. Professionals would be responsible for managing the child care of children visiting Jeremiah’s Place’s short-term emergency child care center during its overnight hours.

To apply, email your resume to Jordan Shoenberger at

 Early Childhood Assistant Teacher

Hillel Academy is STAR 4, NAEYC accredited early childhood program looking for energetic and nurturing educators to work with infants and toddlers. The Assistant Teacher will work closely with the Lead Educator to implement lesson plans and care for the children.

If you are a hard worker, enjoy helping young children, and are interested in learning more about the position, please contact Ruth Pohuly at or call at 412.521.8131. To apply, email your resume to



Submit a Job Description

Each week, Trying Together publishes a news post that features employer-submitted job positions from early learning programs across Pennsylvania. Trying Together shares these posts online through our website, social media channels, and newsletter. To make it into next week’s post, please submit the Child Care Provider Job Post Submission Form no later than Tuesday, December 22.

This form is intended for positions in the early childhood field. Job descriptions not related to the early childhood field will not be included. All job descriptions submitted after December 22 will be published in the next week’s news post. Please note that news post publication dates may vary due to state and federal holidays. For questions, contact Lainey Yockey at



Search Additional Jobs

Are you interested in starting or shifting your career in early childhood care and education? Visit the ECE Hire website or sign up for their weekly newsletter for current job listings and helpful tips on interviewing, resumes, and more. To stay up to date on our featured positions and more, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.


DAP Series Parts II and III Now Available

Trying Together is excited to announce Parts II and III of the Developmentally Appropriate Parenting (DAP) Series. Through these Parts, information and resources on Childhood Physical Health and Child Care were added to the Series.


As an early childhood nonprofit, Trying Together recognizes that a child’s parent is their first and most important caregiver. That’s why we created the Developmentally Appropriate Parenting (DAP) Series to assist parents and caregivers in creating high-quality learning experiences at the earliest stages of their child’s life. The series features digital and print content that provides information on critical early childhood topics.

As of December 17, 2020, three Parts have been published, including: Part I: Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Part II: Childhood Physical Health, and Part III: Child Care. Resources will continue to be added through 2022 as additional Parts are finalized.

Featured Resources

The Series features many helpful resources for families. To help you get started, Trying Together compiled a short list of featured resources for each Part.

Part I: Developmentally Appropriate Parenting

Part II: Childhood Physical Health

Part III: Child Care

Navigating the Series

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series features a search bar and filtering options to connect parents and caregivers to content that is relevant to them. Caregivers can filter available content by Topic, Age Group, Relationship to Child, Resource Type, and Geographic Location. To test it out, visit the Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series page.

More Information

To learn more and access the full list of resources, visit the Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series webpage.