August 31, 2021

Pennsylvania Issues Mask Requirement in Schools & Child Care

Governor Wolf announced that effective September 7, 2021, people over the age of two must wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status, in licensed child care programs, Pre-K – 12 schools, and more. Some exemptions apply.

Indoor Mask Requirement Issued

Starting September 7 at 12:01 a.m., people over the age of two must wear facial coverings (regardless of vaccination status) in the following early childhood settings in Pennsylvania:

    • licensed child care programs,
    • Pre-K – 12 public and private schools,
    • Pre-K Counts programs,
    • Head Start programs,
    • Preschool Early Intervention programs,
    • Family Centers,
    • private academic nursery schools, and
    • locally-funded pre-kindergarten activities.

Through this order, the Wolf Administration seeks to preserve in-person education for children and reduce the need for quarantining and program closures as a result of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

What must schools and child care programs do?

School entities (including licensed child care programs), must:

    • require and enforce that all teachers, children/students over the age of two, staff, and visitors wear a face covering indoors (exemptions apply),
    • post prominent signs in locations for teachers, children/students, staff, and visitors stating that face coverings are required by the Order of the Secretary of Health,
    • provide reasonable accommodations for people who state they have a medical or mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for that person to wear a face covering.

Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth with material that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face.

Is anyone exempted from the mask requirement?

There are exemptions to the face covering requirements. All alternatives to face masks, including the use of a face shield, should be exhausted before an individual is exempted. Exemptions include:

    • When the person is under the age of two years old.
    • If wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition, or a disability.
    • If an individual is communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
    • When a child/student is participating in a sports practice activity or event, whether indoors or outdoors.
    • When a person is engaged in an activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask (eating, drinking, playing an instrument, etc.) or in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities, including physical education class in well-ventilated locations where keeping at least six feet between all individuals is possible).

To view the full list of exemptions, read this document.

More Information

For more information, read these announcements from OCDEL and the Department of Health. To read more news, visit our news page.


ELRC Region 5 Satellite Offices Reopening by Appointment

Beginning September 1, 2021, Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5 will reopen its physical satellite offices by appointment only for families and professionals interested in accessing services and support. This reopening excludes the South Hills Family Center location.

ELRC Satellite Offices Reopening

The continuation of in-person operations is dependent on recommendations provided by Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. ELRC Region 5 will continue to monitor these recommendations and adjust its services as needed.

What types of appointments are available?

In addition to in-person appointments, virtual and phone appointments will continue to be available for convenience and safety. Interested families or professionals can contact their family specialist, family navigator, or early learning program engagement specialist to set up a meeting.

Do I need to wear a mask while visiting?

It is recommended that anyone with an appointment wear a mask while visiting ELRC Region 5 offices regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be available upon request for adults and children.

What COVID-19 safety measures are in place?

All staff will be required to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:

    • wearing a mask while walking through or working in communal spaces,
    • socially distancing themselves from others,
    • sanitizing workspaces regularly, and
    • maintaining proper handwashing.

Front desk staff will also take everyone’s temperature as they arrive, and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be asked to reschedule an appointment. Anyone entering the office will also be asked to wash their hands before being seen for an appointment. Visitors with appointments will be escorted to a meeting room once they check in with the front desk to avoid overcrowding the lobby.

Satellite Office Locations

The following satellite offices are open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The last appointment time is 4:30 p.m. The Downtown Pittsburgh office also provides in-person services by appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment or learn more, contact ELRC Region 5 at 412.350.3577 or For more news, visit our news page.


August 27, 2021

You Can Help Kids on Their Way to School

In partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative is looking for Navigation Ambassadors to help kids on their way to school.

What are Navigation Ambassadors?

Navigation Ambassadors provide a warm and welcome face for students who may be walking or riding the bus for the first time to school. Unlike crossing guards, Navigation Ambassadors provide students information about bus transfers and encouragement to get to school.

A paid two-hour training is mandatory. The first scheduled training will be on Thursday, September 2, 2021 from 6 – 8 p.m. Additional training will be offered.

Role Details

    • Start Date: Friday, September 3, 2021
    • End Date: Friday, October 15, 2021
    • Hours: 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
    • Locations: Various locations in Pittsburgh.
    • Pay: $15 per hour.

How to Apply

To apply, send an email to Graham Mulqueen ( with:

    • your name, address, and cell phone number,
    • a short statement of what you would bring to the role,
    • your preferred location for service (Downtown, Hill District, South Pittsburgh Hilltop, or other),
    • languages you speak in addition to English, and
    • a copy of your most recent Act 33/34 child clearance certificate.

More Information

For questions, email or call the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative at 412.256.8536. For more news, visit our news page.


RADical Days Returns to Allegheny County

RADical Days is returning to Allegheny County this September and October, featuring over 60 free events and activities for people of all ages.

RADical Days Returns

In August, the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) officially announced the return of RADical Days with over 60 free events and activities across Allegheny County. Events will be hosted at 103 diverse organizations across the county, including libraries, parks, arts and culture organizations, and more.

What types of events are offered?

Examples of events include:

    • free admission to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Heinz History Center, Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History, Mattress Factory, the Frick Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the Andy Warhol Museum, National Aviary, and more;
    • free tours of Heinz Field, PNC Park, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center, Quantum Theatre, and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center;
    • free performances and concerts at Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, Arcade Comedy Theatre, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, City Theatre Company, and in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District,
    • virtual events from Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Prime Stage, and the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh,
    • and other activities, conversations, demonstrations, and events for people of all ages.

See the full schedule of events.

See the Event Calendar

If you are looking for fun, free events in Allegheny County, check out the RADical Days event calendar!

COVID-19 Safety Information

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, many organizations are requiring advance registration and/or have capacity limits and other safety measures in place such as mask requirements, proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID test.


August 26, 2021

Child Care Programs Are Hiring in Pittsburgh

Are you looking for early childhood education jobs? Child care programs in the Greater Pittsburgh Area are actively hiring early childhood teachers and more. See this week’s featured jobs.



Education Jobs in Pittsburgh

Early Childhood Teacher

All About Kidz is looking for loving, caring teachers to work full-time or part-time in infant through school-age classrooms at their Keystone STAR 4 center. Their employees receive competitive wages, child care discounts, paid planning time, paid ongoing professional development, and a benefits package that includes 10+ PTO days, a 401k plan, tuition reimbursement, and more!

Director of Finance

Heritage Community Initiatives is seeking a Director of Finance who will be responsible for managing all aspects of Finance for the organization. This is a hands-on position that manages the organization’s financial operations, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, budgeting, production of financial statements and reports, audits, and tax returns. Responsibilities also include monitoring and maintaining internal controls while overseeing financial systems, related compliance requirements, and two direct reports.



Submit a Job

Each week, Trying Together highlights employer-submitted jobs on our website, social media, and in our newsletter.

All jobs submitted after August 31 will be published in the following week’s news post. Publication dates may vary due to state and federal holidays. Unrelated jobs will not be included.

For questions, contact Lainey Yockey at



More Jobs in Early Childhood

Other Child Care Programs Are Hiring

To see which other child care programs are hiring, visit our older news posts:

ECE Hire

Visit the ECE Hire website to view early childhood education job listings and helpful tips on interviewing, resumes, and more.

Submit a Job to PACCA

Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) offers a Job Board for its members to post jobs for free and sends out submitted jobs via their Facebook page and e-newsletter. PACCA members can submit jobs online after signing into their membership account. For questions, contact Maureen Murphy at



Receive Jobs in Your Inbox

To receive the latest job opportunities, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook.


August 25, 2021

Is Your Child Up to Date on Their Vaccines?

National Immunization Awareness Month is hosted every August to highlight the importance of immunizations. If your child will start or has started school, make sure their vaccines are up to date to keep them (and others) safe and healthy.

Child Vaccine Schedules

With the back-to-school season at our doorstep, families across the Commonwealth are working to ensure their children are prepared to return to in-person learning. Whether your child has started school or not, make sure they are up to date on their immunizations.

To see if your child is up-to-date, check out these vaccine schedules (in English and Spanish).

What can educators do to support?

Early Childhood Education (ECE) staff are also encouraged to make immunization a priority and foster an environment of health through:

    • immunization tracking,
    • staff education and adult vaccination as needed, and
    • parent education on immunizations.

Family and Educator Resources

Early Childhood Education Linkage System – Health Child Pennsylvania has compiled a list of parent and educators resources that includes information on vaccines, immunization schedules, and answers to frequently asked questions. For more news, visit Trying Together’s News page.


Early Childhood Studies and Surveys: Be A Participant

Are you interested in sharing your experiences to advance the early childhood field? Check out this list of early childhood studies and surveys.

Join a Study or Survey

Measuring Emotional Health in Toddlers

Want to help UMPC develop a new tool for measuring emotional health in toddlers? Sign up to complete an online survey to answer questions about your child’s emotional health. Parents of children ages two to five years old are eligible. Survey respondents receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Email to sign up and learn more.

Attitudes Towards Trauma-Informed Care Survey

OCDEL invites administrators and supervisors who provide supervision to early childhood professionals working with (or supporting) children ages birth through eight and their families to participate in the Attitudes Towards Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Survey. The survey is a three-year project that will help guide statewide decision-making around workforce development and early childhood mental health resources on trauma-informed care.

To learn more, visit the Pennsylvania Key website. To participate, you must complete this sign-up form by August 31, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. For questions, contact Brandy Fox at



Submit Your Study or Survey

Are you recruiting survey or research participants? Submit a Research Submissions Form to have your opportunity featured in Trying Together’s bi-weekly news posts, newsletters, social posts, and more!

To be featured in our next post, submit the form by Monday, September 6. All opportunities submitted after that date will be featured in the following post. Opportunities related to children and families are preferred, but other topics are considered on a case-by-case basis.



More Information

If you have questions, please contact To stay up to date on our latest news and opportunities, subscribe to our newsletter.


August 24, 2021

Child Care Works Payment Policies To Be Restored in October

Effective October 1, 2021, Child Care Works (CCW) payments will return to regular practices and policies based on attendance and invoicing for all children.

Child Care Works Policies

The Office of Childhood Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) announced that all attendance and invoicing policies will be restored as outlined in Appendix A – Rules for Participation in the Subsidized Child Care Program in the Certified Provider Agreement. This includes the following:

    • Child care providers will indicate children’s absences on the monthly invoice as usual.
    • COVID Absences (“CA”) will no longer be used to indicate a COVID-19 related absence.
    • Absences will be tracked and counted towards the 40 days of absences for all children.
    • Children’s enrollment after five days of absence will be suspended until the child returns to care.

More Information

For more information, read OCDEL’s full announcement. To read more news, visit our News page.


Out-of-School-Time Care Available for PPS Families

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Out-of-School-Time Office has coordinated with partners to provide out-of-school-time care to a limited number of students from August 25 – September 7 until school begins on September 3, 2021.

Out-of-School-Time Care

To view the list of organizations who are providing care, details about who/where they serve, and contact information for enrolling your child, visit the Pittsburgh Public Schools website. To view other child care providers, use the Allegheny County Child Care Finder Tool.

More Information

For more information, contact the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative Family Hotline at 412.256.8535 (for English and other languages) or 412.335.7446 (for Spanish). For more news, visit our News page.


Office of Community Health and Safety Launches New Website

The City of Pittsburgh’s newest office, the Office of Community Health and Safety (OCH&S), has launched a website with information and interactive tools focused on people-centered programs, equity, justice, and harm reduction that address individuals’ health and safety needs.

Office of Community Health and Safety

OCH&S is developing programs guided by evidence-based practices and community input. This includes hiring social workers, outreach workers, and other professionals who can assist individuals and first responders in situations that require longer-term support such as those involving mental and behavioral health conditions, homelessness, and substance use.

What does the website include?

The new OCH&S website includes:

    • social service navigation information and additional resources,
    • nationally-recognized Opioid Overdose Dashboard used to identify and address trends in overdose prevention and harm reduction strategies,
    • job postings for open OCH&S positions,
    • information about the Neighborhood Health and Safety Academy, and
    • Public Service Announcements (PSAs), such as this latest one about the heightened risk of fentanyl exposure and overdose risk for people who use drugs.

Visit the Website

To learn more, visit the Office of Community Health and Safety website! If you have questions, email To read more news, visit Trying Together’s News page.