October 21, 2021

Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care Providers

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, in partnership with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the PA Key, is offering a new curriculum series, Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care Programs.

Learn More

The training content and activities are designed to strengthen child care providers’ foundational knowledge of sound fiscal management and business operations.

The series contains four modules:

  • Budgets, Projections, and Planning

  • Financial Reports and Internal Controls

  • Marketing for Child Care Programs

  • Staff Recruitment and Retention for Center-based Child Care Programs

There are two versions of this series: one for center-based providers and one for family child care (based) providers. Sessions will begin as early as November and as late at February. See this flyer for session dates and registration details.

Trainings are available at no-cost to participants. PQAS and ACT 48 available. Attendance of full series is required for credit.


PA Providers Talk About Child Care Crisis in New Video

The Start Strong PA campaign has created a new video featuring Pennsylvania child care providers and parents as they talk about how the staffing crisis is impacting their business and ability to work.

Stories From the Field

Child care is crucial to many parents’ ability to work. However, child care providers are struggling to recruit and retain staff, leaving families across Pennsylvania unable to find and afford the care options they need.

Last month, the Start Strong PA Campaign partners issued results of a new survey detailing the current child care staffing crisis in 1,163 child care programs across Pennsylvania. Those results showed:

  • Nearly 26,000 children currently sit on waiting lists.
  • More than 34,000 additional children could be served at respondents’ sites if they were fully staffed.
  • 92% of respondents reported staffing shortages.
  • 51% of respondents have closed at least one classroom.

Now you can hear directly from those PA child care providers and parents in this newly released video about how the staffing crisis is impacting their business and ability to work.


October 20, 2021

Online Toolkit to Support Multilingual Students in Pre-K to Third Grade

Early Edge California and American Institutes for Research (AIR) released the Multilingual Learning Toolkit last month, an online hub of research-and evidence-based instructional resources and strategies on how to best-support multilingual learners (MLs) in grades pre-k to three.

Additional Information

The Multilingual Learning Toolkit website provides an overview of foundational principles of dual language learning and development. Additionally, educators can access a wide variety of instructional strategies and resources related to the following areas:

  • Family Engagement
  • Social-emotional Health and Development
  • Classroom Environment
  • Oral Language Development
  • Literacy Development
  • Bilingual Classrooms
  • Home Language Development
  • Additional ELD Strategies
  • Content Learning
  • Assessment
  • Building Educators’ Capacity

New resources will be added on an ongoing basis. While the Toolkit draws heavily from California-based policies, programs, and resources, practitioners across the country may find value in accessing this online hub of research-based, asset-focused principles.


2021 Children’s Mental Health Report

In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Child Mind Institute recently released a report on children’s mental health. This report examines ongoing research, including a survey of thousands of parents conducted by Child Mind Institute.

Additional Information

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Children’s moods during the pandemic were most closely related to the lifestyle changes they’d experienced.
  • Children’s mental health three months before the pandemic began was the factor more closely correlated with their mental health during the pandemic.
  • There is a connection between economic hardship and mental health outcomes.

The full report can be accessed on the Child Mind Institute website. Additionally, tips for caregivers and educators on how to support mental health and learning are available for download.


Child Care Career Openings in the Pittsburgh Area

Are you looking for open child care positions? Early learning programs in the Greater Pittsburgh Area are hiring! See this week’s featured jobs.



Child Care Positions in Pittsburgh


 Pre-K Counts Lead Teacher

Heritage Community Initiatives is seeking a Pre-K Counts Lead Teacher to provide high quality programming within their assigned classroom of 3-5 year old children. All lesson plans must be based on each individual child’s goals that come from the GOLD assessments and daily observations. The Pre-K Counts Lead Teacher must also be consistent and intentional with helping children learn and develop through play.

 Pre-K Counts Assistant Teacher

Heritage Community Initiatives is seeking a Pre-K Counts Lead Teacher to provide high quality programming within their assigned classroom of 3-5 year old children. All lesson plans must be based on each individual child’s goals that come from the GOLD assessments and daily observations.

 Director – University of Pittsburgh Child Development Center

The University of Pittsburgh is seeking a Director of the Child Development Center. The position will plan, organize, and direct quality early childhood education programs for up to 100 children and their families. The successful candidate will respond to the University’s academic needs by providing laboratory, research, and practicum experiences to University students, faculty.



Submit a Job

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

All jobs submitted after Tuesday each week 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 Kara Bayer at



Other Jobs in Early Childhood


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.


October 18, 2021

CCW Enhancements to Lower Family Copays and Increase Provider Base Rates

On October 18, 2021, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced changes to Child Care Works (CCW), Pennsylvania’s subsidized child care program, that will decrease costs to families who qualify for subsidized care and add incentives for child care providers to participate in the program.

CCW Enhancements

Pennsylvania received more than $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the commonwealth’s child care industry, child care providers, and the children and families that rely on this system. Beginning January 1, 2022, $352 million in Child Care Development Fund federal ARPA funding will also support:

  • Lower maximum copayments for families eligible for CCW: $121.9 million will be used to reduce the maximum family copayment for families participating in subsidized child care through CCW. Current copayments range from 3-11% of a family’s overall income. This change will lower the copayment to 3-7%, in line with federal recommendations for family obligations for subsidized child care. No family will see an increased copay through the adjustment, and providers will still receive the difference as a part of the CCW base rate.

  • Increased base rates for providers participating in CCW: $213.7 million will support increasing base rates paid to subsidized child care to the 60th percentile compared to the private pay market rate. This change brings Pennsylvania closer to the federally-recommended 75th percentile. Nearly two-thirds of children whose families are eligible for CCW are enrolled in a STAR 1 or 2 rated facility. By investing in base rates to providers participating in CCW, Pennsylvania is investing in quality across the child care industry for the children and families served by this program. In March 2021, the Wolf Administration raised base rates from the 25th percentile to the 40th percentile.

  • Rate incentives for providers that offer child care during non-traditional hours: $16.8 million will support add-on incentives to CCW base rates for child care providers that offer at least two hours of care during non-traditional hours.

Prior to the pandemic, the Keystone Command Center for Economic Development and Workforce recommended expanding availability of licensed child care before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. – what is normally considered “traditional” child care hours – in order to give flexibility and security for working parents. These rate incentives will support providers that offer care outside of traditional hours, giving parents a safe place for their children and the security necessary to help parents return to work.

More Information

For more information on child care providers operating in Pennsylvania, visit Providers seeking to apply for Child Care Stabilization Grants can learn more and apply online.

For details, read Gov. Wolf’s full press release.


October 13, 2021

Pre-K Counts and Head Start Operations Report

The Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (PKC) and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) Operations Report for FY 2020-2021 from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is now available.

About the Report

The Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts pre-kindergarten program makes quality pre-kindergarten opportunities available to children and families across the commonwealth. Head Start programs provide comprehensive services for income eligible children from birth to entry into kindergarten, and are designed to address developmental goals for children, employment and self-sufficiency goals for adults, and support for parents in their work and child-caring roles.

The operations report is provided to the Pennsylvania General Assembly annually and shares information about program operations in FY 2020-2021.

Highlights include:

  • In the 2020-21fiscal year (FY), Pennsylvania PKC assisted 20,038 students from families earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level.

  • HSSAP served 5,487 children from families earning up to 100% of the federal poverty level.

  • FY 2020-21 was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Pennsylvania PKC and HSSAP were allowed flexibility in how instruction during FY 2020-21 occurred. All providers used a blend of in-person, hybrid, and remote learning options throughout the school year, with models varying based on local and county-level COVID-19 levels, family needs, and staffing shortages.

More Information

For details, read the full report. Questions about the report can be directed to Deborah C. Wise at


October 12, 2021

New Resources for Parents and Caregivers

New resources have been added to the Trying Together website for families and caregivers. These resources further Trying Together’s mission to supports high-quality care and education for young children by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the individuals who interact with them.

New Resources

DAP Series Parts VII, VIII, and IX

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.

New topics in the DAP Series include Part VII: Childhood Mental Health; Part VIII: Race and Equity; and Part IX: Transitions & Routines. Families and caregivers may also access previous parts of the DAP Series: Part I: Developmentally Appropriate Practice; Part II: Childhood Physical Health; Part III: Child Care; Part IV: Early Intervention and InclusionPart V: Safety and Emergencies; and Part VI: Social-Emotional Development.  Resources will continue to be added through 2022 as additional Parts are finalized.

Additionally, families and caregivers may now request a set of cards in the mail at no cost. These cards provide an overview of each part of the DAP series with a quick reference to local and regional organizations.

Parenting Together Pathway

The Parenting Together Pathway is a video-based learning series to provide high-quality information on early childhood development to parents and caregivers in Allegheny County and surrounding areas. Launched in April 2021, the Parenting Together Pathway provides families the opportunity to learn more about: brain development; play; interactions and relationships; technology; child care; and advocacy to better support their children’s healthy growth.

Two additional videos have been added to the Parenting Together Pathway: Early Intervention and Safety and Emergencies.


Celebrate Annual Lights On Afterschool

On October 28, celebrate Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities.

About Lights On Afterschool

The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things—such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do and poetry—and discover new skills.

The events emphasize that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs. This year, there will be two online events for people to participate in.

River City Drumbeat Screening and Webinar

GOOD DOCS is providing complimentary access to River City Drumbeat, a new documentary about the River City Drum Corp. afterschool program from October 24 to October 28. Go to GOOD DOCS sign up to receive a code to stream the film.

On October 25 at 6 p.m., the Afterschool Alliance will host a conversation with River City Drum Corp. as participants watch short clips from the film and discuss aspects of the program and its impact. Register for the webinar.

Youth Town Hall

On October 28 at 6 p.m., youth from programs around the country will share reflections on the past year and a half and how their afterschool programs have impacted their lives, perspectives on what youth need to thrive, and hopes for the future. A special segment will be devoted to recognizing the powerful role of afterschool program staff and mentors in shaping the lives of young people. Register for the town hall.

Find Other Events

Communities nationwide, including many in western Pennsylvania, are celebrating. Find local events online. For more information and the toolkit, visit the Lights On Afterschool webpage.


October 11, 2021

IECMHC Offering Virtual Office Hours

The Pennsylvania Key Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program is offering a new service — Virtual Office Hours.

About Virtual Office Hours

IECMH Consultants are available by appointment to provide IECMHC Virtual Office Hours consultation via telephone or video conference.

The virtual office hours visit is a short-term, collaborative, problem-solving conversation to help you find next steps for:

  • child social-emotional concerns

  • child behavioral or developmental concerns

  • emotional well-being of teachers and caregivers

  • partnering with families

Who can request an appointment?

Services are available at no cost to families, child care professionals and specialists supporting Keystone STARS child care programs such as”:

  • teachers, directors, and staff in a center, family, and group-based child care program

  • families with children attending child care programs

  • early intervention professionals

  • Keystone STARS quality coaches

  • mental health/behavioral health agencies

  • home visiting and family support programs

How can IECMH Virtual Office Hours help?

Consultations can help adults strengthen their relationships with young children and build their capacity to respond to their social-emotional needs. IECMHC can help:

  • figure out what’s really going on when a child exhibits challenging behaviors.

  • reflect and respond to problem behaviors with the power and impact of nurturing relationships.

  • build partnerships with families.

  • share community resources.

Appointments are held on the first and third Fridays of the month, or other days/times by request. To schedule an appointment, register online.