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


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 new platforms and resources, continue reading below.


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.



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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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.




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.


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).


August 3, 2020

New Family Care & Education Forum

In response to uncertainty surrounding the 2020-2021 school year, Trying Together has launched the Family Care & Education Forum.

This new community resource will connect parents and caregivers across Southwestern Pennsylvania and provide a space to ask questions, network, and support one another.


The Family Care & Education Forum is an online forum where parents and caregivers can engage in conversation with 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.

With the upcoming start to the 2020-2021 school year, conversations in the Forum will start with a focus on finding in-home and out-of-home care; discussing safety measures being taken within local school districts; connecting with virtual learning programs; and brainstorming ways to incorporate play with socially distant learning. As this platform grows and expands, there will be new discussion topics related to care and education.

Sign Up

The Family Care & Education Forum is open to all caregivers, which Trying Together defines as any adult who interacts with young children. Users are encouraged to review Trying Together’s Social Media Policy and Privacy Policy prior to creating an account. While the focus of the Forum in the coming months will be Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Forum is open to all regions.

More Information

To view availability at licensed child care and out-of-school time programs in Allegheny County, please visit Allegheny Child Care on the Trying Together website. For questions regarding child care in Allegheny County, visit the ELRC Region 5 website, call 412.350.3577 or 1.888.340.3572, or email elrc5@allegheny

Please contact with any questions.


July 31, 2020

New Process to Prevent Suspensions and Expulsions

Effective August 1, a new process to request support for a child with unique needs or challenging behaviors to prevent suspension and/or expulsion from early learning programs is available for families and early learning professionals.

How to Request Support

To request assistance from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), early learning professionals and families can complete a new online form entitled, “PA Key Expulsion/Suspension Support Request.”

Circumstances for Alternative Support

More Information

For more information, view the Developing Suspension and Expulsion Policies document.


July 30, 2020

Reopening Plans for Allegheny County Districts

Allies for Children has compiled and will update information about reopening and health and safety plans for school districts in Allegheny County. Find the information for your school district in their Google spreadsheet.

School Reopening Guidance

Please utilize the following state and national resources for more information about guidance for schools that are reopening.

Pennsylvania State Guidance

National Guidance

More Information

More resources related to COVID-19 are available for families and professionals on the Trying Together website. To learn more about Allies for Children, please visit their website.