February 5, 2021

Early Childhood Professionals: Advance Your Career

Are you looking to advance your career? Check out these professional development resources and opportunities in Pennsylvania.


Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship combines on-the-job learning with related technical instruction to build skills and create pathways to earning a CDA Credential, Associate’s Degree, or Bachelor’s Degree through partners at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and Carlow University.

Apply: Apprenticeship is accepting new apprentices for the 2021 Spring and Summer semesters. To learn more, contact Lindsey Vicoria at

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

A Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in the early childhood field and is a key stepping stone on the path to career advancement. Trying Together offers three CDA programs that include individualized support for professionals in Pennsylvania:

    • CDA Credential Preparation Program
    • CDA Community of Practice Program
    • CDA Renewal Program

Apply: To learn more and apply, visit our CDA Credential page.

ECE Professional Development Organization

The Professional Development Organization (PDO) is a grant-funded educational collaboration among four universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and numerous partner universities, colleges, and community programs across the state to advance the career pathways of the early childhood workforce.

Benefits: PDO funding covers tuition, expenses, and other supports to help eligible early childhood educators earn credit-bearing credentials and degrees.

Eligibility: Tuition-free courses are available for early childhood professionals who:

    • are Pennsylvania residents,
    • work in a Keystone STARS program, and
    • work a minimum average of 25 hours per week over an entire work year (during non-COVID times).

Apply: To determine your eligibility, complete the online application. Once your eligibility is confirmed, a PDO Liaison from your region will contact you to discuss your options.

PA Professional Development Registry

The Pennsylvania Professional Development (PD) Registry is an online system that:

    • offers a consolidated list of professional development opportunities,
    • tracks completed courses and PQAS credit hours, and
    • collects data about the early childhood workforce to advocate for better education opportunities and higher wages.

Learn More: Learn the full benefits of the PD Registry.

Professional Growth Opportunities

Trying Together delivers professional growth services that:

    • connect with high-quality early childhood practices;
    • are instructed by a certified PQAS instructor and are ACT 48 approved; and
    • align with the Pennsylvania Core Knowledge Competencies, NAEYC Standards, Danielson Framework, and Keystone STARS performance standards.

Receive PD Updates: Sign up to receive our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Receive Personalized Updates: Update your Professional Development Interests and Preferences to receive personalized updates.



More Information

For questions about Trying Together’s professional development opportunities, contact Jasmine Davis at For questions about the PDO, contact Mimi Loughead at