Join Trying Together on May 26 for our first virtual UnConference as we dive into topics that are relevant to child care centers as they begin to re-open to a ‘new normal’ due to the effects of COVID-19. A recording of this event will be available for those who are unable to attend.
We are facing a “new normal” in our field that has never been envisioned before. COVID-19 has taken our state, our country, and our world on a tumultuous journey, invoking fear, anxiety, reflection, and change-making at unprecedented levels. As an early childhood educator, you are most likely thinking about how to continue supporting children and families while maintaining high-quality programming, business operations, and personal health for both you and your colleagues.
This free three-hour online UnConference will help you virtually connect with other educators while gaining information about the steps you can take to prepare for and respond to the effects of COVID-19 on early childhood programming. Three PQAS and Act 48 hours available.
UnConference: Re-Opening to Our ‘New Normal’ will be hosted via Zoom. It begins with a “rapid-fire” keynote by four speakers, featuring Michelle Figlar of The Heinz Endowments, LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill of LaTrenda Consulting (and Board Member of Trying Together), Muffy Mendoza of Brown Mamas, and mental health expert Diana Schwab.
The keynote is followed by two workshops. Participants can choose from the following:
Through successful participation and completion of the UnConference, participants will:
Each session will have its own Zoom link which will be provided to you upon registration. Upon completion of the UnConference, three hours of accredited professional development will be given.
1:00 – 1:30 p.m.: “Rapid Fire” Keynote featuring Michelle Figlar, LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill, Muffy Mendoza, and Diana Schwab
1:45 – 3:00 p.m.: Workshop #1 (choose between two options)
3:15 – 4:30 p.m.: Workshop #2 (choose between two options)
There are four workshops provided for this UnConference. Two options are available between 1:45 – 3:00 p.m. and two other options are available between 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. View the list of workshops for the Virtual UnConference: Re-Opening to Our ‘New Normal’.
This virtual UnConference is free. Participants must pre-register for the UnConference by 3 p.m. on Monday, May 25 in order to receive links to each session via email. Visit the event page to register and learn more.
The sessions will be hosted using the web-based video conferencing platform Zoom. Please download Zoom prior to the UnConference to your device of choice. We will send you a Zoom link for the keynote as well as a Zoom link for each workshop based on what you select. A recording of this event will be available for those who are unable to attend.
Three PQAS and Act 48 hours will be available. Participants must attend the UnConference and complete the survey at the end of each session (keynote and two workshops) in order to receive credit. Once completed, Jasmine Davis, Professional Learning Program Manager at Trying Together, will process your credit. If you have questions specific to receiving credit for coursework, please email Jasmine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions, please contact UnConference Director, Yu-Ling Cheng, at email@example.com.
“Play acts as a mechanism into courageous, creative, and rigorous thinking in adulthood.” (T. Bruce,., 2013)
The benefits of children’s play can be life-lasting, as long as the experiences are developmentally appropriate, positive, and engaging. This free online course focuses on children’s play and the role of play in early education settings. Participants will take part in varied individual and group activities that pertain to the definitions, developmental mechanics, and functions of play as well as new strategies for encouraging play within children’s earliest classrooms.
Limited spaces are available. All registrations must be submitted by May 27 at 5 p.m.
To register, please visit the event registration page.
For more information, contact Jasmine Davis at 412.567.3933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this online course, participants will engage in an interactive session to build and strengthen knowledge working with diverse children ages birth to five and families. In order to support early childhood practitioners serving this population, this session will focus on current research, strategies when teaching dual language learners, and techniques to engage families.
Limited spaces are available. All registrations must be submitted by May 26 at 5 p.m.
For more information, contact Rosie Hogan at email@example.com.
This three-week online workplace professionalism course will allow early care and education professionals to communicate, reflect, and update the professional styles they may use or want to use to improve in the field of early childhood education. Today’s early childhood professional must demonstrate knowledge of the skills, styles, and dispositions required to succeed in the workplace. This requires a commitment to the profession, including commitments to their regular work environment and beyond. Using activities and resources, this course provides participants with strategies to adopt positive and ethical habits that will serve them personally and professionally.
Limited spaces are available. All registrations must be submitted by May 20 at 5 p.m.
To register for this workplace professionalism course, please visit the event registration page.
For more information, contact Jasmine Davis at 412.567.3933 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on Trying Together’s professional development programs, visit our courses page.
Join Dr. Xia Chao for the last interactive workshop of the 4-part series dedicated to helping educators understand the literacies, cultures, and needs of the Pittsburgh area’s refugee communities.
Through a grant from the National Geographic Society, Dr. Chao has conducted research over the past several years that explores the experiences and narratives of local refugee communities including the Nepali, Karen, and Somali Bantu.
This workshop series seeks to incorporate the findings of Dr. Chao’s research in order to offer local educators insight into working with students from these communities and resources for supporting immigrant and refugee families in their interactions with the American educational system. This session will help educators learn specific strategies for teaching English learners.
To register, visit the Eventbrite page.
Light refreshments and Act 48 credits will be provided.
For more information on the workshop series and content, please contact Dr. Xia Chao at email@example.com. For information about the event, ticketing, and logistics, please contact Taya Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on March 7 for their professional development session, “Documenting Learning Through Photography.”
Cameras are ubiquitous these days, but how can educators best use them in the classroom? In this workshop, educators will consider how they might use photography to enhance, expand, and document learning for both themselves and their students. Participants will learn about free simple apps for photo editing and how to use visual artifacts in student assessment. Participants are encouraged to bring their own mobile device, however, iPads will be made available for use during the class.
This course is designed for K-12 educators. Act 48 and PQAS hours available.
To register, visit the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website.
For personal assistance selecting accessible seats or for more information about accessibility for a person with a disability, contact Customer Service at 412.456.6666. To learn more, visit the event webpage.
Join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust on February 8 for their professional development session, “Joyful Transitioning for Toddlers with Music and Movement.”
Transitioning into a classroom for the first time can be a big challenge for young toddlers. Ease the transition and even make it joyful by using music and movement! In this workshop, participants will experience a variety of soothing songs and rhythmic movements that can be incorporated into their daily practice to support children’s social-emotional development. PQAS and Act 48 hours available.
Guided by the staff at Trying Together, Come Play! is an opportunity for group and family child care providers to bring their enrolled children for hands-on professional learning.
By participating, providers will receive:
For more information or to ask questions, contact Mimi Loughead at 412.567.5163 or email@example.com.
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When a family introduces a new child into their life, the last thing they should have to worry about is if they have the time and money to properly care for and bond with their child. However, families across the Commonwealth are in that exact situation, with many caregivers involuntarily reducing their work hours, changing jobs, or leaving the workforce entirely.
While many may associate childhood learning with the education system, learning and development begin much earlier than a child’s first classroom experience. Parents and caregivers are children’s first teachers, and to support the long-term success of the next generation, we need to ensure that all caregivers are afforded the opportunity to care for and bond with their children.
In Pennsylvania, there are more than 870,000 children under the age of six. Of those children, 41 percent live in low-income households. While about 51 percent of children birth to age five are in non-parental care for at least 10 hours per week, accessing such services can be difficult and expensive. Due to high costs, limited seats, and child care deserts, families across the Commonwealth are left without access to the affordable, high-quality child care services they need.
The difficulties don’t stop there. Without child care access, families have limited options. They can rotate their child through a list of available family members and friends; reduce or shift their work hours; change their profession; or leave the workforce entirely. More often than not, these challenges disproportionately affect women who make up 94 percent of workers that involuntarily work part-time due to child care problems. While these options exist, all of them can lead to negative outcomes, including financial insecurity, inconsistent caregiving, increased family stress, and difficulties reentering the workforce.
Research shows that positive interactions with consistent adult caregivers are important during children’s early development, as they optimize the development of brain pathways for the visual and auditory senses, motor and language processing, higher cognitive functioning, and emotional regulation. This challenge is more than just having someone around to look after a child. It’s about establishing the conditions children need to experience success later in life.
In the current family leave system, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. FMLA was designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities, providing this benefit to employees at public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. However, just because unpaid leave is available does not mean that it is accessible. In January 2019, the National Partnership for Women and Families reported out that unpaid leave under the FMLA is inaccessible for 59 percent of working people.
If Pennsylvania passes the Family Care Act, families will no longer have to choose between remaining financially stable in the workforce and caring for their young child in the most critical period of their life. The Family Care Act establishes a statewide insurance fund, similar to Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation fund, which allows individuals to draw down a portion of their salary for:
In Pennsylvania, families should come first. To ensure caregivers’ financial security, healthy relationship development, and workplace success, we need to make sure that they have access to the paid leave they need to care for their family. For the long-term personal, academic, and professional success of our youngest generation, we need to pass the Family Care Act.
Paid family leave is not only a family value, it’s also a Pennsylvania value–and that’s a fact. Use your voice to advocate for families by encouraging the state government to pass the Family Care Act. Visit the campaign page to learn more.
To stay up-to-date on advocacy opportunities, sign up for Trying Together’s Public Policy newsletter or visit our Take Action page.