July 9, 2019

DHS Licensed Providers: Plan of Correction Notice

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering training for all DHS licensed providers on completing a Plan of Correction (POC).


This free, live webinar training will focus on the elements needed for the foundation of an acceptable POC. It is strongly recommended that all facility staff involved in completing POCs attend one webinar session. Each scheduled webinar will last approximately one hour. Only one webinar should be attended, as the material covered will be the same in each session.

Webinar Dates

The dates for the webinars are as follows:

    • Tuesday, July 16, 9:30 – 10: 30 a.m.
    • Tuesday, July 16, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, July 17, 10:30 – 11: 30 a.m.
    • Wednesday, July 17, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, July 23, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    • Wednesday, July 24, 10:30 – 11: 30 a.m.
    • Wednesday, July 24, 1:30 – 2: 30 p.m.
    • Thursday, July 25, 9:30 – 10: 30 a.m.


To register for a training session, visit the registration web page.

Space is limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. After registering, you will receive a link to connect you to the webinar training.

Unable to Attend?

If you are unable to attend one of these webinar sessions, DHS will be offering a similar training in a self-paced format in late July 2019. Additional information will be shared on how to access the self-paced training in the future.

*Information provided by the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning


May 29, 2019

HundrED Announces Pittsburgh Spotlight Selections

In March of 2019, HundrED released their full list of Pittsburgh Spotlight innovation submissions. Now, after two months of careful deliberation and assessment, HundrED has announced their 12 featured innovative solutions.

About the Spotlight

In partnership with the Grable Foundation and Remake Learning, HundrED’s Pittsburgh Spotlight shines a light on the educators and innovators doing extraordinary things to help students in southwestern Pennsylvania succeed. Receiving 82 individual submissions from southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia schools, museums, libraries, nonprofits, government agencies, and more, the Pittsburgh Spotlight is a great opportunity for changemakers to highlight, celebrate, and learn more about the work happening in local communities.

While HundrED Spotlights are designed to identify 10 of the most inspiring innovations that focus on a location or theme, Lasse Leponiemi, Executive Director and Co-Founder of HundrED said,

“Pittsburgh broke that mold. The response was so robust that we chose to expand our selection to 12 innovations.”

Selected Innovations

    • Simple Interactions: This research project of the Fred Rogers Center creates free tools and resources to give educators a language for noticing and affirming their interactions with young children. These simple interactions support relationships between children and adults.
    • Fabricating Change in Mental Wellness: Students diagnosed with mental health conditions work side by side with social workers, therapists, and teachers in this digital Fab Lab at Intermediate Unit 1. The results: increased participation, improved engagement, and fewer disruptions.
    • The Finch: Borne out of research about what engages and excites students in learning computer science, this robot developed by BirdBrain Technologies can be programmed to do physical actions in 9 different coding languages. A free loan program makes it widely available to schools.
    • Global Minds Initiative: Founded, designed, and run by students, this after-school program combats intolerance by fostering intercultural friendships and global understanding. Immigrant and refugee students come together with their peers in safe, inclusive spaces.
    • Hillman Academy: At this 8-week full-time summer program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, high school students perform cancer research under the mentorship of world-renowned scientists in a rigorous, supportive, real-world STEM environment.
    • JAM: Two first-grade girls’ interest in making things to help their community has blossomed into an after-school maker learning program at Avonworth School District that is a catalyst for kindness in school and an engine for raising funds for community causes.
    • MAKESHOP: The first museum makerspace, this permanent exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is a research-based learning environment where children and families make, play, and design using “real stuff.”  And they offer professional development, maker learning resources, and more.
    • Summer Dreamers Academy: By combining the academic benefits of summer school with the fun of camp, this free summer program run by Pittsburgh Public Schools reduces summer learning loss while giving Pittsburgh students fun, enriching summer experiences.
    • transformED:  Allegheny Intermediate Unit is rethinking teacher professional development and support for school districts implementing innovative practices. At transformED, educators explore, discover, invent, and learn.
    • Youth Express: Students use the tools of radio to create and distribute original programming through Saturday Light Brigade‘s 24/7 radio station. Programming is based on the idea that when youth realize that their voice matters, they realize that they matter.

To learn more, visit the HundrED website.

See HundrED’s official release.

About HundrED

HundrED is a not-for-profit organization that researches, highlights, and propels K-12 education innovations in an effort to improve education and inspire a grassroots movement by encouraging pedagogically sound, ambitious inventions to spread across the world. The Pittsburgh Spotlight is one of 6 individual spotlight categories, all centered around specific regions or topics. Through this spotlight, HundrED seeks to highlight educators and innovators in our area that are doing extraordinary things to help students.

Interested in highlighting your innovative solution? Submit your innovation for HundrED’s 2020 Global Collection by June 30, 2019.

*Information provided by HundrED


May 20, 2019

Development Through the Eyes of an ELL Child

Join Professor Lois Wachtel in this edWebinar as she discusses early childhood developmental milestones through the eyes of a child, particularly an English language learner (ELL) child. Those who work with three- and four-year-old children will have the opportunity to take a closer look at their growth.


While we know all young children are amazing individuals, can you recall the vast amount of growth that is taking place in their world on a regular basis? At what age can we expect young children to be able to answer a simple question, name familiar colors, throw a ball, or demonstrate simple problem-solving skills?

During this webinar, Wachtel will discuss all this and more, providing a well-rounded perspective of how young children are building language, physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and motor development skills. Specific examples will be provided with ELLs in mind.

Time for questions will be provided. Continuing Education Credits available.


For more information and to register, visit the event website.


March 15, 2019

Engaging Early Learners with Technology: Sharing Research and Best Practices


In this edWebinar, the presenters will discuss the best practices for technology use with young children (birth through age five) and their families. They will also discuss how to support early childhood educators in grades K-3 with effective technology strategies. Research on technology use in early childhood education from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Common Sense Media will provide the framework for this discussion. With digital devices becoming more readily available in school settings, the logistics of implementing technology in the classroom as a tool for learning must be examined in order to utilize emerging technology most effectively.


The edWebinar will also share insights from a roundtable facilitated by Hi5!, a kindergarten readiness and registration campaign in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. The roundtable served as a professional development and networking event for over 20 school districts to share best practices for how they are using technology to support the transition to kindergarten for students and families. The discussion included developmentally appropriate technology use across the early childhood continuum.


This presentation will be of interest to preK-3 teachers and school leaders. There will be time to get your questions answered at the end of the presentation. Be sure to view and share this event flyer (PDF) with your network.

For more information and registration, click here.


ADP Symposium 2019: Multilingual and Multicultural Education for Young Children

Join Trying Together and the University of Pittsburgh School of Education for the annual ADP Symposium. This year’s topic is on multilingual and multicultural education in early childhood, featuring keynote presenter Dr. Beth Sondel from the University of Pittsburgh, and panelists Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran from Point Park University, Dr. Xia Chao from Duquesne University, Stephany McMullen from the AIU Latino Family Center, and Dr. Shannon Wanless from the University of Pittsburgh.

Monday, April 1, 2019
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
University of Pittsburgh
David Lawrence Hall


This symposium aims to explore the importance of multilingual and multicultural education for young children and educate current and aspiring teachers and childcare workers on how to engage in multilingual and multicultural developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood classrooms. It also touches on building inclusive and diverse curricula for all classrooms. Pittsburgh is on the rise as one of the most diverse cities and has an increasing population of immigrant and refugee families over the past few years. This creates need for equal representation of languages and cultures in educational settings, and for this curriculum to be included in childcare institutions and homes.


By joining Trying Together—which serves young children and families in supporting education—and the Pitt School of Education, we see this as an opportunity for an open dialogue about educational growth for young children from the perspective of a culturally responsive approach. It will also promote awareness of the benefits of multilingual and multicultural education for young children, neurologically, psychologically, and socio-emotionally.


This event is sold out and is no longer accepting registrations.


March 11, 2019

New Study on Maternity Leave Unveiled


A new study in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy finds a direct link between length of maternity leave and quality of mother-child interactions. The study: The Role of Length of Maternity Leave in Supporting Mother-Child Interactions and Attachment Security Among American Mothers and Their Infants suggests these results have implications for the development of family policies that support the needs of infants and mothers during the first months of life.


The implementation of comprehensive and universal maternity leave policy can complement child care policies. Both quality child care and maternity leave policies constitute solutions to similar needs. The results of this study support the need for parents to have the opportunity to choose to take maternity before infants enter child care. While quality child care can result in positive developmental outcomes for the infants, maternity leave can ensure that mothers have time off from work. This way, maternity leave can give mothers the opportunity to spend time with their infants, engage in positive and stress-free interactions, and learn to read a child’s cues before they negotiate the stress of balancing parenting and work. Ultimately, a combination of comprehensive maternity leave and child care policies will give each family the opportunity to have some choice in timing and combination of work, leave, and child care.

Read the complete study here.


March 7, 2019

Disability and Mental Health Summit

Join State Representative Dan Miller in the 2019 Disability and Mental Health Summit. Happening over three days, this summit includes the following opportunities:

  • Informative Sessions
    • Topics of interest for parents, students, providers, and professionals seeking continuing education
  • A Resource Fair
    • State, county, and local agencies; service providers, advocacy and support groups; post-secondary education organizations; and employment opportunities

Free and open to the public, this summit includes multiple sessions on a range of disabilities and mental health issues spanning from early intervention to adults and seniors.

View the attached flyer or visit the Summit website for more information.


Disability and Mental Health Summit

Join State Representative Dan Miller in the 2019 Disability and Mental Health Summit. Happening over three days, this summit includes the following opportunities:

  • Informative Sessions
    • Topics of interest for parents, students, providers, and professionals seeking continuing education
  • A Resource Fair
    • State, county, and local agencies; service providers, advocacy and support groups; post-secondary education organizations; and employment opportunities

Free and open to the public, this summit includes multiple sessions on a range of disabilities and mental health issues spanning from early intervention to adults and seniors.

View the attached flyer or visit the Summit website for more information.


9th Annual Student Affiliate Dinner


This event celebrates local early childhood education students and the community as we explore the power and necessity of equity in education. A panel of students from diverse backgrounds will share their stories of the educators who have impacted their educational journeys. Dr. Melissa Sherfinski, a scholar in the field of early childhood education, will invite guests to share in the conversation and explore how educators can empower students.


Tickets are $20 per person. Guests may access Commissioners Hall through one entrance where a registration table will be located. The event will take place in: Rooms 2303 and 2304; and the Laurel, Vidmer, and Mon Valley Dining Rooms. The buffet dinner will include gluten-free and vegetarian options. In keeping with tradition, attendees are asked to bring a basket donation for the event.

Registration for this event is closed. 


Vicki Hricik, Education/Pre-K-Grade Program Support


Annual Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference


NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s annual Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference is Friday, March 8, 2019, at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. This event will offer skills needed to improve the lives of children with mental health needs and give better understanding of best practices and research in children’s mental health.  

Who Should Attend?

This event is for parents and caregivers, health professionals, health care providers, and educators.


Registration is now closed. Walk-ins are welcome. For questions, email Sara Levine Steinberg at For more information, please go to: