August 20, 2020

First Up Annual Conferences (Virtual)

Due to current concerns, First Up has transitioned the First Up Annual Conference to a virtual platform for 2020-21. The Conference will feature multiple half-day virtual conference experiences on a range of topics.

Available Conferences

    • Family Child Care Conference
      Saturday, September 26  |  8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  |  Ticket Fee: $15 – $30

      Early childhood professionals are invited to join First Up at the first Family and Group Child Care Conference. This event will be a time of inspiration, reflection, and learning as participants begin their day of honoring the Trailblazers of Family Child Care and hearing their wisdom and advice.

    • Personal Empowerment for the ECE Professional 
      Saturday, October 3  |  8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  |  Ticket Fee: $15 – $30

      Early childhood professionals are invited to join First Up for a morning of personal empowerment and professional development. Featuring workshops on financial stability, professional communication, and other best practices in ECE, this Conference will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Online Event Platform

The First Up Conferences will be held via an immersive event platform called Accelevents. To learn more about Accelevents and what to expect, visit their website. To access the full experience, it is recommended that attendees participate via a computer or laptop.

Receiving Credit

Each Conference will offer 4.5 PA Keys (PD Registry) and/or PA Act 48 credit hours. If you are interested in receiving credit, you must indicate the type of credit you would like to receive during registration. Any credit requests made more than 30 days post-event cannot be guaranteed. A Certificate of Attendance will be available for download in the Conference Platform or by email following the event.


To register and learn more, visit the First Up website.

More Information

For more information, visit the First Up website or contact


June 2, 2020

Parenting in a Pandemic: Help in a Time of Need

Are you interested in learning how children will be impacted by the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic? Join First Up this June and July for their virtual series, “Parenting in a Pandemic: Help in a Time of Need.”


Join First Up for Parenting in a Pandemic: Help in a Time of Need, a three-part series of one-hour informative webinars, where they will answer common questions parents and caregivers have about their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each session, presented by professionals with early childhood expertise and certificates in trauma-informed practices, will:

    • introduce the concepts of how brains develop and the impact that current events;
    • might have on children from birth through age eight;
    • introduce new ways to think about self-care; and
    • offer strategies for supporting children’s mental well-being.

Participants will be entered in a drawing for special giveaways!

Session Dates

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

More Infomation

For questions, please contact Jillian Best Adler at

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September 12, 2019

First-Aid & CPR Training | Homewood

Attention, providers! Trying Together is partnering to offer a First Aid and CPR training session. For $14 per person, each attendee receives training, lunch, and certification cards.

Space is limited to 20 people and registration is required by Friday, September 20.

More Information

For more information, contact Sarah Byrne-Houser at 412.467.3598 or

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To register, complete the form below!


August 19, 2019

First Up Annual Conference

Early childhood professionals are invited to join First Up on March 6, 2020 for their Annual Conference!


First Up’s Annual Conference will feature national and local experts presenting on a range of topics, including managing challenging behaviors, negotiating risky play, practicing mindfulness, and stress management for parents, children, and professionals! Come prepared to enjoy a full day of professional development, networking, and inspiration – all centered around building strong classroom curricula and engaging learning environments for young learners. Space is limited.


To register and for information on fees, please visit the First Up website.

More Information

For more information, including a complete workshop listing, visit the conference website.

For questions, contact Rebecca Tyrrell at


First Up: Champions for Young Children

Join First Up on September 24 as they celebrate the 2019 Champion of Young Children and raise funds for a worthy cause!


For 25 years, First Up has honored individuals and companies from outside the field of early childhood education for their dedication and commitment to young learners at the Champions for Young Children event. Past Champions have included elected officials, authors, industry leaders, foundations, and corporations that have made a significant investment to benefit all children in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

At this event, participants will eat, dance, and play, with ticket purchases including open access to a selection of beer and wine, a chef-curated menu, and opportunities to release their inner-child through quality early education experiences with a grown-up twist.


Registration for this event is now open and can be completed on the First Up website.

NAEYC Members

NAEYC members receive a $50 discount by registering with Drew Martin at

More Information

For more information, contact First Up at or 215.893.0130.


August 9, 2019

Power to the Profession Task Force Seeks Feedback

The Power to the Profession (P2P) National Task Force recently shared their next decision cycle draft, encouraging review and response. These Decision Cycles address the resources, infrastructure, and accountability structures needed across states and systems to support a prepared, diverse, well-compensated early childhood education profession. The draft is available in English and Spanish.

About the Task Force

The Power to the Profession (P2P) Task Force, in collaboration with thousands of educators, individual stakeholders, and partner organizations, is working toward a bold and audacious vision for a unified early childhood education profession. This profession will have clear roles and responsibilities, professional cohesion, and commensurate compensation. This will ensure every child, beginning at birth, has the opportunity to benefit from high-quality early childhood education, delivered by an effective, diverse, well-prepared, and well-compensated workforce.

Read the Decision Cycles 7+8 Discussion Draft.

Provide Your Feedback

Feedback will be accepted through September 13, 2019, and should be submitted via the online survey. Additional written comments can be submitted via email at

More Information

For questions, review the updated P2P Frequently Asked Questions. Community members are also invited to sign up for Virtual Office Hours to ask questions, give feedback, or explore how you can build on your work to advance the early childhood education profession.

*Information provided by the P2P Task Force


July 16, 2019

Pittsburgh Children Receive First Round of Free Books

In July 2019, Pittsburgh preschoolers received their first round of free books from the City of Pittsburgh’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.


The free book program – in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Benter Foundation, and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania – mails all eligible children an age-appropriate book every month up until their fifth birthday. In February, legislation was introduced to Pittsburgh City Council to accept $250,000 from the Benter Foundation to establish the Pittsburgh program.

In early July, the first shipment of books was sent out to 1,402 children who were enrolled in the program at the beginning of June. Another 400 children have been added to the program since then and will receive their first books in coming weeks. All children receive “The Little Engine That Could” as their first book, as it is Dolly Parton’s favorite.


To be eligible for the program, preschoolers must:

  • Be a resident of the City of Pittsburgh
  • Have a parent or guardian fill out an official registration form
  • Notify the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania of any address changes

Sign Up

To sign up for this program, visit the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library website.

More Information

For instructions, frequently asked questions, and more, visit the City of Pittsburgh’s website.

*Information provided by the City of Pittsburgh


May 6, 2019

Vote School Board First! Fundraiser

Mingle with members of Vote School Board First! coalition organizations to learn more about why they are involved, what issues they care about most, and why you should care too!

Light appetizers will be provided. Cocktails will be available for purchase.

About the Fundraiser

Happening at Wigle Whiskey Distillery on Monday, May 6 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., this event is an opportunity to learn more about and donate to the Vote School Board First! 2019 campaign. A portion of all drinks and bottle sales will be donated.

Don’t like whiskey? Don’t worry. Visit their website to learn about their full spirits collection.

RSVP and More Information

To RSVP for free, visit the event page.

For more information, contact Graham at 412.697.1298, ext. 115 or

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April 3, 2019

2019 P-3 Governor’s Institute Encourages Applications

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Child Development and Early Learning announced the 2019 Prenatal to Grade 3 (P-3) Governor’s Institute: P-3 Collaboration – Working Together for Student Success.


The purpose of Pennsylvania’s P-3 Governor’s Institute is to help school districts, early learning providers, and community organizations throughout the Commonwealth make the vital connections and collaborations necessary for student success from prenatal through grade 3. The 2019 P-3 Governor’s Institute is being offered June 24- 25, 2019 in Hershey, PA.

Application Details

Participation in the 2019 Institute is limited to 22 teams that have not previously attended a P-3 Governor’s Institute. Participating teams will be selected through an application process. School districts, birth-5 early learning programs, and community organizations may submit an application.

Applications may be submitted for more than one team from the same organization if each applying team represents a different elementary school and birth-5 feeder school/program. Teams should be built around a specific elementary school(s), its feeder early learning programs, and the local community. Selected teams will participate in this two-day event. Professional development will be offered to support team specific implementation of P-3 efforts.

Most expenses, except meals, will be covered for participating teams using Preschool Development Grant funds. Act 48, and Act 45/PIL professional development credits and Pennsylvania Quality Assurance System (PQAS) hours will be offered.

Required Agreements

To be considered for participation in this event, participating teams must agree to the following:

  • Participate in pre-conference assignment, webinar or call;
  • Attend and actively engage in the entire two-day event;
  • Bring a core team of no less than four educators (maximum participating team of eight members): a birth-5 administrator, a birth-5 teacher, a K-3 administrator, and a K-3 teacher. Preference will be given to applicants who include up to four of the following: family leader or family representative, Early Intervention representative, out of school time professional, community member, librarian, curriculum specialist, higher education partner, IU representative, Home Visiting, and Family Support;
  • Applying team has not attended a past P-3 Governor’s Institute;
  • Engage in continuous improvement via sharing and implementation of strategies/programs that will enhance student achievement; and
  • Maintain an active role in the Governor’s Institute cohort subsequent to the event (e.g., professional learning community, webinars, monthly follow up).

Application & Deadline

Applications are being accepted via the Governor’s Institute P-3 2019 Application link until the April 30, 2019 deadline. Selected applicants will be notified via email by May 10, 2019.


For questions, contact Jolie Phillips at

*Information provided by OCDEL’s PA Early Ed Newsletter