News

October 6, 2020

Promoting Inclusion in ECE Programs

On September 30, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) released guidance on strategies early learning programs should use to ensure all young children with disabilities and their families have access to high-quality, inclusive programming.

About

OCDEL issued this announcement to provide guidance on strategies that promote inclusion for all students, set an expectation for high-quality programs to be inclusive of children with disabilities, and identify resources available to local early learning programs.

Who Does This Apply To?

Effective October 1, 2020, this announcement applies to both federally- and state-funded programs, including Child Care Works, Child Care Certification, Early Head Start, Head Start, Early Intervention, Home Visiting programs, Keystone STARS, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, and Family Centers.

Next Steps

To promote inclusion, local early learning programs must complete the following actions:

1. In collaboration with program staff and families:

    • develop and implement a written program policy that focuses on actively including young children with disabilities in your early learning program;
    • review and modify existing policies, practices, and procedures to ensure barriers are removed that would prevent children with disabilities from accessing or participating in your early learning program; and
    • develop resources for effective communication between families and program staff to ensure families know the benefits of and their rights related to inclusion.

2. Assess staff competencies and implement professional development, which includes family perspectives, related to inclusion based on the needs of staff and families.

3. Seek assistance from your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) to identify examples of inclusive program policies, structures, and activities to provide models of dissemination and replication throughout Pennsylvania.

4. Develop and strengthen partnerships between your program and Early Intervention programs so that supports and services for children with disabilities can be provided within the daily routines and activities of high-quality early learning programs.

5. Participate in ongoing opportunities for stakeholder input and professional development opportunities on additional OCDEL guidance related to the inclusion of all children.

6. Implement this policy in conjunction with the Announcement, Reduction of Expulsion and Suspension in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania and any additional guidance related to the inclusion of all children.

OCDEL’s Support

To promote practices that support the inclusion of all young children in early learning programs, OCDEL will complete the following actions:

1. In collaboration with and input from stakeholders and families, OCDEL will:

2. OCDEL will provide individualized support, including on-site coaching and consultation, to OCDEL-funded programs.

3. Through the ELRCs, OCDEL will:

    • identify opportunities for community partnerships to promote inclusion, including partnerships for providing individualized support, professional development, and other capacity-building resources;
    • provide support and guidance to assist child care programs to progress in their Keystone STAR level rating; and
    • support child care programs to understand their vital role in supporting inclusion.

More Information

For more information, read the full announcement.

News

September 23, 2020

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a “New Normal”

Join Trying Together from September 14–23, 2020 for our second free Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’. PQAS and Act 48 credit hours will be available. Registration is required.

About

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’ will feature a panel discussion and three workshops on topics including finance, interacting with young children, and social-emotional health during the COVID-19 health crisis. This UnConference will build on guidance shared during our first Virtual UnConference: Re-Opening to Our ‘New Normal’. To watch a recording, visit our UnConference page.

Featured Workshops

    • Positive Interactions During the Pandemic
      Monday, September 14, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      In this workshop, Sarah Grubb from ELRC Region 5 will walk early childhood educators through the essential elements of positive interaction, the educator’s role in co-regulation, and strategies for supporting children best through positive, day-to-day interactions.

    • A Conversation on How to Support the Social/Emotional Needs of Children
      Thursday, September 17, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      Join Diana Schwab for a conversation and Q&A focused on the social and emotional needs of children. In this workshop, participants will discuss early childhood social and emotional development with a particular focus on how children communicate social and emotional needs through behavior. This workshop will also discuss how to focus a child’s behaviors as a communication of developmental strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as mental health needs.

    • Building a Foundation for Your Organization’s Financial Wellness
      Monday, September 21, 2020 | 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will discuss the importance of building a business plan and budget as the foundation of your organization’s financial wellness, especially during this time of changing external forces due to COVID-19. Presenter Chris Pentrack of Supporting Strategies will suggest beginner tools and methods to build these items, as well as resources for additional assistance. Presenters will discuss topics such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, monitoring, and forecasting cash for the organization.

    • Providing Safe and Healthy Care in Child Care Now and Beyond the Pandemic
      Wednesday, September 23, 2020  |  1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will feature a panel of directors who will discuss the measurements currently being followed to prevent the spread of illness in their individual child care programs. A portion of the conversation will include health and wellness tips that can help support your staff and teachers during these challenging times. The discussion will conclude by identifying which health and safety practices will most likely be permanently incorporated into everyday practice moving forward beyond COVID-19.

Registration

Registration for this UnConference is being completed on the PD Registry. If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org for more information.

Click the links below to register for each workshop you are interested in. Registration is required.

More Information

For questions, contact UnConference Director Yu-Ling Cheng at conference@tryingtogether.org.

News

September 21, 2020

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a “New Normal”

Join Trying Together from September 14–23, 2020 for our second free Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’. PQAS and Act 48 credit hours will be available. Registration is required.

About

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’ will feature a panel discussion and three workshops on topics including finance, interacting with young children, and social-emotional health during the COVID-19 health crisis. This UnConference will build on guidance shared during our first Virtual UnConference: Re-Opening to Our ‘New Normal’. To watch a recording, visit our UnConference page.

Featured Workshops

    • Positive Interactions During the Pandemic
      Monday, September 14, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      In this workshop, Sarah Grubb from ELRC Region 5 will walk early childhood educators through the essential elements of positive interaction, the educator’s role in co-regulation, and strategies for supporting children best through positive, day-to-day interactions.

    • A Conversation on How to Support the Social/Emotional Needs of Children
      Thursday, September 17, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      Join Diana Schwab for a conversation and Q&A focused on the social and emotional needs of children. In this workshop, participants will discuss early childhood social and emotional development with a particular focus on how children communicate social and emotional needs through behavior. This workshop will also discuss how to focus a child’s behaviors as a communication of developmental strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as mental health needs.

    • Building a Foundation for Your Organization’s Financial Wellness
      Monday, September 21, 2020 | 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will discuss the importance of building a business plan and budget as the foundation of your organization’s financial wellness, especially during this time of changing external forces due to COVID-19. Presenter Chris Pentrack of Supporting Strategies will suggest beginner tools and methods to build these items, as well as resources for additional assistance. Presenters will discuss topics such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, monitoring, and forecasting cash for the organization.

    • Providing Safe and Healthy Care in Child Care Now and Beyond the Pandemic
      Wednesday, September 23, 2020  |  1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will feature a panel of directors who will discuss the measurements currently being followed to prevent the spread of illness in their individual child care programs. A portion of the conversation will include health and wellness tips that can help support your staff and teachers during these challenging times. The discussion will conclude by identifying which health and safety practices will most likely be permanently incorporated into everyday practice moving forward beyond COVID-19.

Registration

Registration for this UnConference is being completed on the PD Registry. If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org for more information.

Click the links below to register for each workshop you are interested in. Registration is required.

More Information

For questions, contact UnConference Director Yu-Ling Cheng at conference@tryingtogether.org.

News

September 17, 2020

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a “New Normal”

Join Trying Together from September 14–23, 2020 for our second free Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’. PQAS and Act 48 credit hours will be available. Registration is required.

About

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’ will feature a panel discussion and three workshops on topics including finance, interacting with young children, and social-emotional health during the COVID-19 health crisis. This UnConference will build on guidance shared during our first Virtual UnConference: Re-Opening to Our ‘New Normal’. To watch a recording, visit our UnConference page.

Featured Workshops

    • Positive Interactions During the Pandemic
      Monday, September 14, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      In this workshop, Sarah Grubb from ELRC Region 5 will walk early childhood educators through the essential elements of positive interaction, the educator’s role in co-regulation, and strategies for supporting children best through positive, day-to-day interactions.

    • A Conversation on How to Support the Social/Emotional Needs of Children
      Thursday, September 17, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      Join Diana Schwab for a conversation and Q&A focused on the social and emotional needs of children. In this workshop, participants will discuss early childhood social and emotional development with a particular focus on how children communicate social and emotional needs through behavior. This workshop will also discuss how to focus a child’s behaviors as a communication of developmental strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as mental health needs.

    • Building a Foundation for Your Organization’s Financial Wellness
      Monday, September 21, 2020 | 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will discuss the importance of building a business plan and budget as the foundation of your organization’s financial wellness, especially during this time of changing external forces due to COVID-19. Presenter Chris Pentrack of Supporting Strategies will suggest beginner tools and methods to build these items, as well as resources for additional assistance. Presenters will discuss topics such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, monitoring, and forecasting cash for the organization.

    • Providing Safe and Healthy Care in Child Care Now and Beyond the Pandemic
      Wednesday, September 23, 2020  |  1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will feature a panel of directors who will discuss the measurements currently being followed to prevent the spread of illness in their individual child care programs. A portion of the conversation will include health and wellness tips that can help support your staff and teachers during these challenging times. The discussion will conclude by identifying which health and safety practices will most likely be permanently incorporated into everyday practice moving forward beyond COVID-19.

Registration

Registration for this UnConference is being completed on the PD Registry. If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org for more information.

Click the links below to register for each workshop you are interested in. Registration is required.

More Information

For questions, contact UnConference Director Yu-Ling Cheng at conference@tryingtogether.org.

News

September 14, 2020

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a “New Normal”

Join Trying Together from September 14–23, 2020 for our second free Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’. PQAS and Act 48 credit hours will be available. Registration is required.

About

Virtual UnConference: Caring in a ‘New Normal’ will feature a panel discussion and three workshops on topics including finance, interacting with young children, and social-emotional health during the COVID-19 health crisis. This UnConference will build on guidance shared during our first Virtual UnConference: Re-Opening to Our ‘New Normal’. To watch a recording, visit our UnConference page.

Featured Workshops

    • Positive Interactions During the Pandemic
      Monday, September 14, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      In this workshop, Sarah Grubb from ELRC Region 5 will walk early childhood educators through the essential elements of positive interaction, the educator’s role in co-regulation, and strategies for supporting children best through positive, day-to-day interactions.

    • A Conversation on How to Support the Social/Emotional Needs of Children
      Thursday, September 17, 2020  |  10:00 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Register

      Join Diana Schwab for a conversation and Q&A focused on the social and emotional needs of children. In this workshop, participants will discuss early childhood social and emotional development with a particular focus on how children communicate social and emotional needs through behavior. This workshop will also discuss how to focus a child’s behaviors as a communication of developmental strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as mental health needs.

    • Building a Foundation for Your Organization’s Financial Wellness
      Monday, September 21, 2020 | 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will discuss the importance of building a business plan and budget as the foundation of your organization’s financial wellness, especially during this time of changing external forces due to COVID-19. Presenter Chris Pentrack of Supporting Strategies will suggest beginner tools and methods to build these items, as well as resources for additional assistance. Presenters will discuss topics such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, monitoring, and forecasting cash for the organization.

    • Providing Safe and Healthy Care in Child Care Now and Beyond the Pandemic
      Wednesday, September 23, 2020  |  1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  |  Register

      This workshop will feature a panel of directors who will discuss the measurements currently being followed to prevent the spread of illness in their individual child care programs. A portion of the conversation will include health and wellness tips that can help support your staff and teachers during these challenging times. The discussion will conclude by identifying which health and safety practices will most likely be permanently incorporated into everyday practice moving forward beyond COVID-19.

Registration

Registration for this UnConference is being completed on the PD Registry. If you do not have a PD Registry account, please complete this online form to create one. If you are unable to create an account, please contact Jasmine Davis at jasmine@tryingtogether.org for more information.

Click the links below to register for each workshop you are interested in. Registration is required.

More Information

For questions, contact UnConference Director Yu-Ling Cheng at conference@tryingtogether.org.

News

July 28, 2020

Culturally Responsive Parent Engagement

Are you interested in learning how to create a more culturally and linguistically responsive early learning environment? Join the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) on July 28 for their webinar, “Culturally Responsive Parent Engagement.”

About

In this webinar, participants will explore tools, resources, and ideas they can use to create a more culturally and linguistically responsive environment. Join fellow educators to learn how it can help families engage in their child’s early learning and hear from programs that have successfully engaged families from diverse backgrounds as leaders and advocates.

This webinar is best suited for Head Start and Early Head Start directors, managers, family services staff, and parent leaders; T/TA providers; and early childhood leaders who support children and their families.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the event webpage. Participants will receive a certificate of participation upon completion of the webinar.

More Information

For questions, contact NCPFCE at pfcewebinars@ecetta.info or 855.208.0909.

News

December 19, 2019

Head Start Coaching Companion Available

If you are an early care and education professional who is interested in receiving coaching feedback and sharing videos, consider using the Head Start Coaching Companion!

About

By utilizing the Head Start Coaching Companion, early childhood professionals will view examples of teaching practices, record their teaching interactions, and track their progress using three major components of Practice-Based Coaching (PBC), including:

    • shared goals and action planning;
    • focused observation; and
    • reflection and feedback.

Though PBC was designed with Head Start programs in mind, it aligns with a variety of coaching models.

Requirements

To utilize the Head Start Coaching Companion, professionals should have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone with basic video editing software; a digital video camera, tablet, or smartphone with video capability; and reliable internet access. Video footage will be utilized to record teaching interactions.

See the Head Start Coaching Companion handout to learn more.

Learn More

To get started, educators can submit a Coaching Companion application and learn more online. View the Coaching Companion PDF or email coachingcompanion@eclkc.info for additional information.

*Information provided via Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5

News

December 12, 2019

NAFCC Calls for National Conference Workshop Proposals

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is currently seeking workshop proposals for the 30th National Family Child Care Conference, taking place in Norfolk, Virginia July 15-18, 2020. NAFCC works to support and leverage a nationwide network of providers and partners in expanding and promoting the power of family child care.

About

Workshop proposals should focus on family child care providers and the many qualities that make family child care unique to early care and education. Attendees are looking for sessions that focus on practical solutions to increase their knowledge and effectiveness; to engage and challenge their thinking; and to nurture their purpose, creativity, and professional excellence. Presenters should focus their content for the various roles in family child care, such as:

    • family child care providers;
    • early Head Start community;
    • child nutrition community;
    • coaches, mentors, and trainers;
    • family child care networks; and/or
    • state agencies.

Many conference attendees have a strong background in family child care and programs, so advanced level workshops are encouraged, as are Spanish speaking presentations.

Submit Your Proposal

If you’re interested in submitting a workshop proposal, visit the NAFCC website. Proposals must be submitted by January 15, 2020. Click here to learn more.

*Information provided by the Pennsylvania Key

News

November 26, 2019

2020 Early Childhood Education Advocacy Fellowship

Trying Together invites early care and education professionals to apply to its 2020 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Advocacy Fellowship to strengthen their voice as an early childhood advocate. Online applications are being accepted now through Tuesday, December 31 at 11:59 p.m.

About

In this nine-month program, ECE Advocacy Fellows:

    • develop their role as a “change-maker”;
    • harness their leadership skills;
    • learn to use research-based communication strategies to build positive impact;
    • gain knowledge of public policy processes and key players, and their effect on their work; and
    • receive a stipend (along with their employer) for their time.

At this time, Trying Together offers the fellowship program at no cost to the participant and will provide lunch and snacks at each session. Travel stipends are available on a case-by-case basis.

Intended Audience

Trying Together’s ECE Advocacy Fellowship has been designed for professionals working in the early care and education field, including:

    • center administrators and teachers;
    • family child care providers;
    • school-age child care providers;
    • Head Start teachers;
    • pre-k teachers;
    • PK-4 teachers and principals;
    • home visitors;
    • trainers;
    • professors of higher education; and
    • child care resource and referral professionals.

Session Details

From January–September 2020, Fellows will meet as a group on the last Tuesday of each month (tentatively) from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Dates are subject to change but will be finalized in January 2020. Participants should expect an additional two to four hours of work every month. We recognize that conflicts may arise unexpectedly, but each participant should plan to participate in all program activities if accepted into the Fellowship.

At each workshop, an informed early childhood, public policy, or community leader will facilitate, drawing on information from regional or national experts to share the latest news, research, and strategies to improve early childhood public policy. Workshops will include opportunities for networking, professional growth, and community development.

Application Details

Online applications are being accepted now through Tuesday, December 31 at 11:59 p.m. Our selection committee seeks to admit an evenly balanced cohort with regard to geography, diversity, experience, interest, etc. All participants will be notified by the first week of January 2020.

To apply, visit the ECE Advocacy Fellowship page.

More Information

For more information about our public policy efforts at Trying Together, contact Cristina Codario by email at cristina@tryingtogether.org or by calling 412.567.3673.

News

October 1, 2019

Enrolling and Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness

Join the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement on October 1 for their upcoming webinar, “Enrolling and Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness: Conversations with Families about Living Experiences and Housing Goals.”

About

Staff in Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care programs are often in a position to have talks with families about their living situation. They can use the definition of homelessness included in the McKinney-Vento Act as a blueprint for providing information and support to families.

In this webinar, develop a shared understanding of McKinney-Vento definition and common terms as they appear in regulation and practice. Learn how relationship building and exemplary practices are key when in engaging in sensitive conversations with families.

This is the first webinar in the Enrolling and Supporting Families Experiencing Homelessness Webinar Series.

Register

To register and learn more, visit the event webpage!

*Information provided by ECLKC