February 6, 2023

2023 Allegheny County Legislative Forum on Education

Join the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) for this annual panel discussion with state legislators on an array of issues affecting public education in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania.

Event Details

Thursday, March 23 | 7 – 9 p.m.

Allegheny Intermediate Unit – Central Office
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120


Learn More

The event will feature a discussion with state lawmakers on a variety of issues impacting public schools.  The conversation will be moderated by KDKA-TV reporter Jon Delano.

A remote attendance option is available. (If you select the remote attendance option, a link will be emailed to you within 24 hours before the event.)


December 16, 2020

Preparing for ECE Advocacy in 2021

Are you interested in learning about newly elected state legislators, the budget process, and forthcoming policy agenda priorities? Join Trying Together on January 20 for our free virtual workshop, “Connections and Conversations: Preparing for ECE Advocacy in 2021.”


Connections and Conversations Virtual Check-Ins are interactive sessions that highlight topics of interest to the field of early childhood education. This conversation will focus on preparing professionals to advocate for early childhood education (ECE) investments and policy priorities in the new year.

Instructors will discuss newly elected state legislators in our region and how to best inform them about the needs of the early learning field. The instructor will also provide foundational knowledge on the beginning stages of the budget process – the Governor’s budget address. Finally, the instructor will discuss forthcoming policy agenda priorities and how participants can be more involved as advocates for their profession.

Session Details

    • Session Date: Wednesday, January 20  |  6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    • Instructors: Emily Neff
    • Core Knowledge Area: Professional and Leadership
    • CDA Content Area: Maintaining Professionalism
    • Registration Deadline: Monday, January 18, 2021


To register, visit the course PD Registry page. Space is limited. Participants will receive the course Zoom link via email within 24 hours before the start date for the course. PQAS credit will be available.

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 for more information.

Session Rules and Guidelines

These virtual discussions are designed to provide educators the opportunity to grow professionally and share knowledge on early childhood topics. During the meeting, participants should follow the guidelines below to ensure a successful virtual meeting for all participants.

    • Please allow all participants a chance to speak. Listen respectfully and actively.
    • Commit to learning about each other, not to debating the topic.
    • Embrace differences of opinion as healthy and support each person’s authentic self-expression.
    • Participants will be muted for the beginning portion of the session.
    • Participants may use the “Raise Hand” feature in Zoom to request an opportunity to comment or ask a question. Individuals will be temporarily unmuted by the moderator.
    • Participants may type a comment or question in the Chat or may send comments or questions directly to the moderator for them to share.
    • To receive PQAS credit, you must complete an evaluation at the end of the session and include your PD Registry number.
    • Have fun, make connections, and engage in the conversations!

More Information

For questions or more information, contact Jasmine Davis at


October 22, 2019

Webinar Available | Meeting the Requirements of CPSL

In response to changes to the child abuse clearances required of child care providers, the Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) partnered with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to conduct the webinar, “Meeting the Requirements of CPSL: Ensuring the Safety of all Children in Care throughout PA.”


Due to high demand, PACCA posted a recording of their live webinar that was hosted on October 9, 2019. Featuring Tanya Vazquez and Diane Michel from OCDEL’s Bureau of Certification, the webinar discusses changes in Child Protective Services Legislation (CPSL).

Webinar Topics

Webinar topics include:

    • requiring the National Sex Offender Registry verification certificate (NSOR),
    • requiring individuals who have resided outside of Pennsylvania within the past five years to provide clearances from their previous state(s) of residency,
    • and changes to clearance requirements for volunteers and individuals with an ownership interest in regulated child care.

Watch the recording or visit their page to learn more.

More Information

For questions, contact your Regional Office of Child Development and Early Learning:

    • Central Region: 717.772.7078 or 800.222.2117
    • Northeast Region: 570.963.4371 or 800.222.2108
    • Southeast Region: 215.560.2541 or 800.346.2929
    • Western Region: 412.565.5183 or 800.222.2149


October 18, 2019

ACF Seeks Input On Improving Quality Child Care Access

On October 2, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) posted a Request for Information (RFI) on improving access to affordable, high-quality child care in the United States.


ACF is focused on finding innovative solutions to improve working families’ access to affordable, high quality child care, as well as investigating how access to child care affects America’s workforce, present, and future. Child care is one of the biggest expenses a family faces and can be a barrier to work. The average cost of center-based infant child care in 28 states is more than college tuition.

At the same time, there is concern about the quality of child care and ensuring that child care settings are a place of education that promote and enhance child and youth development and well-being. High-quality child care is a critical investment that pays off now, for parents by enabling them to work, and later, by supporting children’s development and success in school and life. This request for information seeks public comment on innovative ways to address the affordability and access crisis of child care in the U.S., without compromising on quality.

Information collected through this RFI may be used by ACF in the development of future rulemaking and technical assistance, the formation of legislative proposals and research agenda, and/or strategic planning. To learn more, visit the RFI page.

Intended Audience and Stakeholders

AFI is looking to receive input from a wide range of stakeholders, including, but not limited to, parents who use child care; parents of children with disabilities; small child care businesses; employers; state and local chambers of commerce; foundations; faith-based and other community organizations; family child care networks; child care resource and referral agencies; universities and other institutions of higher education; child care workforce development organizations, etc.

RFI Topics

    • Building Supply of Child Care
    • Improving Child Care Regulations
    • Cultivating the Child Care Workforce
    • Developing Better Child Care Business Models
    • Transforming Financing of Child Care and Early Education Programs

Submit Your Comment

To submit a comment, visit the RFI page. All comments must be submitted by December 2, 2019.

*Information provided by the Administration of Children and Families


April 15, 2019

Sign-On to Support Families Impacted by Postpartum Depression

Understanding the Need

Postpartum depression can strike any new mother. Research shows that approximately 15 percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. In Pennsylvania, this means about 21,000 infants and moms are affected each year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that when a mother suffers from postpartum depression, both mothers and babies experience negative effects, including:

  • adverse effects on the baby’s brain and development,
  • increased danger of child abuse and neglect, and
  • increased medical care costs.

Will you sign-on to support Pennsylvania’s mothers and infants?

What is #StrongMomStrongBaby?

#StrongMomStrongBaby is a statewide effort to amend the existing early intervention law (Act 212 of 1990) to add postpartum depression as an at-risk condition allowing infants to undergo assessments, parents to receive assistance in bonding with their babies, and if needed, Early Intervention services to ensure moms and babies have the best start together.

To learn more and stay up-to-date, follow the campaign’s Facebook page.

Take Action

Show your support for Pennsylvania’s mothers and infants by adding your name to the #StrongMomStrongBaby petition.


February 26, 2019

Councilperson Strassburger Introduces Legislation to Combat Pregnancy Discrimination

Today, Pittsburgh City Councilperson Erika Strassburger announced the introduction of legislation to safeguard employment protections for pregnant employees, individuals seeking to become pregnant, and their partners. In addition, the City of Pittsburgh’s Commission on Human Relations released an accompanying Guidance Document to empower employers to take steps to prevent discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions and events.


Strassburger’s Statement

“Employees should not be forced to choose between their livelihood and their reproductive decisions. My legislation ensures that pregnant workers, regardless of whether they work in a corporate office, a retail store, or a warehouse, can work in a safe and comfortable environment, attend medical appointments, and sustain a healthy pregnancy without fear of losing their job or benefits,” said Councilperson Strassburger. “I encourage employers citywide to review the Guidance Document to help prevent pregnancy-based discrimination from ever occurring.”

Details and Impact

Councilperson Strassburger’s legislation would explicitly prohibit employment discrimination against pregnant individuals, those seeking to become pregnant, and their partners before, during, and after the nine-month gestation period and after childbirth. This change to the City Code may require employers to provide reasonable modifications to employees’ workspaces and offer justifiable flexibility in scheduling to allow employees and their partners to attend procedures, tests, and other appointments associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. A copy of the legislation is available here.

With this change, Pittsburgh would become one of the first jurisdictions nationwide to clearly safeguard employment protections for the partners of pregnant employees. Additionally, the legislation would make Pittsburgh one of few cities to guarantee employment protections for related events that occur before, during, and after gestation and after childbirth.


View the entire press release here.


Those who feel they may have been treated unfairly are encouraged to call the Commission on Human Relations (CHR) at 412-255-2600 or visit for more information. The CHR also offers free training and resources for employers.


February 8, 2019

Start Strong PA Encouraged by Calls for Increased State Investments


Start Strong PA observed the 2019-20 PA budget as an important down payment to ensure all infants and toddlers learn, grow, and succeed. The following statement was issued by the ten principal partners leading Start Strong PA, a campaign to ensure that children across the state can access affordable, high-quality child care programs during the most critical period of brain development, the first three years of life:

Statement on the Budget

“We are pleased Governor Wolf’s budget provides a plan for spending $101 million in federal child care dollars that will help Pennsylvania families who need high-quality child care for their children to thrive. Given the essential role that high-quality child care has to support Pennsylvania’s working families, we urge Pennsylvania policymakers to explore all options to allocate additional state resources to address the critical needs of our state’s early childhood system that limit access and affordability.

Two elements of Governor Wolf’s budget proposal closely align with the campaign’s goals, including: a $15 million allocation to remove approximately 970 infants and toddlers from the subsidy waitlist and move them into programs that will elevate their potential; and a roughly $10 million allocation that will help to reinforce program stability and consistent staff-child relationships by increasing quality add-on rates for infants and toddlers by 28% for STAR 2, 3, and 4 programs.

In addition, the Governor’s proposal includes a $2 million allocation to support early childhood career pathways which acknowledges that children develop best when they have consistent teachers and relationships. The campaign believes this proposal will begin to address the significant need to attract and retain additional talented adults to become early childhood educators. Furthermore, an allocation of approximately $74 million would increase rates to support the move to a $12 per hour minimum wage in Pennsylvania.

The Governor’s proposals use federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars. Start Strong PA campaign partners believe that these increased investments demonstrate the bipartisan support for ensuring our youngest children have what they need to thrive, while supporting the needs of our state’s workforce and education systems.” The Governor acknowledged the dual role of high-quality child care for children and families by saying, “We can get more kids off of waiting lists…and help more parents make their way into the workforce. Pennsylvania’s children deserve every chance to succeed.”

Reaction to the Governor’s Address

The importance of quality child care to the Commonwealth’s workforce was also raised by Senator Joe Scarnati in his reaction to the Governor’s address saying, “we have to focus on the families and we have to focus on their problems that stop them from getting to work.” Start Strong PA is urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to build on the proposed federal allocations, and invest additional state dollars to support the positive brain development of all infants and toddlers by addressing access and affordability issues.

What Does Start Strong PA Support?

Specifically, Start Strong PA supports:

1. Increased reimbursement rates for the highest quality STAR 3 and 4 programs serving infants and

toddlers to the full cost of quality;

2. Increased investments to support more STAR 2 providers to move to STAR 3 and 4 thereby increasing

high-quality capacity;

3. Increased investments in the child care workforce by adding slots for Rising STARS Tuition

Assistance and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarships, fully funding Education and Retention

Awards, and conducting a child care labor market survey.

“Our state is at a critical moment for determining the future of infants and toddlers in Pennsylvania. Legislators must build on last year’s momentum that acknowledges the role of state funds in our early childhood system. We call on legislators to use this year’s state budget to foster a better future for all children by providing them a solid educational foundation through access to high-quality child care that their families can afford.”

Budget Details

The 2019-20 proposed budget includes the following expanded investments to early learning:

● Allocation of $101 million in federal child care funds;

Increase in Pre-K Counts investment: $40 million;

Increase in Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program investment: $10 million;

● Increase in state funds for evidence-based home visiting: $5 million.

Start Strong PA is an initiative of Early Learning PA (ELPA), a statewide coalition of advocates focused on supporting young Pennsylvanians birth to age five (5). ELPA also advocates for expanding publicly funded Home Visiting services via the Childhood Begins at Home Campaign and access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k for income eligible children via the Pre-K for PA Campaign.

What is Start Strong PA?

Start Strong PA is an initiative of Early Learning PA. Through a statewide collaboration of partners, Start Strong PA aims to support healthy child development, working families, and the economy by increasing access to and affordability of high-quality child care programs for young children. Learn more at


Fight Crime: Invest in Kids | First Up | Mission: Readiness | Pennsylvania Association for The Education of Young Children | Pennsylvania Child Care Association | Pennsylvania Head Start Association | Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children | Public Citizens for Children and Youth | The United Way of Pennsylvania | Trying Together



June 12, 2018

Free Child Care Approved for City Employees

Mayor William Peduto will sign legislation approved June 12, 2018 by Pittsburgh City Council to provide free, on-site child care for city employees and those attending designated community events.

The legislation will cover the costs of child care at up 15 days per year that the Pittsburgh Public Schools have scheduled closure days but are City of Pittsburgh work days: such days could include in-service days, certain holidays and parent-teacher conference days. Child care on such days would be provided at the City-County Building.

Child care will also be provided at up to 20 citywide community events, such as Capital Budget hearings, as designated by the Mayor’s Office.

The services will be provided under a contract with Flexable LLC, a pop-up child care company, at a cost not to exceed $43,875. All Flexable caregivers have pediatric safety training and state-mandated clearances.

The Mayor submitted the child care legislation to Council on May 21. (shared via the Office of the Mayor)