News

June 5, 2020

Growing Together: Lunch & Learn Series

Join the Women & Girls Foundation, Pathways PA, and MomsRising on Fridays at noon for a “lunch and learn” series to discuss how families are adapting, how communities can come together to support each other during this time, and what resources are available to help families thrive.

About

Every week presenters will discuss a hot topic for working people and families, including paid leave, eldercare, parenting young kids, and more. Stop by to connect to resources, ask questions, meet others, and share what you’re experiencing.

Registration

To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.

News

January 28, 2020

Study Opportunity: Parents Promoting Early Learning

Parents of four-year-old children are invited to participate in a new University of Pittsburgh study named, “Parents Promoting Early Learning.” Compensation provided.

About

Parents Promoting Early Learning studies how parents and their four-year-old children interact and how such interactions help prepare the child for school. Study participants will be compensated and must complete:

    • two visits, hosted at the participant’s home or at a University of Pittsburgh office, where the parent and child complete games and assessments,
    • questionnaires and interviews about the child’s development and activities, and
    • a one-year follow-up visit for more games and assessments.

Requirements

    • Child is age four (or almost four)
    • Parent must participate
    • Both parent and child identify as either African American or White
    • Both parent and child are fluent in English
    • Child has never been diagnosed with a disability

More Information

For more information, call 412.204.6845, email ppel@pitt.edu, or visit the research study webpage.

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News

August 5, 2019

For Children’s Long-Term Success, Families Need Paid Leave

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.

Early Interactions Matter

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.

Current Policy

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.

The Family Care Act

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:

    • Up to 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
    • Up to 12 weeks to care for a covered service member as covered under FMLA
    • Up to 20 weeks to care for their own serious health condition
    • Up to 20 weeks to care for a new child after a birth, adoption, or placement through foster care

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.

Take Action

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.

News

July 3, 2019

Paid Opportunity: Baby Brain Emotion Study

Are you the mother/caregiver of an infant age 0-3 months? If so, you and your baby may be able to participate in a Pitt+Me research study to help learn more about the ways in which infants’ emotions are connected to areas of the brain and how parenting behaviors might affect these connections.

About

The purpose of this study is to help researchers learn more about the ways in which infants’ emotions are connected to areas of the brain and how parenting behaviors might affect these connections. Researchers hope their findings will lead to a better understanding of emotional challenges in children in the future. Compensation provided.

Study Eligibility

  • Infant aged 0-3 months old
  • Infant was born full-term (at least 37 weeks)
  • Infant’s birth weight was more than 5.5 pounds
  • Infant has not been in the hospital for any physical health issues, including neurological
  • Infant does not have any metal in their body
  • Mother/Caregiver did not use illicit substances during pregnancy and is not using them now
  • Mother/Caregiver spends at least 2 hours per day caring for the infant

Learn More

For more information and to participate, visit the study webpage.

*Information provided by Pitt+Me

News

March 27, 2019

P.R.I.D.E. Seeks Early Educators & Artists for Upcoming Art Festivals

Recently, the Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education program (P.R.I.D.E.) announced a call for submissions to Pittsburgh-based early childhood educators and Africana artists for the P.R.I.D.E. Pop Up Mini Art Festivals.

About the Festivals

Modeled after children’s activities offered during the popular Harambee || Black Arts Festivals, P.R.I.D.E. Pop Ups are small, half-day, outdoor art festivals hosted in three Pittsburgh communities: East Liberty, Homewood, and the Hill District. At the festivals, artists and educators engage young children (ages 3 to 8) and their families in hands-on activities. The goal is for adults to use art activities to teach children about their race and culture while building their positive racial identity.

To see important dates and learn more, visit the P.R.I.D.E. website.

Who Can Apply

This call for submissions is open to early educators teaching grades Pre-K to 3rd grade and Africana artists working in the following disciplines: Literature, Performing Arts, Visual Arts & Crafts, and/or Multidisciplinary Arts. Applications are open to early childhood educators from all neighborhoods, schools, and child care settings, including public, private, charter, etc. Educators working in East Liberty, Homewood, and Hill District schools/settings are highly encouraged to apply.

Participating educators and artists will receive the following compensation:

  • Educator and Artist Cross-Training Compensation: $275
  • Educator and Artist Festival Participation Compensation: $260 per event ($780 total)
  • End-of-Project Focus Group Participation Compensation: $25
  • Artist Material Stipend: $400

Application & Deadlines

If you’re interested in applying or signing up as a volunteer, please visit the P.R.I.D.E. website.

All applications must be submitted by Friday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m.

About P.R.I.D.E.

As a part of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Office of Child Development, P.R.I.D.E. is a multifaceted program designed to help young African American children (ages 3 to 8) develop a positive racial identity, support teachers and parents by building their racial knowledge, and raise awareness of the impact of race on young children. The program provides a range of services, such as training opportunities for educators and artists, Parent Village sessions for Black children, and art festivals created to immerse young Black children in a space designed to celebrate them.

See the P.R.I.D.E. Pop Up Mini Art Festivals flyer. 

*Information provided by the P.R.I.D.E. Program

News

November 3, 2018

Community Health Advocate Training Program for Fathers

The Community Health Advocate Training Program is a three-week training, one Saturday per week, that will prepare you to make lasting change in the health of families and communities! Take this opportunity to learn more about advocacy and community engagement, gain skills in self-care to help you be at your best to care for your family, and learn how to use your own experiences to make changes in your community.

You will receive:

  • 25 hours of paid training
  • Free meals and child care during the training
  • A netbook – yours to keep after the training

This program runs from November 3 – November 17. Space is limited. For more information, contact Shannon Lawhorn at (412) 723-1342.

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