March 1, 2022

Apply: PA ECE Provider Advisory Board

The Start Strong PA and Pre-K for PA Campaigns are seeking out early childhood professionals to apply to participate as a lead advocate in their region by serving on the first statewide Start Strong PA and Pre-K for PA Provider Advisory Board.

About the Provider Advisory Board

The advisory board will be composed of 30 early childhood professionals from across the state, working in diverse roles in all setting types. Participants will have:

  • an opportunity to elevate the voices of early childhood professionals by providing the field’s professionals with a consistent platform for policy updates and advocacy opportunities;

  • a space to identify the diverse needs of the early childhood workforce through a consistent feedback loop of what they are experiencing in the field;

  • free access to consistent advocacy related professional development, leadership development, and growth opportunities;

  • a chance to create equity driven strategies and connect practice to inform policy recommendations that support the needs of all providers, children, and families in Pennsylvania;

  • and opportunities to strengthen connections with community partners.

The advisory board will meet virtually once a month beginning in April 2022. All participants will be compensated for their time.


The application period will be from March 1 to March 28, 2022. Providers can apply online. Applicants will be notified of their application status via email the first week of April.

Share this flyer with your networks.


February 23, 2022

Early Childhood Education in Pennsylvania – Barriers & Opportunities

Join Teach Plus PA and Start Strong PA on February 23 at 5 p.m. to learn from an engaging panel of early childhood educators, policy experts and advocates. The panel will discuss:

  • How does high-quality early childhood education connect to educational equity?
  • What are the barriers to accessible, high-quality child care and pre-k in PA?
  • What policy solutions can overcome these barriers?
  • What role can federal and state policymakers play in finding solutions?

Register online.




February 10, 2022

2022-23 Pennsylvania Budget Proposal Response

On February 8, 2022, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released the 2022-23 state budget proposal.

The principal partners of Early Learning Pennsylvania (ELPA), a statewide coalition of advocates focused on supporting young Pennsylvanians from birth to age five, are pleased with proposed investments in pre-k, evidence-based home visiting, and perinatal and child health. However, the proposal fails to adequately invest in child care.

ELPA operates four issue-based advocacy campaigns: Pre-K for PA, Start Strong PA, Childhood Begins at Home, and Thriving PA

Governor Wolf’s state budget proposal included:


  • $60 million in additional funding for the state’s Pre-K Counts program. 
  • $10 million in additional funding for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.

Together, this $70 million expansion could serve approximately 2,300 additional young children. 

In a press release, ELPA states, “This funding continues the Commonwealth’s tradition and Governor Wolf’s unwavering commitment of expanding access to high-quality pre-k. This $70 million proposed expansion could provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to more than 2,300 additional young learners.

“Research shows that high-quality pre-k benefits children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development and confirms the Commonwealth’s investment in pre-k pays dividends for the children fortunate enough to access it. This investment is not only essential for our children, but high-quality early education supports labor force participation, healthy families, and a globally competitive workforce of the future. By increasing pre-k access and opening the door to more families, our economic recovery reaps the benefits.”

Child Care

  • Level funding for the state Child Care Assistance and Child Care Services line items.
  • $77.7 million in federal funding to sustain child care subsidy base rates.
  • $44.3 million in federal funding to sustain the reduction in out-of-pocket family co-payments.
  • $6.1 million in federal child care funding to sustain the incentive for providing non-traditional hour care.
  • $30 million in state funding to provide state employees with increased access to and affordability of child care through the Department of General Services.

“The Wolf Administration’s budget proposal is an inadequate response to the current child care crisis and misses an important opportunity to help working families in search of affordable high-quality care,” ELPA representatives stated. “Furthermore, failure to fully stabilize the child care sector jeopardizes the efforts of Pennsylvania businesses trying to rehire their labor force. Child care programs are closing classrooms and entire facilities due to teacher and staff shortages. Child care staff are overworked and underpaid with the average child care teacher making less than $11 per hour.” 

While the budget proposal does utilize federal funds, ELPA believes it is not sufficient in light of flat funding for Pennsylvania’s Child Care Services and Child Care Assistance line items for the third consecutive year.  

Start Strong PA is urging state policymakers to allocate a portion of the projected year-end surplus of $2.8 billion to address staff recruitment and retention, and increase access to quality care for working families, specifically for infants and toddlers.

 Home Visiting

  • $15 million in additional funding for evidence-based home visiting in the Community-Based Family Center line item (this will serve an additional 3,800 pregnant women, children, and families), as well as $8 million in one-time federal stimulus funds specified for home visiting.

“Following two years of level funding, the [Childhood Begins at Home] campaign is pleased to see Governor Wolf’s proposed investment restarts his commitment to increasing service levels beyond the 5% of Pennsylvania families currently served,” ELPA stated. 

Perinatal and Child Health

  • Funding allocated for postpartum coverage extension for women in Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months.
  • $11.5 million in increased funding for the Early Intervention Part C (infant and toddler) program through DHS, with $1.2 million allocated for children eligible for tracking when their mothers have a positive screen for postpartum depression or anxiety.
  • Level-funding for the Part B Early Intervention program (age three to five) offered through PDE.

ELPA stated, “Medicaid is a significant source of insurance for Pennsylvania women and birthing individuals— especially for women of color— so expanding coverage to a full year postpartum is a vital step towards closing racial and health disparities.    

“Additionally, we must ensure all children from birth through age five with developmental delays are identified, referred to, and accepted for the services they need to reach their fullest potential.” 

More Information

Read ELPA’s full budget response statement for details. The Pittsburgh-based early childhood nonprofit Trying Together and other partners of ELPA will continue to advocate for these investments as the budget process continues. Stay up-to-date on how to advocate for these issues by signing-up to support Trying Together’s public policy agenda.


October 12, 2021

Working Together for Child Care in 2021

Join Pre-K for PA and Start Strong PA Partners to discuss child care and pre-k state budget advocacy and federal opportunities.

Event Details

Tuesday, October 12
11 a.m. | Register for the Zoom webinar

Topics include:

  • state budget advocacy for pre-k and child care
  • federal pandemic relief opportunities for child care
  • new federal early childhood education proposals

Speakers will include:

  • Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Pennsylvania Child Care Association
  • Pennsylvania Head Start Association
  • First Up: Champions for Early Education
  • Trying Together


October 7, 2021

Pittsburgh Child Care Career Openings

Are you looking for open child care positions? Early learning programs in the Greater Pittsburgh Area are hiring! See this week’s featured jobs.



Child Care Positions in Pittsburgh


Early Childhood Educator

Angels’ Place, Inc. is seeking a full-time Early Childhood Education Lead Teacher for their location in Swissvale. Angels’ Place is a non-profit family support organization serving single, full-time student and working parents and their children. The ideal candidate would have an associate’s degree or higher in ECE and experience working with at-risk families. Salary commensurate with education and experience.

Early Childhood Assistant (EAIIA)

Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Program is seeking an Early Childhood Assistant to support the classroom teacher in carrying out an educational program preparing children for school readiness. Candidates must hold an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree (any content area) or current Preschool CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential. Experience in working with early childhood (preschool) students is preferred. City of Pittsburgh residency required.

    • Apply: To apply, visit the Pittsburgh Public Schools website, click “Apply Now,” and create an account. This position is listed under Central Office and School Based Support.

Lead Pre-K Teachers

Hilltop Community Children’s Center is looking for two Lead Pre-K Teachers. A Pre-K teaching certification is required.



Submit a Job

Each week, Trying Together highlights employer-submitted jobs on our website, social media, and in our newsletter.

All jobs submitted after Tuesday each week will be published in the following week’s news post. Publication dates may vary due to state and federal holidays. Unrelated jobs will not be included.

For questions, contact Kara Bayer at



Other Jobs in Early Childhood


ECE Hire

Visit the ECE Hire website to view early childhood education job listings and helpful tips on interviewing, resumes, and more.

Submit a Job to PACCA

Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) offers a Job Board for its members to post jobs for free and sends out submitted jobs via their Facebook page and e-newsletter. PACCA members can submit jobs online after signing into their membership account. For questions, contact Maureen Murphy at



Receive Jobs in Your Inbox

To receive the latest job opportunities, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook.


September 27, 2021

Supporting Early Childhood Educators through Deductions (SEED) Act

Representatives Conor Lamb (PA-17), Tom Reed (NY-23), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Jackie Walorski (IN-02) have introduced the bipartisan The Supporting Early-Childhood Educators through Deductions (SEED) Act to allow early childhood educators to claim the existing above-the-line $250 tax deduction for K-12 teachers.

About the SEED Act

The deduction would help pre-K teachers defray the cost of providing supplies for their classrooms, whether they itemize or take the standard deduction.

“The work that pre-K teachers do is critical to starting kids off on the right foot and Congress needs to ensure that all teachers have the tools they need to support their students,” said Lamb in a press release.  “Pre-K teachers should be focused on their work in the classroom, they shouldn’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs for materials and supplies.”

This legislation would make early educators who purchase supplies with their own money eligible for the $250 teacher tax deduction, reducing their tax liability when they provide school supplies for their students.

According to the release, studies have shown that teachers spent an average of $530 of their own money in the classroom.  In 2002, Congress created an above-the-line educator expense deduction to allow qualifying K-12 teachers and other eligible educators such as counselors and principals to deduct up to $250 of expenses incurred for books, supplies, and other supplementary materials.  Pre-K teachers are not covered by the educator expense deduction currently, although they earn significantly less than their peers who teach in the K-12 system.

Additionally, teachers in high-poverty schools spent nearly 40 percent more than their peers elsewhere, with one in 10 spending $1,000 or more.  In some cases, educators in low-income districts buy clothing and personal hygiene products, in addition to school supplies, for kids who are especially in need.

The SEED Act is endorsed by Trying Together, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC), Pennsylvania Head Start Association (PHSA), Teach For America, First Five Years Fund, Allegheny County Department of Children Initiatives, A Plus Schools, Boys & Girls Club of Western PA, Asset Inc., the Latino Community Center Pittsburgh , United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh, and Allies for Children.

More Information

Read the press release or visit Lamb’s website for more information on the SEED Act.


June 28, 2021

Early Learning Pennsylvania Response to 2021-22 State Budget

The principal partners of Early Learning Pennsylvania (ELPA), a statewide coalition of advocates focused on supporting young Pennsylvanians from birth to age five, believes the Commonwealth’s economic recovery hinges on helping working families by prioritizing greater state investments in high-quality pre-k, child care and evidence-based home visiting. ELPA operates four issue-based advocacy campaigns: Pre-K for PA, Start Strong PA, Childhood Begins at Home, and Thriving PA. Reaction statements from three of these campaigns regarding the FY 2021-22 state budget follow:


“Pre-K for PA applauds the $25 million in new state funding for Pre-K Counts and $5 million for Head Start Supplemental Assistance as part of the 2021-22 PA State Budget. This funding continues the commonwealth’s tradition of expanding access to high-quality pre-k – providing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to more than 3,200 additional young learners. 

“Research shows that high-quality pre-k benefits children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. A new study by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill confirmed that the commonwealth’s investment in pre-k pays dividends for the children fortunate enough to access pre-k through the Pre-K Counts program. In language and math skills, the study showed that these kids outperformed their kindergarten peers who did not enjoy access—an advantage that equated to four to five months of learning gains. Even with this budget increase, more than 100,000 eligible three- and four-year-olds still lack access to high-quality pre-k.”

Child Care

“The General Assembly and the Wolf Administration unfortunately missed the opportunity to prioritize families who are struggling to return to work. Ignoring recommendations developed with input from over 1,000 child care providers and parents, Pennsylvania’s elected leadership has fallen significantly short on ensuring American Rescue Plan child care funds are used to help families find and afford high-quality child care and to stabilize the industry.

“Given that 70% of Pennsylvania children under the age of five had all adults in their household in the labor force prior to the pandemic, high-quality child care is an essential workforce support. That workforce must be able to return to work for Pennsylvania to recover from the pandemic’s economic devastation.  

“We now call on the Wolf Administration to prioritize and implement our recommendations for Pennsylvania’s $1.2 billion in American Rescue Plan child care funding. With nearly 700 child care programs permanently closed and over 350 temporarily closed, families are struggling to find child care. Those child care providers that have managed to stay open are still incurring additional pandemic-related costs while operating significantly under capacity and are struggling to attract and retain teachers.

“Not only is there less child care capacity in the system, only 42% of certified child care capacity currently meets high-quality standards. And only 39% of infants and toddlers that receive subsidized care attend programs that have met high-quality standards. High-quality care and education mean safer, healthier children and are critical to maximizing the period of a child’s most rapid brain growth. 

 “Start Strong PA’s recommendations for American Rescue Plan child care funding will stabilize, strengthen and ultimately secure the child care industry. This industry is critical to the success of our economic recovery.”

Evidence-Based Home Visiting

“On behalf of the pregnant women, children, and families who would benefit the most from evidence-based home visiting – especially those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – Childhood Begins at Home is dismayed that there is no increase in the state budget for these voluntary services backed by decades of research.

“Without funding increases to reach more Pennsylvania families, the unmet need remains at a staggering 95%. The Community-Based Family Centers line will be level-funded, and the Nurse-Family Partnership line will receive a minimal increase to restore the line to its prior level due to a slight reduction resulting from the state using enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding last year.

“Throughout budget negotiations, policymakers emphasized the infusion of federal stimulus dollars to inform state spending decisions. Of the total amount of one-time state funds Pennsylvania received from the American Rescue Plan ($7.3 billion), home visiting gets less than .02% (or a paltry $1.3 million) through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. This funding has yet to be distributed to programs that received no aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is limited in its use and timeframe to spend these dollars.

“Only pennies on the dollar for evidence-based home visiting are coming in federally. It adds insult to injury that policymakers in the legislative and administrative branches did not step up and recognize constituents would benefit from the same services that have been a lifeline for so many during the last 15 months.  

“While states’ use of the ARP funds is flexible, the federal stimulus funding for evidence-based home visiting would not even reach one family in each of Pennsylvania’s 253 legislative districts.

“From birth to age five, brain growth is rapid, learning is happening, and our coalition of advocates is committed to ensuring that families can access it in high-quality, developmentally appropriate settings. In Pennsylvania, funding has not been prioritized to ensure the resources are there to offer these irreplaceable opportunities, creating deep inequity among children and their families at a very early age. We, and our tens of thousands of supporters, will continue to urge lawmakers to invest in early learning boldly – it is an urgent necessity.”

About Early Learning Pennsylvania Initiatives

Pre-K for PA launched in 2014 with the vision that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k. Learn more on the Pre-K for PA website.

 Start Strong PA launched in 2019 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 on the Start Strong PA website

Childhood Begins At Home is a statewide campaign to help policymakers and the public understand the value of evidence-based home visiting and support public investments in the programs.  Learn more on the Childhood Begins at Home website


February 4, 2021

2021-22 Pennsylvania Budget Proposal Response

On February 3, during his 2021-22 budget proposal address, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf put an emphasis on Pennsylvania families.

As a member of Early Learning Pennsylvania (ELPA), a statewide coalition of advocates focused on supporting young Pennsylvanians from birth to age five, Trying Together commends the governor’s continued commitment to growing state funding for pre-k. However, additional effort is needed to boost the availability of quality child care and home visiting services that are essential to Pennsylvania’s working families and our economic recovery.

ELPA operates three issue-based advocacy campaigns: Pre-K for PA, Start Strong PA, and Childhood Begins at Home.

Governor Wolf’s state budget proposal included:


  • $25 million in additional funding for the state’s Pre-K Counts program.
  • $5 million in additional funding for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. Together, this $30 million expansion would serve approximately 3,270 additional young children. Currently, more than 106,000 eligible three- and four-year-old children do not have access to high-quality publicly funded pre-k programs.

In a press release, ELPA states, “During a difficult budget year, Governor Wolf deserves credit for his continued support of expanded access to publicly funded, high-quality pre-k in PA. The $30 million funding increase for these programs in the proposed 2021-22 PA budget ($25 million for Pre-K Counts; $5 million for Head Start State Supplemental Assistance Program) continues the tradition of expanding this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to thousands more three- and four-year-olds.

“A new study by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill confirmed that the Commonwealth’s investment in pre-k is paying dividends for the children fortunate enough to access pre-k through Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts program. In language and math skills, the study showed that these kids outperformed their kindergarten peers who did not enjoy access – an advantage that equated to four to five months of learning gains, which is a substantial difference in development at that age and a meaningful advantage during the COVID-19 era.”

Child Care

  • $87 million in existing federal child care funds to increase child care base rates.

Base rates for CCW reimbursements will be increased to the 40th percentile of the market rate for child care in the provider’s region, up from approximately the 25th percentile where most of Pennsylvania’s child care providers currently sit. This change brings Pennsylvania closer to the federal government’s recommendation of reimbursing at the 75th percentile.

Trying Together and the ELPA campaigns commend the Wolf administration for this proposed change, however, the child care industry needs an additional boost.

“Pennsylvania’s working families struggled to find and afford high-quality child care prior to the pandemic. Today’s economic downturn has only exacerbated this problem,” the ELPA press release states. “Start Strong PA urges Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to address these child care needs by quickly utilizing federal funds to serve 3,000 additional eligible infants and toddlers in high-quality slots through contracts, which provides greater financial stability to providers.”

Evidence-based Home Visiting

  • Level funding for home visiting.

The current public health crisis, isolation, stress, and unemployment have made home visiting more essential than ever. Trying Together and the ELPA campaigns hope to work collaboratively with the administration and legislature to expand evidence-based home visiting services to match that commitment with the resources to make it a reality.

We will advocate for these investments as the budget process continues. Stay up-to-date on how to advocate for these issues by signing-up to support Trying Together’s public policy agenda.



November 25, 2020

Research Study for Pre-k Classroom Teachers

Are you a teacher currently working in a pre-k classroom in Pennsylvania? If so, participate in the “Social and Emotional Learning in Pre-K Programs” research study conducted by Cynthia Speer, a Ph.D. Candidate at Waynesburg University.


The purpose of this proposed study is to sample educators from both public and private pre-k programs in Pennsylvania to ascertain information regarding their perception of and experiences with social and emotional learning (SEL).

Study participants will provide personal and school-based demographic information and complete a survey of social and emotional learning (SEL) perception and experiences. Completing these surveys will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. All responses will remain anonymous and no identifying personal information (such as name, email address, or IP address) will be collected.

Sign Up To Participate

If you are interested in signing up as a participant, complete this online form.

More Information

For questions regarding the research, contact Cynthia Speer at or 412.952.4469. For information regarding rights as a research subject, contact Dissertation Committee Chair, Dr. Michelle Steimer at or 412.722.7602.


November 24, 2020

ECE Job Openings: 11/26 – 12/2

Are you looking to start or transition your career in the early childhood field? You’re in luck! Early learning programs in Pennsylvania are currently looking to fill positions. To view this week’s featured job descriptions, see the list below.

Featured Jobs

Education Program Supervisor

 The Children’s Home is seeking a Full-Time Education Program Supervisor for Child’s Way, a child care center for medically fragile children. This professional will be responsible for the supervision of all educational activities led by the teachers and will be a resource for teachers as well as families. This professional will also be responsible for ensuring that developmentally appropriate programming is provided for children, optimizing their growth and development.

To apply, complete the online application.

Infant and Toddler Teacher

Love, Learn, and Play is looking to hire an Infant and Toddler Teacher who is able to work Monday through Friday. This professional will be responsible for coordinating the curriculum and managing a fun classroom.

To apply, email


Submit a Job Description

Each week, Trying Together publishes a news post that features employer-submitted job positions from early learning programs across Pennsylvania. Trying Together shares these posts online through our website, social media channels, and newsletter. To make it into next week’s post, please submit the Child Care Provider Job Post Submission Form no later than Tuesday, December 1.

This form is intended for positions in the early childhood field. Job descriptions not related to the early childhood field will not be included. All job descriptions submitted after December 1 will be published in the next week’s news post. Please note that news post publication dates may vary due to state and federal holidays. For questions, contact Lainey Yockey at



Search Additional Jobs

Are you interested in starting or shifting your career in early childhood care and education? Visit the ECE Hire website or sign up for their weekly newsletter for current job listings and helpful tips on interviewing, resumes, and more. To stay up to date on our featured positions and more, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.