News

September 29, 2020

Supporting Young Students with Remote Learning

Are you interested in learning tips from education experts on how to support children in remote and blended learning environments? Join Zoom and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) on October 7 and October 8, 2020 for their two-part Back-to-School webinar series designed for families and caregivers.

About

Session 1

Tips and Strategies for Families and Caregivers (K-12)
October 7, 2020  |  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

In this webinar, families and caregivers will learn key strategies for building a positive, effective home learning environment and implementing concrete tips to advocate for their learner’s needs. ISTE Certified Educators and Trainers Dr. Daisy Sam and Dr. Sonn Sam will lead this timely discussion as an effort to ensure a more successful, productive school year during these challenging times.

Session 2

Zoom Basics and Tips for Families and Caregivers (K-6)
October 8, 2020  |  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

In this webinar, Zoom experts will provide important tips to help support your child in remote and blended learning environments. Presenters will cover everything from platform basics and troubleshooting to remote learning soft skills to help them succeed as students. This session will be geared towards younger learners, primarily in grades K-6, however parents and caregivers of all ages are welcome to attend.

Registration

Both sessions will be broadcast in English with the option to listen to a live language interpretation in Spanish. Live American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will also be available. To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.

News

Supporting Young Students with Remote Learning

Are you interested in learning tips from education experts on how to support children in remote and blended learning environments? Join Zoom and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) on October 7 and October 8, 2020 for their two-part Back-to-School webinar series designed for families and caregivers.

About

Session 1

Tips and Strategies for Families and Caregivers (K-12)
October 7, 2020  |  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

In this webinar, families and caregivers will learn key strategies for building a positive, effective home learning environment and implementing concrete tips to advocate for their learner’s needs. ISTE Certified Educators and Trainers Dr. Daisy Sam and Dr. Sonn Sam will lead this timely discussion as an effort to ensure a more successful, productive school year during these challenging times.

Session 2

Zoom Basics and Tips for Families and Caregivers (K-6)
October 8, 2020  |  4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

In this webinar, Zoom experts will provide important tips to help support your child in remote and blended learning environments. Presenters will cover everything from platform basics and troubleshooting to remote learning soft skills to help them succeed as students. This session will be geared towards younger learners, primarily in grades K-6, however parents and caregivers of all ages are welcome to attend.

Registration

Both sessions will be broadcast in English with the option to listen to a live language interpretation in Spanish. Live American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will also be available. To register and learn more, visit the event webpage.

News

July 29, 2020

IEPs and the 2020-21 School Year: What Families Need to Know

Are you the parent or caregiver of a student with an IEP? Join the PEAL Center on August 11 for the webinar, “Students with IEPs and the 2020-21 School Year: What Families Need to Know.”

About

On August 11, Carole Clancy, Director of the Bureau of Special Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will join the PEAL Center for a live presentation to offer an overview of guidance being provided to schools regarding students with IEPs. Director Clancy will discuss the following:

    • COVID-19 compensatory services;
    • instructional days and hours;
    • the use of masks at schools; and
    • COVID-19’s impact on evaluation, re-evaluation, and delayed eligibility determinations.

Participants are encouraged to submit any questions they may have for the presenter in advance by completing this online form. Questions must be submitted no later than August 3, 2020.

Registration

This live event will be available on the PEAL Center Facebook page and will be recorded for those unable to attend. A webinar recording will be available on the Facebook event page after the session ends.

Training will be delivered in English, with Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL) translation available. Captioning in other languages is available if participants download the Microsoft Translator app.

More Information

For questions or more information, contact info@pealcenter.org or 1.866.950.1040.

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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

July 28, 2019

Response: Pennsylvania Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget

Recently, the state finalized the budget for fiscal year 2019-20, running now through June 30, 2020.

About

Alongside monumental increased investments for pre-k and home visiting, child care line items expanded, but only due to increases in funds from the federal government that are appropriated (or allowed to be spent) in the new state budget. Meanwhile, state child care dollars were cut by $36 million and replaced with federal funds.

While Trying Together is excited by the growth of pre-k and home visiting, this budget was a missed opportunity to support greater access to and affordability of high-quality child care. It is critical that our state policymakers know that the early childhood community is paying attention to their actions.

Detailed Budget Overview

Governor Wolf’s enacted budget includes the following:

Child Care
    • $6 million cut from the Child Care Services line item (replaced by federal funds).
    • $30 million cut from the Child Care Assistance line item (replaced by federal funds).
    • $27 million of federal dollars allocated to serve 970 additional infants and toddlers eligible for Child Care Works in high-quality programs; raise tiered reimbursement rates for STAR 2, 3, and 4 providers caring for infants and toddlers; and support apprenticeships for infant and toddler teachers.
Pre-K
    • $25 million increase for Pre-K Counts. This funding will also provide a rate increase of 2.95%, meaning approximately $250 more per child served over the prior rate.
    • $5 million increase for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program to serve more children.
Evidence-Based Home Visiting
    • $5 million increase for evidence-based home visiting programs to serve an additional 800 eligible families.

Why It’s Important

Today, only one-third of children on child care subsidy are accessing high-quality STAR 3 or 4 care. On average, families wait 88 days to access subsidies they need to join or remain in the workforce, with 4,300 children on the subsidy waiting list. However, child care subsidy reimbursements do not cover the cost of quality care. With this, child care staff are often paid low wages, with 50 percent of child care staff receiving public assistance.

We are pleased to see a waiting list initiative to serve more infants and toddlers in high-quality care and an increase in tiered reimbursement that will provide further program stability and consistency in teacher:child relationships. These are initiatives we and partners advocated for and strongly align with our Start Strong PA campaign goals.

Trying Together appreciates Governor Wolf’s continued commitment to early care and education programs in the commonwealth. With this, we recognize that countless families still lack access to high-quality early learning programs that they can afford. Trying Together will be doubling down on our advocacy for greater state and federal funding for child care.

Take Action

To support the work of early childhood and caregivers of young children, we participate in multiple campaigns, including Pre-K for PAStart Strong PA, and Childhood Begins at Home. However, the success of these advocacy efforts is only possible when the early childhood community is visible and heard by our elected officials.

Visit our Take Action page and take action on the campaigns that matter to you. By doing so, you can thank lawmakers for greater investments in pre-k and home visiting and let them know that you expect to see them restore and grow investments in high-quality child care.

To stay up-to-date on how to advocate for these issues, sign-up to receive public policy updates.

See the full budget history here.

News

May 9, 2019

Historic Increases for Early Learning & Development Programs

The House Appropriations Committee recently approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill for FY2020, which outlines funding for early care and learning programs critical to babies’ development. The first three years are a time in development unmatched by any other later point in life. But the recently released State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 reveals troubling early warning signs that too many young children face conditions that place their development – and our future – at risk.

About the Bill

The bill includes historic increases to key early learning and development programs that can help to reverse this path we have set for our future, including:

    • An increase of $2.4 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant;
    • $525 million increase in the set-aside for the expansion of Early Head Start, including through EHS-Child Care Partnerships;
    • Doubling of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program, to a total of $10 million; and
    • An increase of $21.3 million for Part C Early Intervention.

By laying the foundation today for 12 million infants and toddlers living in the U.S., we are investing in our society’s future.

Learn More

To learn more, see Zero to Three’s full statement.

*Information provided by Zero to Three

News

January 29, 2019

Looking Forward, Together

Can you believe it’s been one year since we changed our name to Trying Together?!

As I reflect on all that has changed, particularly in the last two years, I am encouraged by what has stood the test of time: our commitment to supporting the work of early childhood.

Through our collaborations with you, we are creating a future in which caregivers feel valued, children have access to high-quality early learning environments, and families have the resources they need to support their children’s early learning experiences.

We look forward to working together with you to make this vision a reality for all young children and their caregivers in 2019 and beyond. Like Fred Rogers said, “…trying together, just about anything can be possible.”

Cheers,

Cara Ciminillo, Trying Together Executive Director

News

November 13, 2018

PA Submits Plan for Child Care and Development Block Grant

On August 31, 2018, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) submitted Pennsylvania’s plan for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for the next plan cycle which spans Federal Fiscal Year 2019 through 2021. At present, the plan is under review by the Administration for Children and Families, the Office of Child Care. The plan is now posted and available for review at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) website.

Plan Summary

In the plan, OCDEL certifies that Pennsylvania is in full compliance with all CCDBG requirements except for those associated with criminal history background checks. For the background check requirements, Pennsylvania has met all mandated, preliminary milestones – in-state child abuse registry, Pennsylvania State Police, fingerprint background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in-state sex offender registry.

Checks for inter-state criminal histories, child abuse registries, and sex offender registries as well as a check of the National Sex Offender Registry have yet to be incorporated. OCDEL has requested a one-year waiver to come into full compliance with those requirements by September 30, 2019, and is on target to meet that deadline.

Questions

Questions about the plan may be directed to OCDEL at 717-346-9320.

*Information provided by PA Early Ed News*