February 25, 2019

Trying Together 2019-2020 Public Policy Agenda Released

Trying Together is pleased to announce the release of its 2019-2020 Public Policy Agenda. The objectives listed build upon our successes and expand to include new areas of focus.

The 2017-2018 agenda called for several action items which were positively advanced in the past two years. While there is still work to do, Trying Together helped to achieve several key accomplishments in support of these goals including:

Advance the use of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP).

End early childhood suspensions and expulsions*:

*Notably, Pittsburgh Public Schools ruled in 2017 that suspensions and expulsions for minor, non-violent infractions for K-2 students would be ended, after which Philadelphia followed. Additionally, The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) released a policy announcement and provided resources on how to do reduce suspensions and expulsions. 

Increase access to high-quality pre-kindergarten (pre-k) programs.

  • partnered on the Pre-K for PA campaign which successfully advocated for an increased investment of $55 million dollars in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 budgets collectively.

Increase access to high-quality infant toddler care.

  • successfully advocated for an increased investment of $26.8 million dollars in child care services as of the 2018-19 budget;
  • and convened and partnered on a workgroup to launch the Start Strong PA campaign in January 2019 to advocate for high-quality child care for infants and toddlers.

Transform the early childhood profession.

  • provided several dozen Level 1 Teachers their Induction program;
  • hosted the ECE Advocacy Fellowship for more than 20 early childhood professional;
  • and successfully updated language state statute and regulations to use the term ‘child care’ instead of ‘day care’.

Leverage resources and partnerships.

  • has continued its partnership with the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University to provide professional development to 1,000 early care and education professionals who utilize the Message From Me digital tool, allowing 20,000 children to consistently communicate about their day with caregivers. In 2019, we, along with our partners, will develop an Advisory Board to bring this to PNC markets nationwide;
  • and partners with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU3) to lead the Hi5! Kindergarten Readiness and Registration campaign – working with nearly all 43 school districts in Allegheny County to facilitate roundtables and networking for best practices in supporting young children as they transition into kindergarten.

As a leading advocate for high-quality early childhood care and education in Pennsylvania, Trying Together educates and engages regularly with policymakers on access, affordability, and quality policies that affect the lives of children, families, and professionals throughout the state. Partnering with education, government, business, nonprofit, and philanthropic stakeholders, Trying Together advocates for public policy changes throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, with an emphasis in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Visit to view the full 2019-2020 Public Policy Agenda.

Advocates are invited to sign on support for the 2019-2020 Trying Together Public Policy Agenda at to begin engaging their legislators today.