Policy and Practice Manager
Trying Together’s mission is to support high-quality care and education for young children.
Trying Together is a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that supports the work of early childhood by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the adults who interact with them. A fast-paced organization, Trying Together looks for dedicated and passionate staff who bring positivity to their work and a solution-oriented sensibility.
Trying Together encourages its team, partners, and communities to interact compassionately and honor the range of cultures, ideas, and identities that root each person. Young children develop and learn by example; this means that children whose early learning environments reflect just actions, equitable opportunities, diverse representation, and inclusive approaches experience healthier interactions and build relationships that enable them to thrive.
Trying Together is an equal opportunity employer. Trying Together does not discriminate and encourages qualified candidates of any gender, race, class, sexual orientation, faith, disability, or age to apply. All candidates will be evaluated on a merit basis.
The Policy and Practice Manager provides leadership and administration in developing the organizational capacity to identify advocacy and policy approaches to improve young children’s early care and learning experiences. The position provides expertise on how policies impact classroom practices and leverages the experience of the field to inform the development of effective policies. This is a full-time position that works within a strong team that will include occasional evening and weekend hours and some travel.
- Participate in the mobilization and communications committee for the Pre-K for PA and Start Strong PA campaigns.
- Engage early childhood providers and educators to participate in advocacy actions through the Leadership in Action Program.
- Support the Pre-K for PA and Start Strong Provider Advisory Board in collaboration with the Policy and Outreach Coordinator.
- Assist in the delivery and implementation of grant-supported advocacy activities in accordance with the mission and the goals of Trying Together.
- Document and record activities for reporting requirements and evaluation both internally and externally.
- Contribute to reports, issue briefs, policy memos, white papers, and position statements on issues that fall under Trying Together’s policy agenda ensuring that provider feedback/input is included.
Professional Growth Opportunities
- Serve as a liaison between the Quality Initiatives and Policy departments by connecting with Professional Development, Child Development Associate (CDA), Apprenticeship, and Quality Coaching efforts.
- Develop and implement professional training and workshops aligned to advocacy campaigns and policy agenda.
- Lead efforts to re-establish and re-envision the Early Childhood Advocacy Fellowship.
- Identify other ways to collaborate with the field to facilitate a feedback loop for practice to impact policy.
Throughout all of the work:
- Work effectively and collaboratively with partnering advocacy organizations, elected officials, and community stakeholders.
- Establish connections internally across departments and externally with local/regional organizations to advance policy agenda and advocacy work.
- Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the early childhood field at the national, state, and local levels.
- Commitment to racial equity and inclusion and a willingness to do the ongoing personal work to bring about a more just society by actively participating in professional growth opportunities.
- Actively work with peers to create a culture of belonging at Trying Together.
- Willingness to disrupt practices that do not honor children’s, families’, educators’ and colleagues’ humanity.
- Work collaboratively across departments within Trying Together to meet the mission and accomplish the work.
- Participate in initial and ongoing professional development for the purposes of continuous learning and expanding one’s professional knowledge base.
- Consistently use the NeonCRM platform to build relationships with constituents, record data that measure project performance, and support continuous quality improvement in the organization's resources and services.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree and at least two years experience in early childhood education as classroom teacher, director, or another role in a program or school setting.
- Knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices, elements of high-quality early learning programs, early childhood development, early childhood systems, and PK-12 education systems and policy issues.
- Interest in state and local government systems as well as public policy communication strategies to influence elected officials, legislation, and public policy.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and engage with early childhood educators and families.
- Demonstrated successful experiences in working with diverse populations and communities.
- Proficiency in office software including spreadsheets, word processing programs, e-mail, and calendars at a high competency level.
- Comfort with technology tools including tablet computers, laptops, presentation equipment, and additional hardware as needed, including a willingness to learn new technologies.
- Effective organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks and projects.
- Detail-oriented individual who can take initiative to pursue opportunities, while documenting key outcome data.
- Excellent written and oral communications skills.
- Strong time management and ability to manage multiple projects with deadlines.
- Able to work independently and as a team member.
- Analytical and problem solving skills.
- Ability to work occasional evenings and/or weekends.
- Clean Act 33 Child Abuse Clearance.
- Clean Act 34 PA State Police Clearance.
- Clean Act 73 Federal Criminal History Clearance.
- National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) Verification.
- Valid Driver’s License and proof of insurance.
- Mandated Reporter Training (must be completed in the first month of placement).
- NeonCRM Training (required and recommended online courses must be completed in the first three months of placement).
- PQAS Professional Development Instructor Certification (must be obtained within the first year of employment for staff with a Bachelor’s Degree).
- Ability to lift 10-20 pounds.
- Competitive compensation and benefits package.
- Appreciative inquiry and strengths-based review process.
Supporting the Work of Early Childhood