Early Childhood Collaborative

Academic Co-Lead: Daniel S. Shaw PhD, University of Pittsburgh Center for Parents and Children

Community Co-Lead: Dannai Wilson, Allegheny County Health Department

Amy Malen, Community Co-Lead, Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)

Deb Bogen, Acting Secretary of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Health

Val Chavis, Outreach Coordinator, University of Pittsburgh Center for Parents and Children

Cara Ciminillo, Community Consultant, Trying Together

More than half of children in poverty have low school readiness and experience barriers to resources that support positive parenting strategies. The Early Childhood Collaborative focuses on inequities with evidence-based parenting programs at locations parents commonly frequent and typically trust.

The Early Childhood Collaborative is not your typical research study. Together with the community, we put research into action with science-backed programs that support families and child thriving. Our goal is to establish and maintain a healthy, vibrant, and equitable community for the youth in our region. We are committed to achieving this goal by including local neighbors in the scientific process and expanding access to supportive programs and resources for all families in ways that directly address their needs.

 “Being a community partner has given me insight to how much thought, care, time, and consideration the Early Childhood Collaborative gives to ensure that the participants are respected, that their needs are met, and that they receive the services that young thriving families need.” -Citizen Scientist

Programs center on respect for the autonomy of caregivers and strengths-based practices. They test the effectiveness of support based on family strength/challenges and family choices in programming. Our key measure of success is school readiness.


Through this evidence-based program, family strengths are the focus on how to address hurdles with child adjustment, improving family management, and communications. LEARN MORE


Building on the Family Check-up, this program empowers parents to create healthy relationships that support healthier youth behaviors. LEARN MORE


This family program uses video recordings of interactions as feedback on ways parents can add to the ways they’re supporting their child’s development. LEARN MORE

Contact us to collaborate or become a Citizen Scientist: tpsec@pitt.edu
or call 877-369-5105


Roby E, Shaw DS, Morris P, Canfield CF, Miller EB, Dreyer B, Klass P, Ettinger A, Miller E, Mendelsohn AL. Pediatric primary care and partnerships across sectors to promote early child development. Academic pediatrics. 2021 Mar 1;21(2):228-35.

Explore additional TPS publications here.