A Message from our Executive Director

Dear Friends, I wanted you to be among the first to know that I have accepted the position of Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development & Early Learning (OCDEL). I begin this new role on June 10.
It has meant so much to me to serve as Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC).  Southwestern PA is blessed to have so many hard working, dedicated professionals providing care and education to our youngest learners.  I have been privileged to work with all of you and to see first-hand the great work that you do.   Thank you for all you have done for my own children, and for all the children. 
It has been my life's work to increase access to and support for high-quality early childhood education.  To be able to do that in my hometown has been one of the great rewards of my professional life.
It is certainly bittersweet to leave PAEYC after nine outstanding years at this organization, but I am looking forward to this new challenge and to the opportunity to implement the Governor’s vision for investing in high-quality pre-k and early learning across Pennsylvania.  As Deputy Secretary of OCDEL, I will be tasked with increasing and improving quality early education opportunities for Pennsylvania families. 
I'm also pleased to share with you that PAEYC’s Board of Directors has appointed Cara Ciminillo, our Director of Operations, as Interim Executive Director.  I know each and every one of you will offer your support and expertise to Cara to ensure that PAEYC continues to do outstanding work through this transition and into the future.  The Board will conduct a search for a new full time Executive Director immediately.  More information on the search process will be posted on PAEYC’s website as it is available.
Thank you to each and every one of you for your support and friendship during the past nine years.  I look forward to continuing to work with you in my new capacity!

Michelle Figlar

Why Tinker?

Because you want them to be people who can solve problems, be creative, think analytically, and have healthy self-esteem. You want them to be able to adapt to or overcome life’s obstacles. Most importantly, you want them to never feel helpless and alone. Does that sound like a lot to expect from doing DIY with your young ones? Maybe, but at least one expert thinks it can. To read the full article, visit here.