Amazing Things are Happening

We are your touchstone for year-round early childhood education events in the Greater Philadelphia region. From professional development programs, to important public policy issues, to upcoming speakers and exciting educational events.

The 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Awards

As of 2020, the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation has merged with First Up and will continue to present the Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Awards.  In 1987, Kay and Fred Lokoff formed the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation to honor the memory of their daughter, Terri.  The Foundation was created to raise awareness for the need of quality, affordable childcare, and to elevate the status of childcare teachers in our society.

The Teacher Awards acknowledge the critical role of childcare teachers in providing quality early care and education. Childcare teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and on U.S. Military bases and installations around the world are invited to apply. The Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Awards have been proudly presented since 1994. Applications are due by January 29, 2021. For more information or to apply, please visit our Teacher Awards page.

31st Annual Golf Classic in support of the Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Awards

On Monday, October 19, 2020, join us at the French Creek Golf Club (4500 Conestoga Road, Elverson, PA) for a wonderful chance to play on a breathtaking and challenging course. The French Creek Golf Club, designed by Gil Hanse, showcases flowing brooks, woodlands, and natural golf hazards, which offer unique and incomparable rounds of golf for players of all skill levels arranged within a picturesque landscape.

Learn more and register today on the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation Webpage!

Family Childcare Conference and Virtual Institutes

The First Up Conference is a special gathering held each Spring on the beautiful campus of the University of Pennsylvania. It typically brings together educators and professionals from across the region for a full day of networking and professional development.

Due to current concerns, First Up has made the decision to move this beloved event to a virtual platform for 2020-2021. We will be offering multiple half-day virtual institutes on a range of topics over the course of the year. Please contact Rebecca Tyrrell for additional information.

Institute dates and topics:

Registration today for the first two conferences on our Institute Webpage!

Potential vendors and sponsors can click here to download the electronic prospectus with information about customizing packages for your needs!

Action Day

Each spring, parents, caregivers, providers, and advocates from across Pennsylvania travel to Harrisburg to visit legislators and talk with them about the importance of quality early childhood care and education. Quality early learning and child development open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life! But quality early learning requires the commitment of families, teachers, and the community in order for children to reach their promise. SIGN UP HERE to get up to date information about our next Action Day event.

Week of the Young Child

Week of the Young Child (WOYC) is a national celebration. It is a time to recognize the importance of early learning and early literacy. And a time to celebrate the teachers and policies that help open the doors to early childhood education for every young children.

Each year we Week of the Young Child is our opportunity to reach out to everyone in the Greater Philadelphia area and ask them to make the time to recognize the needs of young children, and thank the many adults involved in their education and care — from parents to teachers to caregivers who play such important roles in the lives of young children.

We encourage early childhood programs and organizations throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania to plan noteworthy WOYC events. These events are designed to bring each respective community together to promote early literacy and learning, recognize early childhood teachers in each community, and influence public policy makers locally, state-wide and nationally to make early childhood education the best it can be.

UPLOAD your W.O.Y.C. photos and videos and share your stories here.



Champions for Young Children

For the past 25 years, we have celebrated individuals outside the field of Early Childhood Education who show a deep commitment to championing high quality early education for all children in Southeastern Pennsylvania at our Champions for Young Children event and fundraiser.

This event is a time for us to come together with our amazing community to celebrate both our accomplishments and increase awareness of the importance of quality early education while having a great time drinking, eating, and partying like preschoolers.

This past fall, we were proud to honor the Vanguard Strong Start for Kids ProgramTM for their incredible dedication and support of our field.

Also in our 25th year of Champions for Young Children, we presented our first Lifetime Achievement Award to Marlene Weinstein in celebration of her many contributions to our field.