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.

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.

Annual Conference

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 2021. We will be offering multiple one day virtual conference experiences on a range of topics over the course of the year. Please contact Rebecca Tyrrell for additional information.

Confirmed dates and topics:

    • Saturday, September 26, 9:00am-1:30pm – Family Childcare Conference
    • Saturday, October 3, 9:00am-1:30pm – Personal Empowerment for the ECE Professional
    • Tuesday, November 3, 12:00pm-4:30pm – Male Engagement in ECE

Registration information will be coming soon.

We are currently accepting proposals for presenters on September 26, 2020 and October 3, 2020! Click here to learn more!

First Up 5K Run/Walk

A part of the Generosity Series, the First UP 5K took place on October 14, 2019 in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. We had an amazing time with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and our fellow charitable individuals.

We expect to join in the fun again in 2020. Check back here for details!

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.