Equity Head Start IL Practice Parents & Familes Place-Based
Chief Learning & Evaluation Officer | Co-Director
Trust for Learning
Havertown, PA
Toscha Blalock

Toscha Blalock is an educator and researcher with extensive experience in the leadership, administration and evaluation of early childhood education programs and systems. Serving as Trust for Learning’s Chief Learning and Evaluation Officer, Toscha uses her professional expertise and unique life experiences to develop and support individuals, programs and networks to faithfully and nimbly adopt ideal learning practices.

Toscha attended Head Start as a child, has lived experience in breaking the cycle of poverty and is committed to improving the quality of life for children and families, especially those of color. As a young professional, Toscha participated in research examining a broad variety of topics related to education, poverty, and vulnerable communities. As a research assistant at Public Health Management Corporation and her alma mater, Temple University, Toscha served on research teams evaluating projects impacting formerly homeless mothers recovering from substance abuse, mentoring programs for senior citizens working with adolescents, leadership programs for at-risk youth, and support systems for grandparents/older relatives raising young children. 

The research topic that captured her imagination and redirected her career was the drive toward high-quality early education programs for children. Just as Toscha and her husband Marshall became parents to their son Malek in 1998, Pennsylvania began focusing more attention on child care quality and Toscha served on a team evaluating an early initiative in Philadelphia, Child Care Matters, that provided evidence supporting broader investment. Toscha came on board as one of the first employees of the Pennsylvania Key in 2003, and was involved in the development and implementation of the child care quality standards for the statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). She is a trained Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessor and was the Program Quality Assessment Supervisor for the greater Philadelphia region for nearly ten years. Subsequently, Toscha worked at the University of Pennsylvania with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) as project manager and researcher for several research projects including the i3 evaluation of Reading Recovery and the Keystone STARS inquiry.

Pursuing a desire to implement what she had gleaned from years of researching high-quality early education environments, Toscha joined Maternity Care Coalition in 2015 as the Early Head Start Director for Montgomery and Bucks counties and became Senior Director shortly thereafter. As a Head Start grantee/administrator of a federally funded early education program with high-impact results, Toscha brought a strong focus on equity and significant skill in building community networks. Along with other committed maternal and child health-focused leaders in Montgomery County, PA, Toscha developed an initiative to improve birth outcomes for Black women and their babies called Montco Mamas which she led during the initial implementation stage. Toscha brings her passion for collaborating with like-minded colleagues to the pursuit of ideal learning. She spends her much-valued downtime with Marshall, with whom she will be celebrating 30 years of marriage in May 2022.

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