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County Department of Children Initiatives director is prioritizing stability in child care

Child care masks coronavirus kids children
Mary Altaffer
In this Sept. 16, 2021, file photo Pre-K teacher Vera Csizmadia teaches 3-and 4-year-old students in her classroom at the Dr. Charles Smith Early Childhood Center in Palisades Park, N.J.

On today’s episode of The Confluence: The first director of Allegheny County’s Department of Children Initiatives Rebecca Mercatoris lays out her vision for the department; The North Allegheny School District board has voted to make mask-wearing optional, but the decision could be overruled by the state Supreme Court; and author Yaa Gyasi discusses about her second book, “Transcendent Kingdom,” which is included as part of the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures Ten Evenings Series.

Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago.
Marylee is the editor/producer of The Confluence, the daily public affairs show on WESA. She got her start in journalism at The Daily Reveille and KLSU while attending Louisiana State University. She took her passion for audio journalism to UC Berkeley's graduate program and worked in public radio at WPR in Madison, WI, and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
Laura Tsutsui is a producer for The Confluence, WESA's morning news show. Previously, she reported on the San Joaquin Valley with the NPR affiliate station in her hometown of Fresno, California. She can be reached at
Rebecca Reese is a production assistant for The Confluence.