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Hug Me Tight Childlife Centers, Inc.



2003 - Emma Pipkin and Carolyn Burns founded Hug Me Tight Childlife Centers, Inc. They set out to make their dream of setting-up satellite child care facilities around the city of Pittsburgh a reality, with the Hill District site being the operational hub.

2004 - The doors to the present location opened in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.

2006 - HMTCC was granted a STAR 2 certification from the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning, several staff members were beneficiaries of college scholarships through the PA T.E.A.C.H program, and HMTCC was granted non-profit status.

2011 - The Male Intern Program was introduced which provides children with exposure to positive male role models.

2011- Pittsburgh Foundation awarded $11,000 grant to purchase new carpet for the Hug Me Tight facility.

2011 - HMTCC was granted a STAR 3 certification rating in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education Keystone STARS Performance Standards.

2012 - Hug Me Tight was approached by the Hill House Association to open a second location within the Hill House.


2012 - McAuley Ministries awarded Hug Me Tight a grant of $30,600 for a Male Internship Program.

2013 -  McAuley Ministries awarded a $23,500 bridge funding grant to support the startup of Hug Me Tight Childlife Centers, Inc. operations within the Hill House Association.

2014 - McAuley Ministries awarded HMTCC a grant of $27,400 for a Male Internship II Program.


2014 – During the Obama administration’s emphasis on early childhood development and the interest of early childhood development of Mayor Peduto, HMTCC was selected to be visited by

U. S. Department of Education Secretary. Arnie Duncan, where he interacted with the children and parents. 

2015–2016 - Hug Me Tight received a STAR 4 quality rating in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education Keystone STARS Performance Standards.  The standard promotes quality improvement in early learning and development programs. 


2017 – Hug Me Tight entered into a collaborative agreement to help non-traditional students earn a college degree toward early childhood education and qualification to teach in the State of Pennsylvania with certification.


2017 - Pittsburgh Foundation Grant of $10,429 awarded to HMTCC for Purchase of Smartboards.


2018 – McAuley Ministries awarded Hug Me Tight a Three Year Operational Support Grant of $180,000.


2019 – Hug Me Tight Childllife Centers Inc., celebrated 15 years of operation as a non-profit organization.


2019 - Hug Me Tight received a $6,000 donation from Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh to recognize the organization’s work and efforts within the Hill District Community of Pittsburgh.


2020 –The Post-Gazette of Pittsburgh featured Hug Me Tight in an article, “No More Hugs at Hug Me Tight due to COVID-19."  As a result of this article, McAuley Ministries awarded a $10,000 grant to HMTCC for emergency response to COVID-19 requirements to comply with City of Pittsburgh COVID standards.

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