PHSA State Early Learning Start Partners

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)was created in January of 2007 as a joint office between the Department of Public Welfare and the Department of Education. OCDEL is a unique collaboration that creates a direct link between the two state agencies (DPW and PDE) that have jurisdiction over key programs utilized by children and families, fostering collaboration and assuring that best practices are adopted uniformly and quickly throughout the commonwealth.  OCDEL provides Pennsylvania’s children with a comprehensive, integrated early childhood education strategy that combines family and support services with education programming to increase school readiness.

PA Keys to Quality Early Learning (PA Key)

The PA Keys to Quality Early Learning (PA Key) supports the OCDEL’s extensive work to improve the quantity of services for young children in Pennsylvania. Click here to visit the PA Key’s website.  Along with the PA Key, the Regional Keys are geographically located throughout the state to support the work of the PA Key.

PAPromiseChildren     Pennsylvania’s Promise For Children

Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children is a coordinated statewide campaign to raise awareness about the value of quality early learning and to build responsibility among every Pennsylvanian for the early learning of the children in their lives.

Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Build Initiative, Heinz Endowments, The Grable Foundation, William Penn Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).

Click here for more information and to visit the PA Promise for Children Web site.

     Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission

Here is the Commission’s Website

Mission Statement:

Make the success of every child one of Pennsylvania’s top economic priorities.


Build a permanent sustainable network of business champions who understand the solid connection between quality early childhood experiences and a strong Pennsylvania economy, and who effectively communicate this message to other business leaders, members of business-related groups, and policy-makers.


  • Increase awareness of the connection between quality early childhood investment (i.e., social, intellectual, physical, and emotional development) and a strong Pennsylvania economy.
  • Build a public/private partnership of leaders from all sectors at the state, regional, and local levels to advocate for quality early childhood investment.
  • Increase public and private resources directed at evidence-based quality early childhood experiences for all children.

  Pennsylvania Build

The Build Initiative is a multi-state partnership that helps states construct a coordinated early learning system that responds to the needs of young children from birth to five and their families, so that children are safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed in school. It is supported by an Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative made up of 15 leading philanthropies. Pennsylvania is one of five states selected to participate in this national initiative. Pennsylvania has been a Build partner since 2004.

Build serves as a catalyst for change and a national resource on early learning and leadership development. As a partner in Build, Pennsylvania receives grant money and technical assistance to support early childhood system building. Since 2007-2008, Pennsylvania Build has supported OCDEL’s work to create a quality early education continuum with work in the areas of coordinated leadership, standards and assessment, professional development, and public engagement. Learn more about Build Pennsylvania here.

Build State Leads

Suzann Morris, Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning,

Becky Mercatoris, Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning,

Wendy Whitesell, Pennsylvania Key,