Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
Pennsylvania is rich in natural resources, but it is our greatest resource, our children, that will lead us into the future. The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and its partners throughout the commonwealth provide many programs that help children and families reach their promise. OCDEL’s philosophy is to create an early education system that not only serves school-aged and younger children by providing a bright start in life, but also becomes the first block of a youngster’s education continuum to lifelong learning.
OCDEL recognizes the need for an effective, multi-layered early education system, one with standards that demand excellence and the supports available to make that excellence a reality. Pennsylvania's vision is to develop a system that becomes a part of Pennsylvania’s service to children and families, a system that helps educational service providers play a vital role in continuous quality improvement among early learning programs and professionals.
“High quality early childhood education, delivered by trained professionals who understand child development, puts children on the road to success. Making sure children get off to the right start is the right thing to do -- and it pays back."
—Michelle Powers, Executive Vice President with Crayola PA Early Learning Investment Commission
explore the office of child development & early learning
Explore Pennsylvania's Office of Child Development & Early Learning (OCDEL) mission, vision, and programs which provide quality early learning opportunities to children from birth to age 5 through our new OCDEL PowerPoint.
This comprehensive PowerPoint:
- provides research-based evidence about why quality early learning matters;
- explains the vision of OCDEL to help children, families, teachers, and communities reach their promise;
- offers an easy-to-understand overview of OCDEL programs in Certification Services, Subsidy Services, Early Intervention Services, and Early Learning Services; and
- reports data for the number of children served and funding amounts.
Please note, these files are very large and may take several minutes to download.
For more information, please visit the Department of Public Welfare-Child Care and Early Learning and the Department of Education-Office of Child Development and Early Learning websites.
Early Learning Council (ELC)
The Pennsylvania Early Learning Council is composed of a variety of stakeholders, appointed by the Governor. The purpose of the Council is to plan for the expansion of effective early learning and development services for young children and their families, and make recommendations to ensure the plans are implemented successfully.
ELC Membership List
Improving Early Education Access for Children experiencing homelessness
May 15, 2013: New policy guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning improves access to early learning opportunities for children under the age of six experiencing homelessness.
This policy sets new standards for interagency collaboration at state and local levels to identify young children experiencing homelessness across service systems and ensure access to quality early learning programs, such as Head Start and Early Intervention.
OCDEL’s guidelines reiterate the federal requirements for supporting students experiencing homelessness, as detailed across federal and state laws such as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
The act, which became law in 1987, ensures that “each child of an individual who is homeless and each youth who is homeless have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.”