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Our Mission

The Pennsylvania Key works collaboratively with partners and community organizations to deliver educational, professional, and administrative services to early childhood educators and leaders to support the enhancement of early learning experiences for young children in Pennsylvania.

Our Vision

Every early childhood educator and leader has equitable access to the social, emotional and intellectual supports needed to feel successful, healthy and happy so they may bring those same successes to the young children they work with every day.

Our Values

Built on a solid foundation of trust and respect, the Pennsylvania Key strives to provide reflective and responsible services across the Commonwealth. We are committed to developing and maintaining collaborative relationships that are valued with open minds and appreciation for growth.

Our Story

Created in 2007 by the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), The Pennsylvania Key implements the work and supports the policies developed and managed by OCDEL.

The Pennsylvania Key serves early childhood educators, program administrator, ECE leaders, and other state offices in conjunction with OCDEL such as the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), Office of Children and Youth (OCYF) and Department of Human Services (DHS). The PA Key is also responsible for coordination of efforts statewide with the 19 Early Learning Resources Centers across Pennsylvania (ELRC) to ensure non-duplicative efforts are being offered to child care programs. Finally, The PA Key coordinates with the Department of Education on matters pertaining to the state Pre-K program, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts.

The PA Key operates as a nonprofit organization offering a multitude of services, delineated below, to the early childhood education profession. The services provided in support of OCDEL’s mission include:

The Pennsylvania Key employs more than 100 staff members across the Commonwealth. The PA Key and its staff are recognized as reflective partners in the work of early childhood education. Many organizations rely on the expertise of the staff for systems building, consistent coordination of events and of program implementation and monitoring through relationship-based approaches. The PA Key has successfully created conference events, organized registration for events and managed travel logistics for over twelve years.

Regarding Equity

The Pennsylvania Key recognizes that as long as race, religion, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, gender, and gender identity continue to predict the future success, health, and prosperity of children and adults in our society, we, as an organization, must engage in intentional change. We believe that holding a safe space for dialogue among individuals from diverse perspectives and backgrounds is critical in moving toward deeper understanding of these complex issues and the actions necessary to address them. We seek out experiences that will provide transformational learning and healing. We choose this path together with humility, compassion, and grace, as we seek a more equitable future for all.

For assistance related to civil rights, you may contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) headquarters office in Washington D.C. or the OCR enforcement office serving your state or territory, visit ocrcas.ed.gov/contact-ocr.

Learn more about our commitment to equity in early childhood education at pakeys.org/equity.

Connect with us!

OCDEL's Mission

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning provides families access to high quality services to prepare children for school and life success.

OCDEL's Vision

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) supports families and their children, from prenatal through school age, by using data, research and stakeholder guidance to assure high quality services.

About The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)

​Since its inception in 2007, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has focused on creating opportunities for the commonwealth’s youngest children to develop and learn to their fullest potential. This goal is accomplished through a framework of supports and systems that help ensure that children and their families have access to high-quality services.

OCDEL is jointly overseen by the PA Department of Human Services (DHS) and the PA Department of Education (PDE). Learn more about OCDEL on the DHS website (dhs.pa.gov) or the PDE website (education.pa.gov).

Connect with OCDEL!

Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA)

Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC)

Professional Development Organization (PDO)

Regional Child Development Office


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