Welcome to the Pennsylvania Key website! On this site you will find access to all the resources you need to participate in OCDEL programs, advance your career in early education, and improve your quality as a provider and a professional!

Families – Please visit our family websites for information on helping your child grow and choosing quality child care and other early learning programs!



The Pennsylvania Key (PA Key) is a business partner with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and is administered by the Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU).

The Pennsylvania Key was created in 2007 by OCDEL to implement the work of the Office and support the policies developed and managed by the Office.

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:

  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
  • Early Childhood Coaching Supports
  • Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and Head Start State Supplemental monitoring
  • Program Quality Assessments for early childhood settings
  • Professional Development Registry and Workforce LMS
  • Career Pathway and Apprenticeship supports
  • Early Head Start grant monitoring including Home-based and Child Care Partnerships
  • Contract Management
  • Tuition Assistance for coursework
  • Marketing and Communications to the public and on behalf of our stakeholders
  • Administrative Support

The Pennsylvania Key employs a total of 100 staff, 27 working out of the Harrisburg-based office and 73 working in home office 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


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.


The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) administers home visiting, child care, child care assistance, early intervention and pre-kindergarten programs funded through the Pennsylvania Departments of Education  and Human Services.

In its efforts to increase access to high-quality early learning services, OCDEL sets quality programs standards, comprehensive accountability, and family engagement to help children and families reach their full potential.



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