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.


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.


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 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. For more information, visit ocrcas.ed.gov/contact-ocr.



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).

Created in 2007 by OCDEL, The PA 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:

  • 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 Learning Management System (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 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.




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


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.


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.