News & Events

New Honorary Co-Chair, Danchak & Isler Recognized, and More…

Haas named Commission Honorary Co-Chair

Governor Tom Wolf announced the appointment of Dr. Janet Haas, M.D. as Honorary Chairwoman of the Commission at the 10th Anniversary Economic Summit. Dr. Haas is also the chairwoman and a past president of the William Penn Foundation.

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Haas to the Commission, and you can read more about the Governor’s official announcement HERE.

10th Anniversary Economic Summit: Looking Back and Working Forward

More than 200 business leaders, policy makers and community leaders turned out to celebrate our 10th Anniversary Economic Summit, Monday, May 7th at the Hilton in Harrisburg. The celebration of a decade of work included powerful remarks by Senator Pat Browne, and recognition of Governor Tom Wolf and former Governors Ed Rendell, Tom Corbett and Mark Schweiker for their commitment to increasing investments in early learning.

First Executive Director of the Commission, Diane Halstead, was also recognized as a “Champion of Early Learning” for her vision and leadership.

Participants heard from a knowledgeable group of speakers who addressed the essentials for scientifically, economically and educationally-sound early learning policy and investments. You can find videos and presentations from the Summit on our website (

Check back frequently as we release various pieces over the next few months.

York Economics Club Knows Benefits of Quality Early Education

York County Economic Alliance’s April Economics Club Breakfast focused on the economic benefits of high quality early childhood education. More than 140 business leaders heard from guest speaker, Dr. Milagros Nores with the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and panelists about local needs and how businesses can advocate for and support early learning.

York Commission members, Bruce Bartels, Pete Brubaker, Tony Campisi, Kevin Schrieber, and Michael Smeltzer’s had an Op Ed in the York County Dispatch following the event:

“As York County business leaders and members of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, we can think of no more worthy investment. Now it’s time to get more from those dollars by turning up the dial on quality. We know what works”.

Read their full Op-Ed in the York Dispatch HERE.

Commissioners Isler and Danchak Recognized by The Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PennAEYC)

CONGRATULATIONS to Commission Co-Chair, Peter Danchak and Commissioner Bill Isler for receiving Distinguished Career and Vision Awards from the Pennsylvania Association for Education of Young Children (PennAEYC) last month.

PennAEYC recognized the critical role advocacy plays in ensuring high quality early learning and celebrated those who speak on behalf of Pennsylvania’s children. Community advocates are an invaluable component to ensuring all of PA’s children get the start they deserve in school and in life.

Join us in congratulating Peter Danchak on his Vision Award and Bill Isler on his Distinguished Career Award.

Well deserved!

Analysis shows 71% of At-risk Children are Unserved by PA’s Child Care Works program

In April, we released “The Power to Grow”, an analysis of the unmet need for high quality, affordable child care across Pennsylvania for low wage earning families. The report is based on new data from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

In addition to the high numbers of eligible children not accessing Child Care Works, we also found that 61% of child care capacity in Pennsylvania does not meet high-quality standards and in six Pennsylvania counties, no providers meet high-quality standards.

Our analysis calls for measures to increase the supply of high-quality care and to increase the buying power of Child Care Works subsidies. Supporting the Governor’s proposed $27-million increase in the State budget is an essential place to start.

Access the full report including our recommendations HERE. To see the supply and demand for high quality child care in your community, check out the PA Partnerships for Children interactive mapping tool HERE.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. Visits Allentown to Talk Investments in Early Childhood

U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. recently visited Community Services for Children in Allentown to discuss funding he helped secure for early care and education programs, including Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

Senator Casey also discussed the Child Care for Working Families Act, introduced to address the current early care and education crisis. It would ensure that no family under 150% of state median income pays more than seven percent of their income on child care.

You can read more about this Bill in a September 2017 article from New America: HERE.

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