Governor Shapiro Signs Executive Order Reestablishing the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission

Early Learning Investment Commission brings together leaders from the Shapiro Administration and business community to develop a strategic plan to increase investment in early learning for Pennsylvania children.

Harrisburg, PA – Today at the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission’s (ELIC) 2023 Annual Meeting, Governor Josh Shapiro signed Executive Order 2023-22 reinvigorating the ELIC under his Administration to continue the public-private partnership that brings together leaders to make recommendations and policy for early learning.

Under this Executive Order, Governor Shapiro will appoint and direct a diverse group of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders to work with senior leaders in his Administration to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to create a sustainable pipeline of childcare workers, ensure the availability of universal pre-K to all children, and expand all-day kindergarten throughout the Commonwealth.

First established in 2002 by Governor Mark Schweiker as the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Care and Education, the task force was renamed and established as the ELIC by Governor Ed Rendell in 2008. Governors Corbett and Wolf both reestablished the ELIC under their Administrations – and with today’s Executive Order signing, Governor Shapiro continues the bipartisan effort from Governors of the past two decades to highlight the importance of investing in early learning and continuing to develop a sustainable system of early care and education to support Pennsylvania’s economic and workforce development.  

“For more than 20 years – since Governor Schweiker commissioned the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Care and Education – Governors of both parties and business leaders from across the Commonwealth have been coming together to explore real, tangible steps we can take to ensure our kids get the education they deserve and our parents have the support they need,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “I am glad to reaffirm our shared commitment to that work and look forward to working with this diverse groups of leaders to develop new and innovative ways to invest in early learning and childcare.”

Governor Shapiro believes that the early learning, development, and education of Pennsylvania children is critically important to Pennsylvania families, the education system, workers, employers, and the economy – and today’s Executive Order will continue the Commonwealth’s fostering of public and private sector investment in connecting existing workforce development initiatives with early learning practices by reestablishing the ELIC to continue this critical work.  

Executive Order 2023-22 aims to help the Commonwealth coordinate with business and civic leaders and organizations in early learning advocate for investment at the state and local level by directing the ELIC to develop and recommend a plan and implementation strategy. As part of the plan and implementation strategy, the ELIC must formalize recommendations to:  

  • Stabilize the early childcare workforce and increase access to affordable, available, and accessible childcare for all Pennsylvania families, regardless of income.  
  • Ensure the availability of universal pre-K for Pennsylvania children. 
  • Expand the availability of all-day kindergarten in all Pennsylvania public school districts and charter schools. 

Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis will be an honorary new co-chair of the ELIC, joining Stephanie Doliveira, Executive Vice President of People and Culture at Sheetz; Thomas Foley, President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania; and honorary co-chair Dr. Janet Haas, Chairman Emeritus of the William Penn Foundation.

“As a new dad, I’m seeing firsthand how important those first years of a child’s life are for their development. I’ve also seen firsthand how expensive it is and how challenging it can be to find high-quality care for your kids. You don’t get a do-over on those first five years,” said Lieutenant Governor Davis. “They set your children up for success academically, emotionally, socially and more. Investments in high-quality childcare pay dividends for the rest of their lives. This issue is incredibly important to me and my family, just as it is for parents across the Commonwealth, so I’m honored to be asked by Governor Shapiro to serve as co-chair of the Early Learning Investment Commission.”

“The Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission is grateful and eager to work with Governor Shapiro’s Administration on cross-sector strategies advancing early learning delivered through affordable, quality childcare," said Stephanie Doliveira, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission. "The benefits of which will be reflected in strong outcomes for working parents, businesses, and Pennsylvania’s economy.” 

Read Executive Order 2023-22, Early Learning Investment Commission, here.

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