Press Release

Press Release Board of Early Education and Care Names Amy Kershaw Acting Commissioner

For immediate release:
3/08/2022
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Department of Early Education and Care

Media Contact for Board of Early Education and Care Names Amy Kershaw Acting Commissioner

Martha Waldron, Communications Director, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Board of Early Education and Care Names Amy Kershaw Acting Commissioner

BOSTONThe Board of Early Education and Care today appointed Amy Kershaw, currently the commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), as the acting commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), effective March 28. Until March 28, Education Secretary James Peyser will serve as acting commissioner of EEC.


Commissioner Kershaw has roots in the early education and care field and previously served as an acting commissioner at EEC from 2008 to 2009. She started her career at Massachusetts Strategies for Children, a nonprofit advocacy organization for early education providers, before serving as a deputy commissioner at EEC from 2005 until her appointment as acting commissioner in 2008.

Commissioner Kershaw succeeds Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy, who
announced her departure last month after more than two years in the role.

“Commissioner Kershaw’s professional roots in early education policy and her very strong track record of public service and leadership in Massachusetts will greatly benefit EEC, especially at this pivotal time,” said Board Chair Nonie Lesaux.  “The Board looks forward to Commissioner Kershaw’s partnership and leadership as the agency continues to shift from strategic planning to execution and implementation, and—with the momentum and resources of unprecedented investments—as it continues to deepen its support of the Commonwealth’s early education workforce and its children and families.” 

The Department is in the midst of distributing approximately $400 million to child care providers through the
Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grant program. The C3 grant program is an innovative approach to stabilize child care operations and bring infrastructure support during the recovery period. The grants were launched in the summer of 2021 and the Baker-Polito Administration extended the funding through the end of June 2022. To date, the program has distributed approximately $230 million to child care providers across the Commonwealth.  

“Amy Kershaw brings to this role deep experience in state government and issues related to children and families,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “As the current commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, she also brings a set of leadership and management skills that will be invaluable in sustaining EEC’s momentum in restoring and strengthening the capacity of the Commonwealth’s early education system.”

Secretary Peyser will oversee day-to-day operations at the agency until Commissioner Kershaw begins her new role at the end of the month.

“I am honored and excited to return to EEC at this critical moment for child care in Massachusetts and look forward to continuing the agency’s important work, in partnership with our diverse network of early education and care providers, to contribute to the state’s economic recovery,” said incoming Acting Commissioner Amy Kershaw. “Child care is the ultimate two-generation approach to supporting families – helping parents and caregivers work, while promoting healthy development for their children.”

About Commissioner Kershaw
Commissioner Kershaw was appointed commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) in January 2020 by Governor Charlie Baker and Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Commissioner Kershaw also served as a co-chair of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center’s Food Security Task Force, which brought together key stakeholders to identify and address food security issues exacerbated by the public health crisis. DTA is the state agency responsible for administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and other federal and state programs for low-income, elderly, and disabled families and individuals. 

Commissioner Kershaw began her state service working at the Department of Early Education and Care in 2005, later joining the Department of Children and Families and most recently DTA. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner at DTA, Commissioner Kershaw served as Associate Commissioner for Economic Assistance and Employment at DTA. In this role, she coordinated the Department’s workforce development strategy and served as the primary liaison to a statewide effort to implement the federal Workforce Innovations and Opportunity (WIOA) Act. Commissioner Kershaw has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

###

Media Contact for Board of Early Education and Care Names Amy Kershaw Acting Commissioner

Executive Office of Education 

From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.

Department of Early Education and Care 

The Department of Early Education and Care's mission is to support the healthy growth and development of all children by providing high quality programs and resources for families and communities.
Feedback