- Executive Office of Education
- Department of Early Education and Care
Media Contact for Board of Early Education and Care Recommends the Appointment of Amy Kershaw as Commissioner
Delaney Corcoran, Communications Director, Executive Office of Education
BOSTON — Today, in a nine to zero vote, the Board of Early Education and Care voted to recommend the appointment of Amy Kershaw as Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care. Kershaw has been serving as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) since March 28, 2022.
The board’s recommendation will now be submitted to Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler for his approval and appointment, pursuant to state statute. The Secretary is also a member of the Board, and voted in favor of Kershaw as a board member.
Under her tenure as Acting Commissioner, Kershaw has led EEC through significant achievements, including reimagining financial aid for child care to reach families with no or low income, supporting the child care work force to improve recruitment and retention, and modernizing procedures at EEC to protect children and educators. These efforts include the implementation of a historic $80 million increase to the daily reimbursement rates for providers who serve low-income families, as well as distributing $14 million in workforce bonuses for educators and providers participating in the C3 grant program in addition to maintaining monthly C3 payments to more than 7,000 providers. To achieve this work, Kershaw has prioritized building the agency’s capacity to drive human-centered changes aimed at improving user experiences across the early education system.
“The Board is confident that Commissioner Kershaw is the right person to continue to lead EEC as we work together to support the Commonwealth’s educators, families, and children, and collectively build a strong and thriving early education community in Massachusetts,” said Board Chair Paul Belsito. “Commissioner Kershaw has already led her team to achieve some major accomplishments and I have no doubt that she will approach the work to come with the same dedication and commitment. Commissioner Kershaw has built a great team to embark on an ambitious agenda and the Board looks forward to partnering on the work ahead to improve affordability, accessibility, and workforce stabilization in the early education sector.”
“Commissioner Kershaw has proven that she has a deep commitment to the entire early education and care sector, and a clear passion for ensuring children and parents can access the high quality early learning experiences they deserve,” said Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler. “The board’s endorsement is both a nod to Commissioner Kershaw’s work and the dedication and commitment her team at EEC has demonstrated over the past year. I am confident that under Commissioner Kershaw, we will continue to make necessary progress to stabilize and strengthen the Commonwealth’s early education system.”
“Early education is foundational to closing the opportunity gap in Massachusetts -- bringing economic equity and mobility to families as well as educational opportunities to their children. Access to affordable child care is also an engine of the state’s economy, enabling families of all income levels to participate in our workforce,” said newly appointed EEC Commissioner Amy Kershaw. “I am honored by this opportunity to serve in the Healey-Driscoll Administration. I look forward to working in partnership with our diverse network of early education and care programs, early educators, families, business leaders and others to build an affordable, equitable, and high quality system of early education and care for all Massachusetts families.”
Commissioner Kershaw is a veteran of the early education and child care field. Following her work in various policy roles in municipal and county government in California, where she promoted women’s health, economic development and child care, Commissioner Kershaw began her career in early education and care in Massachusetts working for Strategies for Children, a nonprofit early education advocacy organization. She then served as a Deputy Commissioner at EEC from 2005 until her appointment as Acting Commissioner, a role she stepped into from 2008 to 2009, and then again in 2022.
From 2020 until March 2022, Kershaw served as Commissioner of the state’s Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), which provides food and economic assistance to one in seven residents of the Commonwealth through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and other federal and state programs. Prior to DTA, Kershaw held various policy leadership roles at the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the State’s child welfare agency. At DCF, Kershaw was responsible for several initiatives to promote family and child safety and well-being.