Amy Kershaw was appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Early Education & Care (EEC) by the Board of Early Education and Care in March 2023, having previously served as Acting Commissioner of the Department since March 2022. 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. With the benefit of a quality early education, children’s lifelong potential is improved, as well as that of their families.
Commissioner Kershaw is committed to collaborating with the diverse early education and care sector to promote a strong, equitable economy for the Commonwealth and access to high-quality learning experiences for children and their families.
After working 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.
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. 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 throughout the pandemic. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, Kershaw served as Associate Commissioner for Economic Assistance and Employment at DTA. In this role, Kershaw coordinated the Department’s workforce development strategy and served as the primary liaison to the statewide, multi-Secretariat effort to implement the Federal Workforce Innovations and Opportunity (WIOA) Act.
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.
Kershaw currently serves on the American Public Human Services Association’s National Advisory Committee for State and Federal Systems Alignment to Improve Whole Family Approaches.
Commissioner Kershaw has a Bachelor of Arts from Williams College and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her two sons.