Patricia Cole

Patricia Cole is the Senior Director of Government Relations within the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center.

Patricia Cole

Senior Director of Government Relations

Twitter: @pattycole123

Ms. Cole oversees federal policy work in a range of areas affecting infants and toddlers, including early care and learning, home visiting, child welfare, and infant-early childhood mental health. She has over thirty years of experience in policy at the federal and state levels. Prior to her current position, she was a consultant on children and family policy, working with ZERO TO THREE and the National AfterSchool Association.

Previously, Ms. Cole served as staff to Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families. Ms. Cole was instrumental in enactment and oversight of key legislation, including two reauthorizations of Head Start and the creation of Early Head Start; the Human Services Act (which included the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance and Community Services Block Grants); the Child Care and Development Block Grant; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Children of Substance Abusers Act, which included a home visiting component; and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, including a Dodd initiative that became the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention program. In 1993, Ms. Cole was appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala to serve on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Head Start Quality and Expansion. Earlier in her career, she was a Senior Evaluator/Policy Analyst at the U.S. General Accounting Office, focusing on children and family issues and overseeing projects on welfare reform and child welfare. Patty has authored or co-authored a number of articles and studies related to early care and learning policy and other issues related to children’s development. She holds a BA in History and Political Science as well as an MA in History from Duke University.

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