Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have studied the ability of public schools to prepare young children for lifelong learning and have shaped local, state, and federal policies. Our groundbreaking research, policy development, and training programs set the standards for out-of-school time, and continue to inform the field in new areas, including physical activity programming.
The primary objective of this project is to manage the continuation of the well established Afterschool Matters Initiative, which includes several publications and a Research Grantee program, in addition to planning for the national expansion of a related action/research writing initiative.
APAS is an assessment system that helps programs link quality and youth outcomes together in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. It was developed to help address the accountability challenge that faces afterschool programs.
This project provides a comprehensive picture of the quality of Boston's Early Care and Education programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, in both centers and family child care homes.
During this phase of work, NIOST will design and develop two additional measurement tools—a youth survey (SAYO-Y) and a family survey (SAYO-F). These two tools will be used by Massachusetts Department of Education grantees to better understand youth needs, their program experiences and help pinpoint areas where youth may benefit from additional support.
The goal of this project is to produce a reliable and valid measure of teachers’ educational beliefs and knowledge of child development and ECE pedagogy that can be used to validate the effectiveness of professional development programs and interventions, as well as, to provide valuable feedback in applied setting s regarding ECE teachers’ professional development needs and classroom appropriateness.
Ongoing since 2014
This project data aims to demonstrate that full participation in federal meal programs results in kids eating three meals a day.
This group of inter-related research projects seeks to understand the state of early care and education in Massachusetts and make recommendations for quality outcomes.
This is a study of the relation between fathers’ high levels of involvement in childrearing and various family outcomes: quality of the marriage, the mother's report of social support, the quality of the mother-child relationship and of the father-child relationship, and the quality of family interactions when the children are in elementary school.
This long-term program has brought national attention to the importance of children's out-of-school time using research, training and advocacy to strengthen children's emotional, physical, and social development.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will partner with The Forum for Youth Investment as champions for action with the Career Pathway's sites in San Diego and Long Beach, California. This will include leading research aspects of the project as well as working to anticipate the site's needs for information, support and tools in a variety of areas.
This research study uses quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and multiple regression modeling to examine healthy eating and physical activity opportunities in a national sample of out-of-school time programs.
This long-term program brings together research on employment, work and family issues, and child care as a support for working families.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) conducted a research study on After-School Gets Moving, a physical activity training resource tool for out-of-school time (OST) professionals.
This study was created to better understand how children spend their after-school time, and how it may be best used to improve growth and learning. The study was stratified by ethnicity and took into account gender and social class.
The Work, Families & Children team has conducted a series of studies for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), including the BPS K1 and K2 Programs Needs Assessment, and a 2007-08 follow-up study.
Using a randomized control design, Michelle Porche will conduct an evaluation of the Boston Ready professional development intervention to test its effectiveness.
Researchers of this project found that adults who have an awareness of their own relational needs and capacities have the potential to be more effective caregivers and role models in childcare setting, resulting in better outcomes for both the adults and children.
Researchers gathered economists, policy-makers, and funders to develop several recommendations for building a skilled and stable workforce for After School Programs.
WCW researchers participated in a study, led by Dr. Valora Washington and under the auspices of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation, to evaluate the child care voucher system in Massachusetts.
This project sought to improve the availability and preservation of out-of-school time programming and to disseminate information on recruiting, training, development, and finance.
This project connected high-level leaders from different cities and states to educate them on the dynamic landscape of after-school programs. in hopes of directing the influence, funding, and high expectations of these leaders towards a "critical mass" of associated initiatives across the country.
This study followed a random sample of hundreds of children and 100 child care centers in order to examine links between family income, the quality and cost of child-care, and infant language and social development.
The project combines out-of-school time (OST) professional advisors, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), and NASA experts from across the agency to use research-based strategies to develop afterschool activity guides adapted from NASA Planetary Science formal education curricula.
This project prepared a report to describe the prevalent health practices and concerns in early care and education programs in Massachusetts, as part of a larger project of the Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education.
This study examines the varying quality of child care in Massachusetts and across the nation, and its effect on children's performance and family functioning.
This was an evaluation project of Learning Circles, a group mentoring program designed to provide opportunities for girls and adult mentors to meet regularly to discuss issues relevant to their lives. The results showed that girls enjoyed the opportunity for discussing issues relevant to their lives with women who were attentive.
This study sought to examine full-day, year round child care for preschool-age children in Maine to better illuminate links between the quality and the costs of early child care in Maine.
This project sought to identify the most successful elements of afterschool programs in Massachusetts; including staff, policy making, funding, and program/activity participation.
The Capacity Study describes the current early education and care (EEC) workforce in Massachusetts and evaluates the capacity of the State’s higher education system to meet the increased demand for a qualified workforce in early education and care.
The goal of the Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study was to examine full-day, year-round, community-based center care for preschool-age children (2.9 years to 5 years) and for infants and toddlers, pre-k classrooms in the public schools and family child care programs.
Researchers focus on aspects of school readiness, including social and language development, along with other data such as hours in care, so as to better understand the ways in which a child's growth is influenced by situational factors.
This was an evaluation of a national project that fosters more positive attitudes and stronger affiliations among middle school teachers, students, and parents within school communities.
This study examined the ways in which youth participate in the League: how do they experience the democratic ideals of a debate program? How do they come to consider and participate in democracy?
This study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, seeks to determine the relationship between children's early experiences and their developmental outcomes.
The primary goal of the Out of Harm's Way (OHW) Initiative is to address the escalating violence in a subset of middle schools in the Boston Public Schools by offering comprehensive services and care, and increasing the participation of students in after school programming. Wellesley Centers for Women and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time would perform as the project evaluator.
The FasTracKids Research Study is a 19-month international study aimed at examining the link between participation in FasTracKids enrichment programs and child outcomes (children 4 and 5 years old). FasTracKids Enrichment Centers offer a variety of classes and activities designed to promote early learning, develop creative thinking and problem solving, build verbal communication, promote leadership and personal growth, and encourage a lifelong love of learning.
This is a secondary analysis of data collected over the long-term to determine how physical activity benefits the overall health and well-being of children over time. This study will focus on the NICHD’s Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development data.
This three-year evaluation project was designed to measure the outcome of SCOPE, an inquiry-based science enrichment program for upper-elementary and middle-school aged girls.
The purpose of this project is to inform the Massachusetts board of Early Education and Care (EEC) of the resources that will best serve families and communities in supporting the holistic development of children, youth, and families.
The Career Pathways Project will lead to a set of guidelines promoting success and strengthening the work force for afterschool providers towards stability preparation, support and commitment to the wellbeing and empowerment of youth.