Childcare Projects

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.





  • Developing and Validating Practical Teacher Assessments for Use in Center-based Pre-kindergarten Programs

    Ongoing since 2011


    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.



  • Men’s Changing Family Roles

    Ongoing since 2011
    Men’s Changing Family Roles


    workfamilieschildren_small20This 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.



  • Physical Activity over Time: Health Outcomes of Elementary School Children

    Completed in 2011
    Long-term health benefits of physical activity

    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.



  • Next Generation Youth Work Coalition

    Ongoing since 2007
    Maintaining the Momentum

    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.



  • Out of Harm's Way

    Completed in 2009
    Preventing Violence in Boston Middle Schools

    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.



  • Building an Outcomes Evaluation System Phase III

    Ongoing since 2007
    Developing Youth and Family Surveys

    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.



  • Boston Ready

    Universal Access to Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators

    Using a randomized control design, Michelle Porche will conduct an evaluation of the Boston Ready professional development intervention to test its effectiveness.



  • New York City Urban Debate League: Investigating Youth's Experiences in a "Democracy in Action" Afterschool Program

    Completed in 2006
    NYC Debate Teams in Afterschool Programs

    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?



  • Met Life Discovering Community Initiative: An Evaluation Project

    Completed in 2006
    Creating Communities in After-School Settings

    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.



  • Learning Circles

    Completed
    Girl Scouts Mentoring

    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.



  • Afterschool Program Assessment System (APAS)

    Ongoing since 2006
    Assessing Quality Afterschool Programs

    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.



  • Family Income, Infant Child Care, and Child Development Study

    Completed in 2005
    Child Care Centers' Influence on Infant Development

    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.



  • NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development

    Completed in 2010
    Early Environments and the Development of Children

    workfamilieschildren_small20This 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.



  • Massachusetts Early Care and Education Studies

    Ongoing since 1999
    Assessment of Early Care and Education in Massachusetts

    workfamilieschildren_small20This group of inter-related research projects seeks to understand the state of early care and education in Massachusetts and make recommendations for quality outcomes.



  • Massachusetts Early Care and Education and School Readiness Study

    Completed in 2007
    Early Care and Education and School Readiness: Massachusetts

    workfamilieschildren_small20Researchers 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. 



  • Maine Cost and Quality Study

    2001-2002
    Cost and Quality of Child Care in Maine

    workfamilieschildren_small20This 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.