Childcare


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.


    Active Projects in this Area




  • Afterschool Matters

    Ongoing since 2007
    A National Research, Writing and Action Initiative

    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.




  • 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.




  • Boston Quality Inventory

    Ongoing since 2007
    Assessment of Boston Childcare Programs

    workfamilieschildren_small20This 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.




  • 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.




  • 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.




  • 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.




  • 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.




  • National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST)

    Ongoing since 1978
    NIOST

    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.




  • 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.




  • Program Practices: An Investigation of Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Standards and Practices

    2010-2011
    Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in Out-of-School Programs

    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. 




  • Work, Families and Children

    Ongoing since 1986
    Assessing Child Care Issues in Working Families

    workfamilieschildren This long-term program brings together research on employment, work and family issues, and child care as a support for working families.


  • Archived Projects in this Area




  • After-School Gets Moving

    2010-2012
    Research Study on Physical Activity in OST

    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.




  • Boston After-School Experiences Study (BASES)

    1994-1998
    Experiences in Boston After-School Programs

    workfamilieschildren_small20This 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.




  • Boston Public Schools Early Childhood Studies

    Ongoing since 2006
    Assessing Preschool and Kindergarten Programs

    workfamilieschildren_small20The 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.




  • 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.




  • Bringing Yourself to Work: Caregiving in After-School Environments

    2004-2005
    Caregiving in After-School Environments

    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.




  • Building a Skilled and Stable Workforce for After School Programs

    Building Afterschool Programs: Workforce

    Researchers gathered economists, policy-makers, and funders to develop several recommendations for building a skilled and stable workforce for After School Programs.




  • Child Care Voucher Project

    Completed 2007
    Assessing Massachusetts' Voucher System

    workfamilieschildren_small20WCW 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.




  • CityWorks: Building Strong Citywide Afterschool Initiatives

    Completed in 2004
    Building Strong Afterschool Initiatives: Policy Planning

    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.




  • Cross-Cities Network

    Completed in 2007
    Leaders of After-School Initiatives

    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.




  • Facilities for Early Childhood and Out-of-School Time Programs: Standards and Research

    Completed in 2011

    workfamilieschildren_small20

    An evaluation of physical spaces in Massachusetts child care settings.




  • 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.




  • From Out-of-School to Outer Space: Exploring the Solar System with NASA

    Completed in 2011
    Afterschool Activities from NASA

    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.




  • Health and Safety in Massachusetts Early Care and Education Programs

    2006
    Assessing Health Practices in Early Education

    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.




  • Influence of Early Care and Education on Children's Outcomes and Family Functioning: An Ecological Model

    2004-2006
    An Ecological Model: ECE, Children's Outcomes and Family Functioning

    workfamilieschildren_small20This study examines the varying quality of child care in Massachusetts and across the nation, and its effect on children's performance and family functioning.




  • 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.




  • 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.




  • Massachusetts Afterschool Research Study (MARS)

    Completed in 2005
    Researching Quality Afterschool Programming: Massachusetts

    This project sought to identify the most successful elements of afterschool programs in Massachusetts; including staff, policy making, funding, and program/activity participation.




  • Massachusetts Capacity Study

    2004-2005
    Assessment of Massachusetts' Education Workforce

    workfamilieschildren_small20The 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.




  • Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study

    2000-2004
    Cost and Quality of Child Care in Massachusetts

    workfamilieschildren_small20The 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.




  • 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. 




  • 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.




  • 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?




  • 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.




  • 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.




  • Outcomes Evaluation of FasTracKids

    2007-2009
    Evaluation of Participants in FasTracKids

    international work 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.




  • 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.




  • SCOPE: Evaluation project

    1999-2000
    After-School Program at Ecotarium, Massachusetts

    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.




  • State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care Needs Assessment

    Completed in 2012
    Early Childhood Education

    workfamilieschildren_small20The 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.




  • Youth Worker Career Pathways Project

    Completed in 2010
    Guiding States, Localities and Organizations toward a Framework for Policy and Practice

    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.