Ellen S. Gannett
Senior Strategist at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time
- M.Ed., Lesley College
Focused on policy research, program evaluation, training, and consultation to out-of-school time industry professionals and field.
Ellen S. Gannett, M.Ed., was a senior strategist and former director (1981-2022) of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. Gannett began her work in the afterschool field in the 1970s as a teacher-director of a school-based afterschool program where she worked for seven years. During her four decades at NIOST, she advanced in the organization from training director to associate director to co-director and became the director in 2006. Throughout that time, Gannett ensured that research bridged the fields of child care, education, and youth development in order to promote programming that addressed the development of the whole child and the professional advancement of the field.
Gannett served as senior project advisor on NIOST’s Afterschool Program Assessment System work, which includes a linked system of program evaluation and child/youth outcome measurement tools.
Gannett was a founding member of the HOST (Health Out-of-School Time) Coalition, which co-developed the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs. With her colleagues at NIOST, she conducted the research and made the recommendations for the Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals, which were adopted by the National Afterschool Association in 2011.
Gannett received her M.Ed. from the Graduate School of Education at Lesley College. She received her bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and attended the Merrill Palmer Institute in Detroit, MI.
As a speaker and trainer, Gannett conducted hundreds of seminars and advised policymakers and practitioners throughout the country and internationally. She was featured in numerous media stories and gave presentations to the following groups:
- National AfterSchool Association Annual Conventions
- World Forum on Early Care and Education
- National Elementary Schools and Principals Association
- Massachusetts Elementary Schools Principals Association
- American Association of School Administrators
- National School-Age Care Alliance
- National Community Education Association, National Center for Community Education
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National League of Women Voters
- Scottish Out-of-School Care Network
- New Zealand Out of School Time National Conference State and Territories Administrators
- Meeting for the Federal Child Care Bureau
In 2014, Gannett was named one of the 25 most influential people in the afterschool community by the National AfterSchool Association. She was also the recipient of the American Camp Association’s 2015 Hedley S. Dimock Award in recognition of her dedication and contributions to camp and ACA.
Gannett co-authored several NIOST publications including:
- Youth Work Core Competencies: A Review of Existing Frameworks
- Setting the Stage for a Youth Development Associate Credential: A National Review of Professional Development Credentials for the Out-of-School Time Workforce
- Links to Learning: A Curriculum Planning Guide for Afterschool Programs
Gannett co-authored chapters in the following books:
- Employer-Supported Child Care: Investing in Human Resources
- Yearbook in Early Childhood Education, Vol. 5: Issues in Child Care
- The Changing Landscape of Youth Work: Theory and Practice for an Evolving Field
She also co-authored the 1998 edition of ASQ: Assessing School-Age Child Care Quality as well as the Project’s publication, School-Age Child Care: a Policy Report.
Gannett was a National Board Member of the American Camp Association from 2009 to 2014 and past co-chair of the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition. She served as a member of the board for the National AfterSchool Alliance and the QRIS Professional Development Task Force with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. She was the former Board Chair and Founder of the parent-run afterschool program, which was attended by her two daughters, now adults.