The project team developed a standards inventory to assess the quality of facilities housing Early Care and Education (ECE) and out-of-school-time (OST) programs for children across Massachusetts. The project team also developed a measurement tool to be used to study 140 licensed child care facilities across the state of Massachusetts.
On October 29, 2013, the Massachusetts House and Senate approved the five-year housing and community development bond bill (H 3727) which includes a new Early Education and Out of School Capital Fund to improve the quality of program facilities. The Children’s Investment Fund (CIF), which worked with policy makers and other advocates to move the issue forward, notes that this step “affirms that high quality education makes a positive impact in children’s lives as well as in the economic development of the state. It also acknowledges that all children, regardless of family income or circumstances, should be educated in physical environments that support healthy development and learning.” The CIF funded research in 2011 undertaken by a Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) team: Wendy Wagner Robeson, Ed.D., senior research scientist at WCW; Georgia Hall, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at WCW; and Nancy Marshall, Ed.D., associate director and senior research scientist at WCW. The WCW team worked with CIF to develop evidence-based Program Facility Standards. With the engineering firm, On-Site Insight, the WCW team conducted The Facilities Inventory, which assessed the quality of facilities housing early care and education and out-of-school-time programs for children across Massachusetts. The research, Building an Infrastructure for Support, was critical to the success of CIF's efforts.