For Immediate Release: January 2, 2014
Recently, 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 L. 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 executive summary of this research, Building an Infrastructure for Support, was critical to the success of CIF's efforts, and is available online.
The Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College is one of the largest gender-focused research-and-action organizations in the world. Scholars at the Centers conduct social science research and evaluation, develop theory and publications, and implement training and action programs on issues that put women’s lives and women’s concerns at the center. Since 1974, WCW’s work has generated changes in attitudes, practices, and public policy.