Education and Child Care Projects

edandcare keyareas smScholars 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.



  • Equity Lab Charter School

    2018 - 2019

    Open Circle is adapting its elementary school social and emotional learning curricula and interactive and experiential professional development for integration into Grades 5- 6 at Equity Lab Charter School during the 2018-2019 school year, the first step toward an expansion into middle school.

  • Wellesley College McNair Scholars Program Evaluation

    2018 - 2019

    Lindsay served as an external evaluator to the Wellesley College McNair Scholars Program, which employs evidence-based practices to increase the number and proportion of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority women who are prepared for rigorous graduate study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

  • APT Validation Study III: Reducing Cultural Bias in Youth Program Quality Observations

    2017 - 2018

    Funded by William T. Grant Foundation in 2013-2015, the purpose of Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT) II Study was to develop and test drive a multi-pronged online reliability training designed to improve rating accuracy for youth program observations.

  • Ready Educators Quality Improvement Pilot

    2013 - 2016

    Pilot project in improving quality in early education and care.

  • Assessing the Professional Development Needs of BPS Early Childhood Programs

    2015 - 2016

    The primary goals of this project are to describe the quality of Boston Public School early childhood programs in public schools and in community-based programs, and examine the contributions of current Boston Public School initiatives to quality programs.

  • APT Validation Study II: Improving rater reliability

    2013 - 2016

    The goal of this study is to enhance rater accuracy of the Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT).

  • Technical Assistance, Next Generation Afterschool System Building Initiative

    2012 - 2016

    The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) provided technical assistance to support nine U.S. cities as they developed, refined, and expanded their work to improve afterschool program quality.

  • Undergraduate Science Education Grant Evaluation

    Ongoing since 2012

    The Wellesley Centers for Women will develop appropriate assessments, collaborate with the Office for Institutional Research and team members to collect date, conduct data analyses, prepare reports, and provide feedback from the evaluation to Science Center and College representatives.

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

    2011 - 2012

    The 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.

  • The Importance of Information in the Choice of Study Place and Field

    2010 - 2011

    This project evaluates how much high school seniors know about the labor market impacts related to their study choices and how additional information affects their application process and choices among alternative study places.

  • Improving Teacher Quality through the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum

    2011 - 2014

    The aim of this three-year initiative is to expand the influence of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), to make its model of schooling inclusiveness for all children and families, including its innovative professional development practices, more widely known and available to educators in the United States.

  • Men’s Changing Family Roles

    2011 - 2012

    This 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.

  • Understanding the Impact of Arts Programming on School Dropout

    2010 - 2011

    This study investigated the effective practices and support offered in an arts-based afterschool programs to reduce the dropout rate among high school students.

  • After-School Gets Moving

    2010 - 2012

    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.

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

    2010 - 2011

    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.

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

    2009 - 2011

    An evaluation of physical spaces in Massachusetts child care settings.

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

    2008 - 2011

    The project combined 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.

  • Outcomes Evaluation of FasTracKids

    2007 - 2009

    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.

  • Building an Outcomes Evaluation System Phase III

    Ongoing since 2007

    During this phase of work, National Institute on Out-of-School Time (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.

  • Collaborative Language and Literacy Instruction Project (CLLIP) Research and Evaluation-Year 4

    2007 - 2012

    The CLLIP Research and Evaluation Project is designed to assess the impact of a literacy intervention for low-income poor performing school districts in the state of Ohio.

  • The Massachusetts Child Care Subsidy Study

    2007 - 2012

    The primary purpose of the study was to provide a picture of child care usage among Massachusetts low-income families.

  • NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development

    1991 - 2010

    This 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.

  • Boston Public Schools Early Childhood Studies

    2006 - 2014

    Assessing Preschool and Kindergarten Programs The 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.

  • Success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (SISTEM)

    2006 - 2010

    While girls do well in science and math courses in middle school, they are less likely to enroll in higher-level STEM courses in high school, thus few will choose these subjects for a college major, and even fewer will complete such a major or go on to pursue a STEM career. The increased knowledge generated by this study will inform ways to increase the participation of girls and other under-represented groups (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, low-income youth) in sustained STEM study and employment.

  • Health and Safety in Massachusetts Early Care and Education Programs

    2006 - 2006

    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.

  • Women in Engineering: Evaluation Project

    2003 - 2005

    This was an evaluation of a program that aimed to increase the number of middle school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

  • Fairer Science

    2005 - 2008

    This project seeks to help scientific researchers better communicate their findings on gender as it relates to science, technology, engineering and math to key audiences: media, advocates, policy makers, public.

  • Hear Our Voices: Evaluation Project

    2004 - 2005

    This project was an evaluation of an all-girls program that provides technology resources, female mentors, and a learning environment to improve girls' attitudes toward and understanding of computers.

  • Developing Direct Connections on Bullying and Harassment to Curriculum Frameworks and Performance Standards Nationwide Using Bullyproof

    2004 - 2006

    This project led to the development of a teacher's manual that links curriculum on bullying and harassment directly to national education standards, based on Bullyproof curriculum.

  • Massachusetts Early Care and Education and School Readiness Study

    2004 - 2009

    Researchers focused 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.

  • Gender Equity in Model Sites (GEMS)

    2004 - 2005

    This project was centered around the question of research, funding, and results: was it possible to implement gender equity in a school over just three years?

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

    2004 - 2006

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

  • Child Care Voucher Project

    2004 - 2005

    WCW 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.

  • Massachusetts Capacity Study

    2004 - 2005

    The 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 Afterschool Research Study (MARS)

    2003 - 2005

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

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

    2001 - 2005

    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.

  • Maine Cost and Quality Study

    2001 - 2002

    This 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 Cost and Quality Study

    2000 - 2004

    The 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.

  • SCOPE: Evaluation project

    1999 - 2000

    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.

  • Cross-Cities Network

    2000 - 2002

    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.

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

    Completed in 2006

    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

    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.

  • WEEA: Review Project


    This long-term project was designed to assess gender equity educational materials which were created in relation to the development of Title IX.

  • Oral Storytelling in Math: Evaluation Project

    1998 - 2001

    This was an evaluation of materials/programs to help educators teach spatial relations and geometry through the use of storytelling, and its benefits for girls and boys.

  • Empathy Project

    1998 - 2008

    One of the major developmental tasks of preschoolers is to develop empathy; this project researches and designs curriculum in order better understand and cultivate empathy at a young and critical age.

  • Boston After-School Experiences Study (BASES)

    1994 - 1998

    Experiences in Boston After-School Programs This 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.

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