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Ellen S. Gannett, M.Ed.


Ellen S. Gannett is director of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. A national action/research project, NIOST has provided research, evaluation, technical assistance, consultation, and specialized training on afterschool programs throughout the United States for more than 35 years. Ms. Gannett ensures that research bridges the fields of child care, education, and youth development in order to promote programming that addresses the development of the whole child and the professional advancement of the field.

Ms. Gannett’s work ranges from system building for afterschool and youth development to professional development and creating evaluation systems. Ms. Gannett began her work in the afterschool field four decades ago as a Teacher-Director of a school based afterschool program where she worked for seven years. Celebrating her fourth decade with NIOST, she has advanced in the organization from Training Director to Associate Director to Co-Director and now has been the Director since 2006.

Through her work at NIOST, Ms. Gannett currently serves as one of the Technical Assistance Providers for the Wallace Foundation’s Next Generation Afterschool System Building Initiative. She is the Principal Investigator for the Robert Bowne Foundation Afterschool Matters Initiative and is Project Director for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education technical assistance and training initiative for 21st Century Community Learning Center grant recipients. She also serves 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. Ms. Gannett is 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. Her colleagues at NIOST and 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.

A speaker and trainer, Ms. Gannett has conducted hundreds of seminars and advised policy makers and practitioners throughout the country and internationally. She has been featured in numerous media stories and 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, and chapters in the following books: Employer-Supported Child Care: Investing in Human Resources and Yearbook in Early Childhood Education, Vol. 5: Issues in Child Care. 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.

Ms. Gannett is a National Board Member of the American Camp Association 2009-2014 and past co-chair of the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition. She has served as a member of the NAA Board and the QRIS Professional Development Task Force with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. She is the former Board Chair and Founder of the parent-run afterschool program which was attended by her two daughters, now adults.

In 2014, Ms. Gannett was named one of the 25 most influential people in the afterschool community by the National AfterSchool Association. Read more here. 

Wyoming After School Alliance

Gannett and Linda Barton, the Wyoming After School Alliance director, discuss the importance of afterschool programs in this video recorded at the Annual Wyoming After School Alliance conference. Watch the video.


M.Ed. Lesley College, Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, 1974
B.S. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1972
Merrill-Palmer Institute, Detroit, MI, 1971-1972


Selected Presentations
1988 – 2010 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

Phone: 781-283-2544
Fax: 781-283-3657
E-Mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ellen S. Gannett


    NIOST Contacts:

    Phone: (781) 283-2547

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