About Us

For more than 35 years, NIOST has been a leader in defining, shaping, and promoting out-of-school time (OST) as a distinct professional field with evidence-based quality standards. We bridge the worlds of research and practice to provide OST directors, staff, planners, school administrators, community leaders, and others with research, training, evaluation, and consultation to enhance and improve the quality of programs for all children and youth.

We advance the field of OST by:

  • Developing research-based standards for OST programs and practitioners
  • Enhancing the leadership, youth development, and quality improvement skills of practitioners and program managers
  • Showing OST programs how to continuously improve through  evaluation and discussion with all stakeholders
  • Building OST systems in cities, states, and regions across the nation
  • Influencing policy
  • Guiding community action to make quality OST programs more available, sustainable, and accessible to all

 

PlaceholderProfessionalDevelopmentNIOST first brought national attention to the importance of OST programming in the 1970s as a strategy to help mothers enter and stay in the workforce. Since then, we have focused on how OST programs can build on the work of schools, especially in high-need communities, to improve children’s wellbeing and life prospects.

Much of NIOST’s work encompasses projects of national scope and influence, several representing firsts for the field. NIOST plays a lead role in building a wide range of OST systems across the country--initiatives that use a multi-level, multi-faceted, collaborative approach, integrating research, evaluation, and promising practices to build staff skills and create stronger, more sustainable, higher-quality programs for all children and youth in the community.

Girls on Swing istockNIOST’s long track record of partnering with different types of organizations and funders lets us draw upon resources strengthened from years of networking and field-building work. NIOST approaches all projects from a team-focused perspective and has relationships with consultants across the country who provide their expertise when needed.

NIOST has also long worked at the forefront of OST research and evaluation, providing user-friendly evaluation support to OST programs and initiatives around the country.

To disseminate the latest knowledge and build the leadership of the field, NIOST produces a wide array of research and technical assistance, papers, publications, and assessment and training tools.

We look forward to helping OST professionals strengthen, grow, and improve their programs through our unique range of offerings, depth of experience, and customized solutions.

 

 

 

NIOST is a program of Wellesley Centers for Women, a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.

 

 

  • PEOPLE ARE SAYING

    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."



    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key
  • PEOPLE ARE SAYING

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."


    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation

  • PEOPLE ARE SAYING

    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."


    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society
  • PEOPLE ARE SAYING

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."



    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA

niost@wellesley.edu
781.283.2547
Directions to NIOST