Ellen S. Gannett

Ellen S. Gannett

Senior Strategist

B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst; M.Ed., Lesley College

Senior Strategist focused on policy research, program evaluation, training, and consultation to out-of-school time industry professionals and field.


Ellen S. Gannett was a senior strategist and former director at 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 40 years. Ms. Gannett ensured 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.

  • Background
    Gannett began her work in the afterschool field as a teacher-director of a school-based afterschool program where she worked for seven years. She has been with NIOST for over four decades. Gannett directed NIOST for over ten years. In 2017, she transitioned to the role of senior strategist.
  • Education
    Gannett received her M.Ed. from the Graduate School of Education at Lesley College. She received her bachelor’s of science degree from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and attended the Merrill Palmer Institute in Detroit, MI.
  • Presentation Highlights
    A speaker and trainer, Gannett has conducted hundreds of seminars and advised policymakers and practitioners throughout the country and internationally. She has been featured in numerous media stories and has given presentations to the following groups:
    • 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
  • Awards and Recognition
    n 2014, Ms. Gannett was named one of the 25 most influential people in the afterschool community by the National AfterSchool Association. She is also the recipient of the American Camp Association’s 2015 Hedley S. Dimock Award in recognition of her dedication and contributions to camp and ACA.
  • Selected Publications
    Gannett has 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
    Gannett has also co-authored chapters in the following books:
    • Employer-Supported Child Care: Investing in Human Resources
    • Yearbook in Early Childhood Education, Vol. 5: Issues in Child Care
    • The Changing Landscape of Youth Work: Theory and Practice for an Evolving Field
    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.
  • Affiliations
    Gannett was a National Board Member of the American Camp Association from 2009 to 2014 and past co-chair of the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition. She has served as a member of the board for the National AfterSchool Alliance 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.



    "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

    "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


    "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

    "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

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

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

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