The Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) is a study being run by researchers at Harvard University designed to provide guidance to the field about: (1) key outcomes for children that are particularly sensitive to high-quality early learning environments (e.g., vocabulary, higher-order thinking, self-regulation), and (2) features of early schooling (e.g., types of instruction, teacher characteristics) that maintain and/or multiply – or even undermine – the benefits of preschool. This study is a population-based investigation within Massachusetts aimed at capturing the experiences of children in the various settings in which they are cared for and educated. Since 2017, the study team has recruited approximately 3,000 3- and 4-year-old children and their families across the state to participate. We are moving into the third year of the study in which we will continue to collect data from this same group of families and children, who are now 5 and 6 years old. For more information on the study you can go to:
Abt Associates, a Massachusetts-based research organization, is partnering with Harvard researchers to carry out the study. The positions being advertised will be under the management of Abt research staff. You can visit Abt’s website here: www.abtassociates.com.
Needed: Individuals for the position of Outreach Staff & Child Assessor. This is a part-time temporary position. Assessments will be administered to children between 5- and 6-years-old primarily during afterschool hours or on the weekends. Assessor candidates must be available at least a minimum of 3 days or 20 hours per week during late afternoon/evening and weekend hours. Staff will be hired as consultants through a temporary staffing agency. No benefits can be provided. We will pay for certain approved travel expenses and consistent access to a reliable car is essential for this work. Weekly timecards will be completed online, so candidates must have access to computer (or tablet) and internet.
Time Period: Up to 7-day training in early/mid-November 2019 (dates TBD). Outreach and assessment activities will take place from early December 2019 through early March 2020.
Job Location: Communications with parents to schedule assessment will primarily be done over the phone and via email. Assessments will take place in children’s homes or other community-settings depending on parents’ preferences (i.e., a library, community center, coffee shop, etc.). Data collectors will be assigned to assess children within a one-hour driving radius from their home and must be comfortable with traveling this amount of time. Travel time can be included as hours worked in staffs’ weekly timesheets.
Position Description: The position will involve conducting outreach through phone and email to parents of children enrolled in the study and then ultimately scheduling a date to conduct direct assessments of the children. Although all parents and children participated in ELSAH previously, staff will need to be well-versed in the study background information and protocols in order to ask parents to continue to participate in the study this year and address parent questions. Assessors will also be asked to collect and track some brief information about the child’s grade, school, and classroom from parents during initial scheduling phone calls. Most assessments may be conducted in the children’s own homes depending on the children’s care arrangement and parent preferences. The assessments are standardized instruments that measure early reading skills, receptive and expressive vocabulary skills, math skills, and executive functioning skills. Assessment measures may include and are not necessarily limited to: Woodcock-Johnson III: Applied Problems & Letter Word Identification; QUILS; Pencil Tapping Task; Minnesota Executive Function Scale; PALS; and Preschool Language Screener.
This position will include regular data entry on tablets provided by the study. Assessor candidates should be comfortable with entering data and basic tablet technology.
Candidates must be able to attend the entire training session and meet reliability standards on the measures. The training is planned for up to seven full days in early/mid-November 2019 in Cambridge, MA (dates TBD). All training time is paid. Hotel accommodations will be covered for candidates who live more than one hour from Cambridge.
Additional data collection staffing needs for care setting/classroom observations will likely arise in March 2020. The study team will provide more information to assessors about this opportunity to be trained on and help with the observations later this spring. A separate hiring effort will take place for the observations and any interested assessors will be asked to apply.
Salary: Assessors will be paid $20 - $25/hour, depending on relevant experience and language skills.
Other: Candidates will be required to have background checks, which will be arranged upon conditional hiring.
Qualifications for All Positions
· Education: Bachelor’s degree in Education, Psychology, or related field preferred.
· Job skills and experience:
- Comfort with talking about what participation in research studies entails and what the benefits are of participation.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail are required.
- Comfort with accurately entering data and using a computer tablet is required.
- Experience working with children in early childhood/elementary education settings is strongly preferred.
- Training/education in child development preferred.
- Previous research experience preferred.
- Experience administering child assessments is preferred.
Bilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin) preferred.
Job Type: Part-time
Salary: $20.00 to $25.00 /year