Africa Policy Journal

imageMpumelelo Nxumalo is the Editor-In-Chief of the Africa Policy Journal. He is a Master of Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He previously worked as a Research Analyst in the African Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) covering the central African region including Cameroon, Congo Rep., Chad, the Central Africa Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. He participated in IMF missions to the central African Economic and Monetary Union (CEMAC), where he got first-hand exposure to the matters pertinent to African country authorities. He graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2010. His professional interests are in macroeconomics, international finance, and industrial policy. Mpumelelo is originally from Zimbabwe. 


The Africa Policy Journal (APJ) is run by students at the Harvard Kennedy School who have a passion for Africa’s development. APJ launched its 2014 Call for Submissions on October 15th 2013. We reached a diverse audience through our website and Facebook page. Submissions included book reviews, Op-Eds, and academic articles. We successfully solicited high profile interviews–one with the former Prime Minister of Niger and CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, and the other with UN Resident Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande. A general theme of both interviews is a discussion of the importance of leadership in development.

On the topic of leadership I would be remiss if I did not mention Nelson Mandela who passed away in December 2013. The Economist magazine put it best when it wrote that “the greatness of Mandela challenges us all”. The 2014 edition of the Africa Policy Journal features several commentaries on the subject of leadership in Africa. As one reads through, for example, Professor Frankel’s commentary on the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leaders or the interview with Dr. Mayaki, one cannot help but contemplate on the urgency of this topic in light on Mandela’s passing. I am confident that the Africa Policy Journal will continue to be an indispensable mouthpiece for those who are as excited about Africa’s future as we are.

Thank you to all our supporters. The 2014 print edition comes out mid-April. Pre-order yours today!!


Tags: student life

HKS Happy

Each spring there is an HKS talent show, and this video made its debut during the show last Friday night. Access to YouTube is required to watch this video and email subscribers may need to visit the blog directly to watch.


Tags: student life

HKS Serves


"Recently, more than 100 students, faculty, and staff at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) participated in HKS Serves which was organized by the Student Public Service Collaborative (SPSC).

The mission of the Student Public Service Collaborative is to maximize the sustained impact of HKS on the local community and beyond by heightening awareness of needs, facilitating hands-on engagement, and building collaborative relationships.

HKS Serves had a record number of volunteer sites.   Projects included preparing and serving food for individuals living with HIV at Community Servings; organizing donations at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory in Brighton; doing spring landscaping preparation for the Charles River Conservancy.

Ashley Zlatinov, MPP 2015, co-chaired the project.  She is especially excited about working with the SPSC team to increase public service culture and opportunities on campus. She said, “We were thrilled to have increased participation across the HKS Community, involving faculty, Centers, and students from all degree programs, truly making Public Service Week a campus-wide event.”

Christina Marin, MPP 2014 got involved with the leadership team this year. “I find one-day volunteering is a great way to get to know how an organization works, meet staff members, and test whether this is an organization you want to volunteer for/work for in the future. There’s so much good work being done in the nonprofit sector in Boston. It’s a gift to spend a day learning about their initiatives,” she said.

She added, “I wanted to volunteer at all the sites. It was hard to choose the best option. I ended up working with the Charles River Conservancy, an organization I know well and really respect. I’m always looking for an excuse to be outdoors – even if it’s 20 degrees!  I learned the CRC is still pushing forward with underpasses to connect the trails along the Charles and that more community pressure is needed to realize this important infrastructure investment.

I’ve had too many close calls with cars while running along the Charles so I appreciate CRC’s efforts in advocacy for this initiative.   I also met some pretty cool HKS staff members. As an HKS student, there are not many opportunities to connect with the wonderful and talented people that work at HKS. Friday was an exception!”

Kats Tsai, MPP 2015 also on the leadership team said, “I volunteered at Boston Living Center - I served lunch to 80-120 HIV positive guests.  Community service is important because, as students at Harvard Kennedy School, we need to understand that we are highly privileged, and we need to find ways to give back to the community, no matter how small or intangible our individual efforts are.”

Paula Koczera, associate director, employer relations, volunteered at Cradles To Crayons.    C2C provides children (from birth to age 12) with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.  They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.

“We had 20 volunteers (15 students, 5 staff), split into two groups – one groups sorted new donations to check for quality and my group “shopped” for items requested by the families or social workers.  As a group, we were able to help well over 100 children.  C2C staff did a great job of keeping us focused on the fact that these were ‘real children with real needs’ and accomplished this by asking us the name of the child we were ‘shopping’ for and reminding us to ‘squeeze out the air, and in the love’ each time we prepared a bag for shipment.  C2C is an amazing organization with incredible staff. I plan to volunteer there again in the future,” she said.

Above photo taken by Martha Stewart.

Please click here to view more photos on the HKS Serves flickr page.



Tags: student life

IOP Events

I thought I would pass along some of the recent and upcoming events sponsored by the Institute of Politics. The conversation with Wendy Kopp can be viewed here.


Upcoming events include the following.



Tags: student life

A Window into the HKS-HBS Joint Degree Program

The following post was composed by Sean McBride and Hayling Price, the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Council Student Admission Representatives.


Hello from the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Leadership council! The HKS/HBS joint degree program is oriented towards students pursuing careers that will engage the public, private and nonprofit sectors. As student admission representatives for the joint degree program, we are hoping to provide interested and prospective students with an overview of the program and to answer some FAQs.

If you just recently confirmed that you were accepted at both schools…CONGRATULATIONS! To accept your offer please make sure to take the appropriate steps each school requires to confirm enrollment. Once the 2017 HKS-HBS joint degree class is finalized, you will receive much more detailed information about the program from both school administrations and from the Joint Degree Student Leadership Council.

What is the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program and how is it structured?

Each year, the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program brings together a new cohort of roughly 20-30 students who are working to obtain both an MBA from HBS and either an MPP or MPA/ID from HKS. HKS allows students to undertake concurrent degrees with a number of business schools. However, the HKS/HBS joint degree is by far the most structured of these dual-degree options. The program takes three-years instead of four to complete and requires students to meet the core curricula of both the MBA and MPP or MPA/ID programs.

The joint program schedule across the three years is as follows: the 1st year is at HKS; the 2nd year is at HBS; and the 3rd year is split between the two schools. Each class graduates with the HBS cohort they begin with in their second year. Additionally, students engage in co-curricular seminars throughout their three years with faculty from both HBS and HKS (i.e. the first year course when you are at HKS is taught by a HBS professor and vice versa the next year). This is not only unique for joint MBA/MPP programs, but also for joint MD/MBA or JD/MBA programs.

More information is available on both the HKS and HBS websites.

Why do students choose a joint degree?

Every student comes to the joint program for a different reason. Generally speaking, we can divide these students into three groups. First, you have students who aspire to work across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in the course of their careers. Next, there is what we often dub the “social entrepreneur” who seeks to combine the skills of multiple sectors in redefining both for-profit and non-profit business models. Additionally, there are students that want to work directly in the intersection of business and government. These careers might include corporate government affairs or government regulatory policy. Alternatively, they might be people who want to work exclusively in the public or private sector but in industries that are highly regulated or otherwise have a lot of government involvement (e.g. health care, energy). The moral of the story is that joint degrees go on to all types of careers post-graduation!

What were students doing before they joined the program? 

Just as there is no “typical” HKS or HBS student, there is no “typical” joint degree background. All of us come from different paths. Perhaps more than the general population of either school, joint degree students (or “jointees” as we call ourselves) often come with experience in both the private and public sectors – though that is definitely not the case for all. Current jointees include people formerly in the military, management consulting, finance, policy and politics (including a former elected official!), and social entrepreneurship.  Jointees are also very international with people coming to the program from all over the world.

How do students finance the joint degree program?

Similar to other students at HKS or HBS there is a wide variety of financing options to cover the cost of your education. Both schools will provide you with ample resources to learn about all the funding and grant opportunities available. Most jointees fund their education through a combination of federal or private loans, private savings, need-based aid, and fellowship or grant opportunities.

HKS offers a wide array of fellowships, work-study options, and other funding opportunities. A good deal of the financial aid available at HKS is through the different Centers. Be sure to check these out during your financial aid process. HBS also offers very generous aid that is largely need-based. Jointees also have the opportunity to pursue joint degree-specific funding. Many jointees receive Zuckerman or David M. Rubenstein Fellowships at HKS to help offset the costs of the first year of the program, whereas the George Leadership Fellowship at HBS helps a handful of jointees finance their third year.      

Both HKS and HBS also offer generous and ample funding opportunities for internships, projects, or career opportunities. For example, many jointees pursue and receive funding through the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative to intern in the public or nonprofit sectors during one of their two summers.

What is the joint degree committee like once you start the program?

HBS and HKS support a joint degree student leadership council that helps create an integrated social and academic experience for us jointees. The Council works with the administrations of both schools to continually improve the program and plan activities within the cohort. You have the opportunity to develop really special bonds with your fellow jointees who share your interests in business, government, and social impact. Each joint degree class graduates with amazing friends from HKS and HBS respectively, but the bonds between fellow jointees are especially strong and special. There is also an active and growing network of jointee alumni who have a special place in their hearts for up and coming HKS/HBS jointees!

What are the cultural differences between the two schools?

It’s funny. As joint degrees we are very attuned to the different stereotypes each school holds about the other. That said most of the stereotypes are just that – generalizations. Ironically, more of our HKS friends than HBS friends have asked for help preparing for their McKinsey interviews. And many of our HKS friends are surprised to hear that the largest student organization at HBS is the Social Enterprise Club.  While cultures, of course, vary among institutions there is no “typical” background at either school, making both dynamic and diverse communities.
Are classes taught differently at the two schools?

The classroom experience is substantially different across schools. HBS is entirely case-based, with the exception of FIELD. If you have not sat in a class or watched the online video you should do so now to see what you’ll be getting into! It’s an intense and exciting experience that really depends on student participation to drive the class. At HKS, the structure of classes is much more diverse, with some professors relying on lectures, case examples or other, more interactive formats. 

What kind of advising do students receive?

Probably the greatest advantage of being a joint degree student is that you have access to the advising services of two world-renowned institutions. Starting from your first of three years, joint degree students receive both in-person and virtual assistance from both career service offices in addition to designated faculty and administrations who sit on the joint degree advisory board. Perhaps even more important is the advice we get from each other as a tight cohort of peers who all share a common interest in both business and government. Both of us have been known to refer to the joint degrees as our “family” and rely on our cohort heavily for both personal and professional guidance.

Where can I learn more about the joint program?

Several jointees were recently on a webinar where we answered prospective students’ questions about the program. It is a good way to learn more about current jointees’ experiences and reflections on the program, including why we decided to do the joint HBS/HKS program instead other options. 

Also, please feel free to contact the HKS/HBS Joint Degree Council Student Admission representatives with any questions you might have!

Prospective students with administrative-related inquiries regarding the joint HKS/HBS program are also welcome to send a message to

Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy

imageJuana Hernandez is a first-year Master in Public Policy candidate concentrating in Social and Urban Policy. In addition to serving as the Managing Editor of Print for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Juana serves as a graduate student coordinator for the Public Policy Leadership Conference, which empowers undergraduates of underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers and graduate study in public policy.

Before coming to HKS, Juana served as the Assistant Director of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program. In this role, she collaborated with Hispanic-serving institutions and federal government agencies to administer a student employment program across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Prior to this, Juana worked in academic advising and retention programming at the University of the District of Columbia, the District’s only public post-secondary institution, and a historically black university. There she helped launch various academic support measures for nontraditional student populations, as well as provide guidance on institutional policy alignment. 

For her leadership in public service, Juana has been recognized by the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Harry S. Truman Foundation, the Public Policy and International Affairs fellowship program, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and the American Education Research Association. A proud Chicana, Juana was born and raised in southern California, within a Mexican immigrant household. She graduated magna cum laude from UCLA, with a B.A. in American literature, and minors in political science, education studies, and Chicana/o studies. 

She kindly authored this post on the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.


I came to HKS eager to sharpen my skills in policy research and communications, as I have seen how critical these skills are in framing policy debates and influencing final decision-making. At HKS students are able to build these skills through involvement in nine student journals, including the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy (HJHP).

Founded in 1985, HJHP is the oldest student publication at HKS and the only one dedicated to examining the policy issues that impact the U.S. Latino/a community. Each year HJHP culls through countless submissions to publish the most timely, innovative, and inspiring policy ideas. In this way, HJHP serves as a platform for policy thought leadership, publishing the work of respected faculty and experienced professionals alongside that of emerging scholars.

Our 26th volume will launch on April 4th and includes pertinent research on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, a call for an environmental justice agenda for the Latino/a community, and an exclusive interview with Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez on comprehensive immigration reform. It also highlights the work of Favianna Rodriguez and Nancy Guevara, two artist-activists who have used their artwork to give voice to the Latino/a community. With an active and growing subscription base, our readership cuts across academia, government, and the nonprofit sector, linking researchers with practitioners.

In addition to our annual print publication, HJHP is committed to driving policy discourse and promoting Latino/a leadership through our website and social media presence. This year, we unveiled a new website to target a wider audience through more diverse content, including opinion editorials. We have also launched a collection of PolicyCasts that feature candid discussions with prominent Latino/a leaders like former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. HJHP’s Facebook and Twitter pages provide real time coverage of Harvard-wide happenings that pertain to the the Latino/a community, such as a recent lecture by award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos.

Beyond all this, HJHP remains committed to promoting the success and retention of Latino/a students at HKS, and across the Harvard campus. Our editorial staff includes graduate students of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and we regularly collaborate with student leaders of the university-wide Harvard Latino Student Association and of the Harvard Latino Law, Policy, and Business Conference. In addition, we routinely support initiatives of the HKS Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Admissions Office, and the Kennedy School Student Government to facilitate outreach to new and prospective students.

HJHP is fortunate to have the support of a robust Executive Advisory Board. The 16-person board includes HKS alumni and influential leaders from top research universities, think tanks, consulting firms, and government.

To learn more about the journal please visit our website where you read our online content and subscribe to the 26th Volume.

Tags: student life

In Search of an Unconceivable Career Change – Ioannis Tsoutsias MC/MPA 2014

image"Why did you apply for a Master in Public Administration?" Coming from the private sector, I had always been embarrassed by this question. My spontaneous reply would have been ‘’out of curiosity’’. I was searching for a long time the opportunity to open the ‘’black box’’ of politics. It was a mystery for me. My second and more sophisticated answer was ‘’in search of a meaningful life’’, a case I made in my HKS application. Working for a billion dollar private equity firm can be quite satisfying but I could never consider it a fulfilling lifestyle. However, I never shared this view with any of my old colleagues. It sounded too radical for a corporate sector audience surrounded by cookie cutter approaches. Moreover, I didn’t even know whether my views made sense; with virtually no experience in the public sector it could be that my ideas were just wishful thinking.

‘’Congratulations!…You are among the talented and diverse group we have singled out on the basis of your intelligence, your leadership, and your commitment’’. The acceptance letter I received from HKS in March of 2013 was an important event to be proud of. However, the ‘’cynical’’ world of private equity had already influenced me too much; I was still looking for tangible proof of the much-touted uniqueness and diversity of the Mid-Career class of HKS. After all, I had heard these words before while I attended the General Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2012, the MBA at INSEAD in 2006 (including an exchange program at Wharton Business School), the Masters in Finance at London Business School in 2004 and the CFA program. Until the very last moment, I cherished some skepticism about my imminent switch from my private sector career to a public sector school, even if this school happened to be the Harvard Kennedy School.

It took me only a few weeks to find out the inside story of the Mid-Career Program at HKS. The school is amazing, one of the few places in the world that offers such a stimulating environment with exciting events taking place virtually every week. The curriculum is extraordinary with an extensive variety of courses to choose from, provoking a headache even to the most self-aware and clearheaded students. The Professors are superb. It is stunning that even the ’’big names’’ of the school are so approachable and eager to help any single student.   

But what really took me by complete surprise were the personalities of my fellow Mid-Career classmates. I had never before met such a terrific group of individuals, the best class I could ever wish for. By any metric, they are so unique. They are accomplished yet humble. They are down-to-earth yet inspiring. They are passionate yet not greedy. They are busy yet always available to ‘’you’’.  They are experienced yet hungry for their next venture. They have received specialized training yet are willing at any time to discuss in detail ’’the Ukrainian crisis’’. They are justifiably the most integral part of my HKS experience.

Throughout my academic journey at Harvard Business School, INSEAD and London Business School, I made close friends. However, I strongly believe that the Mid-Career class at Harvard Kennedy School cannot be compared with that of any other graduate program in the world. This tremendous group of individuals has enabled me to redefine both my professional and my personal goals. It has helped me to challenge my long-standing beliefs, to transform myself, and to evolve in a dramatic way. I have already sensed that a few years out, my life story will have two distinct parts, the one before HKS and the one after HKS. While I haven’t figured out what I am going to do next Summer when I graduate from Harvard Kennedy School, I have already felt so empowered that I am not going to compromise by fitting myself into any stereotype. I only crave to work on meaningful and impactful ventures for society; to make the world a better place is a goal worth being committed to, a war worth fighting for.

A few weeks before the end of my program, I have reached my verdict: Attending the Mid-Career Program at HKS was the best decision I have ever made.


The LGBTQ Policy Journal at Harvard Kennedy School—Moving the Conversation Forward

imageCrosby Burns is a first year Master in Public Policy student at the Kennedy School. He is currently a Managing Editor of the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Kennedy School. He kindly authored this post.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

2013 was a watershed year in the fight for LGBTQ equality. The number of states recognizing marriage equality more than doubled. The Senate passed an inclusive employment non-discrimination bill. And the Supreme Court issued two sweeping rulings affirming that discrimination against LGBTQ people runs afoul of our constitutional principles.

Progress appears to be marching inexorably forward for the LGBTQ rights movement. However, progress does not occur in a vacuum. Our progress on these and other issues comes as the direct result of challenging commonly held belief systems and ideologies. It requires acknowledging that legal equality does not always mitigate the economic injustices and structural violence that threaten our community. And progress requires exploring the complex interplay and intersectionalities between sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and socioeconomic status.

It is in this spirit that the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School was founded in 2011.

The Journal is a student-run, nonpartisan publication dedicated to featuring papers on the policies, politics, trends and issues impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and individuals. Our mission is to elevate the dialogue surrounding these and other topics by offering unique perspectives, voices, information, and analyses. In that vein, the LGBTQ journal is a vehicle to inform and enhance the decisions of public leaders and interested organizations around the world.

This year’s edition will feature groundbreaking research and innovative thought pieces to stimulate dialogue and debate among policymakers and thought-leaders. Ashland Johnson will explore the intersection between reproductive health discrimination and LGBT equality, looking specifically at the disturbing increase in “refusal laws” that sanction discrimination against women and sexual minorities. Craig Pulsipher will unearth disparities in federally funded sex education programs that exclude sexual minorities, leading to poorer health outcomes and higher rates of STIs among LGBT youth. And Susanna Berkhouwer will examine Islam and LGBT rights, with a specific focus on the Arab Spring’s implications for advancing LGBT equality in North Africa and the Middle East.

At the Journal, our work is informed by the progress we have made over the past decade, but more importantly, the challenges that remain. As evidence of these challenges, look no further than Sochi, Russia, where the world’s most talented athletes gathered this winter in a country where discrimination against and persecution of members of the LGBTQ community is codified in Russian law.

Here at home, social and structural inequities continue to plague LGBT communities across the United States. LGBTQ youth continue to comprise a disproportionate share of our nation’s homeless. LGBTQ families continue to report lower incomes and overall economic security compared to non-LGBT families. And violent crimes against transgender people continue to threaten the physical safety of our friends and loved ones.

This year, we hope to continue exploring these and other critical issues through the platforms available to us: in our print journal, on our website, through social media, and at the first-ever interschool LGBTQ Conference at Harvard this February.

We made much progress in 2013 and we’re eager to see where our community will go in 2014.

Tags: student life

Moving Advice - Post 2

Last week we re-posted a moving advice entry written last year by MC/MPA student Alyson Gounden Rock. Alyson writes mostly on those moving with families and this entry focuses on an overview of the day care, child care, and preschool options available in and around Cambridge. The information in these posts does not represent Harvard’s official position, but rather is based on Alyson’s personal experience/views.

MA Definitions of Child Care Terms

Day cares cater to infants starting at about six weeks of age, usually in several infant classes divided by age and stage. Toddler classes are generally for two- to three-year-old children. Preschool classes are for children who are 2.9 years old by September 1st in the year of entry. Pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) classes enroll children who are 3.9 years old by September 1st. Most local preschools include preschool and pre-K classes. Some include toddler classes as well. In Massachusetts, to register for Kindergarten, which is the first mandatory public school grade, a child must turn five by a set cut off date that varies from town to town. Schools that include Kindergarten to fifth or sixth grade are called elementary or grade schools.


Day care centers take applications on a rolling basis. While some centers have current openings, it is normal to end up on a wait list. The timing of HKS acceptances does not fit well with the local preschool application cycle, which has a February application deadline with an April decision schedule. It’s a good idea to apply to several day care centers and preschools as soon as you can. Spots do open up, and applying now will increase your likelihood of getting the most convenient option.


Massachusetts has the most stringent regulations regarding childcare and offers the highest quality childcare in the United States. If you are moving into the area, be prepared for serious sticker shock. As Bostonians would say, childcare here is wicked expensive. This article published two years ago on has a wealth of information on the costs and challenges of childcare in the Boston area.

Day Care Overview

I found a huge amount of information in my research on day care options.To make it a little more manageable, I have listed a general overview, and then links to some of the most useful websites and to resources that I personally know. The Childcare@Harvard website is a good place to start.

Harvard Day Care Centers

There are 6 Harvard Day Care Centers, conveniently located on Harvard’s campus. They care for children from three months to five years old. From the Childcare@Harvard website:

“There are six nonprofit, independent child-care centers located in University space. Five are on the Cambridge campus and one is in the Allston section of Boston, near the Harvard Business School Campus. While these centers give preference to Harvard affiliates, each center is an independent nonprofit organization with its own board of directors. Each center makes its own curricular and enrollment decisions; they are not managed by the University.”

The main thing to note is that Harvard’s Day Care Centers are not exclusively reserved for those affiliated with Harvard. Parents are advised to apply up to a year in advance, and many other Harvard Day Care Center parents are in multi-year programs, or are local families not affiliated with Harvard, who may have been on waiting lists for many months or years. However, spaces do come up at the last minute. Once you have accepted your offer of admission to HKS and enrolled, it is worth filling out the application form for Harvard’s Day Care Centers as soon as possible. Other parents in HKS programs have been offered places off the wait list in past years.

·      List of Harvard Day Care Centers

·      Map of Harvard Day Care Centers

·      Rates for 2012/13

·      Frequently Asked Questions

Application for a Harvard Day Care Center

Harvard Day Care Centers offer a single application in which you list your preferences for many or all Harvard Day Care Centers. This application is used for all centers at once.

Private Day Care Centers

For a list of all private day care centers registered by the state, see the MA Executive Office of Education website. Below I list some local private day care centers that I know, which are close to HKS and accessible via public transport. It’s not an exhaustive list, but these day care centers are convenient if you plan on living in Cambridge, Somerville, Belmont, or Arlington.

Bright Horizons

Open 7am to 6pm daily. Infant through Pre-K (4-5 year olds)

The closest centers to HKS are the Davis Square location (15 mins on the #96 bus or two stops on the red line T) or the new center on Mass Ave in Cambridge (10-15 mins on the #77 bus, has parking). There is also a location in Central Square (10 mins on the #1 bus or one stop on the red line T). There is another location in Watertown, 10 minutes by car from HKS.


Open 7am to 6pm daily. Infant through K (6 year olds)

There is a location in Somerville in Davis Square (15 mins on the #96 bus or two stops on the red line T). There is a location at the Red Line Alewife T stop (three stops from HKS).

Children’s Village

Open 8am to 6pm daily. Infant through Pre-K (4-5 year olds)

This center is not part of a larger network or organization, and when I wrote this, they still had some full- and part-time open spaces. I know this center because my children had a great experience there. The staff is excellent, and the atmosphere is warm and loving. Included in tuition are all meals, snacks, diapers, formula, and bedding for all children, including infants. It is on the #74 bus line, about 15 minutes from HKS, and it is possible to walk to it from the Alewife T stop. It has easy parking and is less than 10 minutes from HKS by car.


Arlington Family Connection lists most of the day care centers and preschools in Arlington.

Family Providers/Nannies

From the Childcare@Harvard website: “For lists of licensed family day care providers and group child care centers in your community, visit the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. In the top left-hand corner, click on ‘Find Early Education & Care Programs’ and then on the third link, ‘Search for Licensed Family, School Age or Center-based Child Care Programs’. For Boston, Chelsea, Brookline, Revere, and Winthrop, visit Child Care Choices of Boston. Services are available in five languages.

In-Home Care/ Nannies/Au Pairs

Companies that match care providers with families for a fee include American Nanny Company,, Cultural Care Au Pair, and Sitter City.

The Childcare@Harvard website also has a page to guide you in the search for a nanny. Websites like Craigslist often have sections for childcare, but be vigilant as many of those sites are unmonitored.


For babysitting, Harvard has a new service WATCH that links students looking for babysitters with those looking for babysitting jobs.

Backup and occasional care

For childcare to contact for one-time events or at the last minute, look at sites including Childcare@Harvard’s backup care page, Parents in a Pinch,, and Sitter City.


Four Types of Preschools

Preschools at Day Care Centers: These centers are a one stop solution for families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. They usually offer the longest hours of all childcare centers.

Private Preschools: These are usually based around a core morning program, with the option to add until 3pm and after-school care available from 3pm to 5pm or 6pm. There is no requirement for parents to assist in the classroom. At this point, these preschools are most likely to be oversubscribed because the application process has already closed for next school year (Sept 2013-June 2014).

Parent Co-operative Preschools (Co-ops)/ Nursery Schools: These are usually based on a core morning program, and some have options to add until 3pm. Only a few have after-school care available until 5pm or 6pm. There is a requirement to assist in the class, usually about once every few weeks, which defrays the cost of tuition. Co-ops can be a great option for students whose partners will be mainly taking care of children but are looking for a way to make connections and get to know other families. Many co-ops in the Cambridge area include other short-term graduate student families. Though the application process is already closed for next school year, many will have spots open now or before school starts in September.

Public School Preschools: Some public school systems have preschool classes affiliated with their grade schools (K-6 or K-8). They are not free of cost, as public school education does not begin until K (in most cases).

Preschools at Day Care Centers

For infant through Pre-K (for more details on each center, see previous section)

Harvard Day Care Centers


Children’s Village

Pine Village Preschool

Open 8am-5pm. A Spanish/English bilingual day care program for children aged 15 months to five years with two Cambridge locations: Porter Square and Kendall Square (both on the Red Line, within two stops of HKS)

Children’s Connection (Belmont/Waltham line)

Open 8am-5pm. A small private day care and preschool for children ages two to school age. Hot meals are included in tuition, and it is run by an extremely competent and loving woman. On the #73 bus to HKS (20-25 minutes).

Private Preschools


Cambridge Ellis School

Open 8.30am to 6pm. 2 years to 5 years old.

Located in Cambridge, next to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. It has some parking and a five-day schedule. Language programs (French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and English for non-native speakers) run from 3pm to 6pm. Children can attend the after-school program without being in the morning program. It’s worth expressing interest in the after-school language program; they sometimes have spaces. The school is in walking distance, about 10 minutes from HKS.

Cambridge Montessori School

Open 7:30am to 6pm. 21 months to 12 years old.

Located in Cambridge near Fresh Pond. It is on the #74 bus line, about 15 minutes from HKS.

Spring Hill Montessori School

Morning Program. 2.8 years to 5 years old. Follows the Montessori Method.

Located in Cambridge in Huron Village. It is on the #72 bus line, about 10 minutes from HKS.

Evergreen Day School

Open 8.30am to 4pm. 20 months to 5 years old.

Located at the Cambridge/Belmont town line. It has easy parking and it is possible to choose anywhere from a two- to five-day schedule. It is on the #74 bus line, about 20 minutes from HKS.


Lesley Ellis School

A great place if you have older children in grade school (kindergarten-eighth grade) as well as little ones in preschool or pre-K. There are generally openings in the older grades (second grade and above). Lesley Ellis is adding seventh and eighth grade in 2014 and 2015. It has parking and is on the #77 and 77A bus line, about 25 minutes from HKS.

International School of Boston

French Bilingual School, preschool-twelfth grade. The preschool classes follow the French National Education system’s “Maternelle” program, taught in immersion French. Bursaries from the French government are available for French nationals. It is a 5-10 minute walk to the #77 and 77A bus line, and a total of about 30-40 minutes from HKS or 20 minutes by car.


The Kendall School

Offers programs for children from ages 2.9 through five years on a five-day basis for all children and on a three-day or two-day basis for 3-year-old children. It is on the #73 bus line, about 25 minutes from HKS.

Cooperative Preschools/Nursery Schools


Newtowne School

Cambridge Nursery School

Garden Nursery School

Agassiz Preschool

Parents’ Nursery School


Bigelow Preschool


Plymouth Nursery School

Belmont Cooperative Nursery School

Public School Preschools

Cambridge, Arlington, and Belmont all offer preschool programs within their public school systems.

I hope this information will prove useful in your search for the right care center for your children. In my next post, I will cover private elementary and grade schools, summer camps, and local family resources.

Tags: family

New Admit Blog

This is just a reminder to newly admitted applicants to keep up-to-date with the new section of the blog we created. The “New Admit Blog” link is in the upper-right corner of the blog sidebar and password information was included in an email sent on March 17th.