Kelley O'Carroll

Email Kelley O'Carroll

Kelley O'Carroll
Research Associate II

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313



Kelley O’Carroll brings extensive experience in education, program evaluation, and research in child development and family engagement to her work in early childhood education.  She applies her efforts to programs for both institutional and at-home environments.

O’Carroll serves as the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation (DOHVE) project, which provides support data, CQI systems, and evaluations of statewide home-visiting projects, and other topics to grantees funded under the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.  She also evaluates the Rhode Island Center for Early Learning Professionals’ work with the Rhode Island State Pre-K Program.

Previously at EDC, O’Carroll participated in evaluations of large-scale state and national initiatives, including the Rhode Island Center for Early Learning Professionals, the Washington State Race-to-the-Top Early Learning Challenge, and the Head Start New Director Coaching Initiative. In these roles, she designed qualitative and quantitative measurement tools, conducted interviews and focus groups, analyzed data, and contributed to reports of findings.

She was also part of the Engaging Families to Promote Young Children’s Early Mathematics Learning and Mastery Motivation study funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation. The study examined whether engaging families in at-home family mathematics activities promotes children’s learning outcomes. In her role, O’Carroll co-created family engagement professional development (PD) materials and programs for Head Start teachers, and managed communications with teachers and parent participants. 

O’Carroll is co-author of several publications on the impact of family-focused interventions in early education, including Social support through social capital: A model of a parent support group for mothers in an urban Head Start and Family Connections: An approach for strengthening early care systems in facing depression and adversity. She has also contributed to the chapter, “Family Engagement” in Children of 2020: Creating a Better Tomorrow.

Prior to joining EDC, O’Carroll was an evaluator with Family Connections, a preventive mental health intervention in Head Start. She also worked with the Harvard Family Research Project, where she managed the Family Involvement Network of Educators and contributed to evaluation of National Parental Information and Resource Center Coordination Centers.

O’Carroll began her career as a teacher in Boston and has worked with students and families in a range of settings, including English-as-a-Second-Language schools, a family literacy program, and undergraduate and graduate programs in the US and abroad. She also served as the Family Coordinator for the Language and Social Communication Research Program at the Boston University School of Medicine.

O’Carroll received a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College and both an EdM in Human Development and Psychology and an EdD in Human Development and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was a recipient of a Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.