School-Aged Children

EdNavigator - Help Navigating Schooling

With families trying to balance life, work, and school – still happening at home for many – we know this is an especially stressful time for working parents. Harvard offers three educational resources that we hope will reduce at least some of the burden on Harvard staff and faculty as we continue to brave the ups and downs of the pandemic, and beyond. These are available from EdNavigator, a nonprofit organization specializing in supporting families' educational success. The resources aim to support parents in keeping children on the path to a great education even when there are bumps along the way.

Personal Education Advisors

EdNavigator connects busy families with personal education advisors ("Navigators"). Navigators include award-winning teachers, veteran school leaders, and other education professionals who know schools across the greater Boston area. They support families of all backgrounds with students in all types of schools, and can provide practical advice and support whether your child is excelling or struggling.

EdNavigator can assist with a broad range of educational issues, including: 

  • Managing the challenges of remote and hybrid learning
  • Understanding your child's learning needs and progress in school, including students with IEPs
  • Ensuring your child is ready for college or a fulfilling career
  • Finding high-quality educational programming and resources outside of school
  • Troubleshooting education challenges

You can call or chat with your Navigator via EdNavigator’s free app or meet in-person on the Harvard University campus (when it’s safe). This short video explains how it all works. Meet a Navigator. Meet a Navigator video in Spanish.

How to Get Started with Ed Navigator, Camp Kinda and CK Jr.

These supports are available at no cost to all benefits-eligible Harvard University staff and faculty. (Available to affiliates and non-benefits-eligible employees for an annual or monthly fee.)

Here is how to get started:

  1. Download the free EdNavigator app (search "EdNavigator" in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store)
  2. Tap "Get Started" and if you are a benefits-eligible Harvard employee, enter the code when prompted. The codes are on these flyers: in English and Spanish.
  3. Set up your account and meet your Navigator, or go straight to camp – or both.

Camp Kinda and CK Jr.

Many parents are bracing for another month or more of uncertainty and anxiety regarding schooling. Whether your kids' classrooms are consistently open or intermittently closed, your registration with EdNavigator allows you to revisit both Camp Kinda and CK Jr. These exploratory learning experiences are designed to keep kids ages 3-13 engaged, curious, and having fun — even if they're stuck at home. The archives are now open with 350+ hours of at-home adventures for your kids—including five all-new adventures and five "remixes" from Summer 2021, in case you missed them.

Questions? Questions about how these programs work? Contact Work/Life. Email support@ednavigator.com if you have any technical issues.

Public Schools

All cities and towns in Massachusetts must provide public education starting with kindergarten, and the age for admittance to kindergarten varies by community. You can find that information along with links to the websites for several of the public schools systems that are closest to Harvard's campuses by downloading this information sheet.

Some communities participate in the Massachusetts School Choice Program, which allows you to choose a school outside of your immediate school district.

For more information, contact your town’s public school system or the Massachusetts Department of Education at 800-297-0002 or doe.mass.edu.

Private and Religious Schools

Independent private schools determine their own mission and curriculum. Learn more at the Association of Independent Schools in New England.

Parochial and other religious schools provide some religious instruction in addition to a secular curriculum. You can access a list of the state’s private schools by religious affiliation at Private School Review.

After-school Programs

If you need child care after the school day ends, an after-school program may be a good solution. Available through schools, local community centers (such as the YMCA), child care centers, and licensed family child care homes, these programs often feature arts, crafts, games, and sports, as well as time to do homework.

The following resources can help with your search:

Summer Camps and School Vacation Programs

For information on summer camps and school-vacation programs, please visit this page.