Theory of change

SWOB is a first of its kind in the country! It's a unique solution to a larger and deeper problem in society. SWOB is committed to providing safe and affordable evening childcare to low-income parents who are eager to pursue their education. With the help of our qualified, trained volunteer sitters, we aim to help families reach their educational goals by providing safe and free/affordable in-home babysitting. 

Issue at Hand

According to a 2014 study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ("IWPR"), more than one-quarter of American undergraduates have dependent children. The vast majority of these students, 71 percent, are women and the number one reason for single mothers to drop out of college is the lack of affordable and accessible childcare. But while the number of enrolled students who have children has grown (increasing by 50 percent between 1995 and 2011), the availability of childcare on campuses hasn’t. In fact, the number of overall childcare facilities available at public colleges (where more than 60 percent of students with children enroll) has decreased over the past decade or so. Additionally, Childcare costs in Massachusetts is among the highest in the country, averaging around $15-20 per hour in the Boston metro area.


Moreover, students who have kids tend to have higher student-loan debt than their childless peers. That's particularly problematic given the fact that these parents are also more likely to have low-incomes than their fellow students. That makes subsidies, like the federal funds that support childcare at colleges, particularly important. But some of those services have also been reduced greatly. According to IWPR, parents with dependent children drop out of college at a higher rate than any other demographic, with only 33 percent of students with children obtaining a degree or certificate within six years.


Average Undergraduate Debt One Year After Graduation

Sources: IWPR,

Sources: IWPR,

Our Impact

This is where SWOB fills in the gap: we provide a service necessary for low-income parents who are in college and would otherwise face the risk of dropping out. We help more student/parents reach their educational goals.

Unemployment and Earnings

A SWOB PARENT can experience A salary increase from her education.*

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*Based on percentage increase of median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary of female workers age 25 and older by educational attainment in 2014 in the US, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Social Returns on Investment

Hence, looking at returns on investment in SWOB's operations from a big picture perspective, while all the same taking a conservative stance, the potential incremental income for SWOB mothers is expected to total up to $137 million by 2034 as more mothers become financially sufficient and independent as a result of education received. The government in return stands to save $227 million in government benefits as these mothers earn higher income and no longer require aid. This gives a discounted total benefit of $364 million in 18 years. After deducting $10 million of SWOB's projected operating expenses by 2034--a TINY portion in the bigger scheme of things--the society stands to benefit up to $354 million in 18 years and the social return of 36 times for every dollar spent on SWOB...


Total Social Purpose Value, 2019 - 2034 (in USD millions)

Figures are derived from SWOB’s internal projection--built over 18 years to reflect government benefits distributed to families with dependent children until cease of aid at children’s age of 18 years old. 

Assumptions used for these projections can be found here.