About Family Access

Our Story

Founded in 1907 as a day nursery for local laborers, and formerly known as Newton Community Services Center, Family ACCESS was one of the first organizations in the state to focus on early education. Since then, it has provided access to quality childcare and preschool for working families, added services to engage seniors and youth, and introduced proven programs to strengthen young families. For example, in the 1970s, the Center was the first agency in the state to adopt the Parent Child Home Program (PCHP), a national model for engaging parents in early child development.

In the 1990s, Family ACCESS introduced the Child Assault Prevention (CAP) program, which has reached every school age child in Newton for over 20 years, and is now expanding to other communities. In 2012, Family ACCESS was certified as a Brazelton Touchpoint site, in association with Boston Children’s Hospital, infusing all services with this strength-based framework for child and family development. Also in 2012, the Center became a satellite of Raising a Reader (RAR) Massachusetts. In 2014, we adopted the name Family ACCESS to reflect this growing focus on family development and our commitment to support vulnerable young families. Our work remains deeply embedded in the community, with staff supported by community volunteers, including former clients, to deliver multi-lingual services on-site, in homes, at community centers, shelters, and schools.

About Us

Family ACCESS is a community-based non-profit organization that empowers and strengthens families through a set of three integrated programs: The Early Learning Center, Early Literacy Services, and Counseling and Consultation Services. For over 100 years, the organization has served thousands of families, regardless of their economic status, from Newton and neighboring towns.

Education & Support

The word ACCESS is an acronym of the phrase “A Center for Comprehensive Education and Support Services”, a phrase that clearly defines the organization’s work in the community. Formerly known as Newton Community Service Center, our new name, specifically the word ACCESS, describes the impact of that work. It reminds us of the doors that open, and the rich journeys that result, when children and families have access to the very best education-based resources and programs.

Within the first five years of a child’s life, 80% of the ‘hard wiring’ crucial to learning, emotional intelligence, relationships – even physical health – occurs. At Family ACCESS, we’re focused on helping children from all backgrounds benefit from a rich educational opportunity grounded in care and inclusivity. Here, children explore, learn and build relationships and parents gain confidence as nurturers, understanding their roles in a child’s development that is key to their progress.

Mission & Impact

The mission of Family ACCESS is to strengthen children, families and the community by providing programs that nurture child development, promote effective parenting skills, and support working parents. We actively engage a racially, economically, and culturally diverse population in Newton, Waltham and surrounding communities. We focus our services on less-advantaged families and their young children. We help teens and adults with significant challenges become better parents and help very young children develop the social, emotional, and intellectual skills they need to succeed in school and in life. By linking children, parents, and other caregivers to services they need in-house, as well as externally through community partners, Family ACCESS provides a social safety-net for vulnerable families throughout the most critical years of their children’s development.

Our Team of Directors

Maureen A. Lister

Executive Director

Debra Brush, LICSW

Director, Early Literacy Services

Kim Barrett

Early Learning Center Director

Karen Seniuk, MSW, LICSW

Director, Counseling & Consultation Services

Kim Sciascia

Human Resources Director

Katherine Barry

Finance Director

Development Director

Anne Dugan

Development Director

Board members

Jim Rapoport

Chair & Development Committee Chair

Susan Heyman

Community Activist

Sara Pollock DeMedeiros


Stacy B. Klickstein

Chair Emerita
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Ruth Barnett

Marketing Committee Chair
Cambridge Savings Bank

Sandra S. Butzel

Decisions for Positive Change

Helen Kohler

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Shawn Fitzgibbons

Chair Emeritus
Massachusetts General Hospital

Kenneth A. Krems

Krems, Jackowitz & Carman, LLP

Benjamin Krikorian

Seven Point Financial

Bob Fox

Community Member

Susan Paley

Village Bank

Annual Reports

2023 Annual Report

2023 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

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Join Our Team

Join Our Team Immediate teacher job openings in Infant, Toddler, Preschool & Pre-K programs.

Inquire Now

Contact Us to inquire about any of our programs.

Now Enrolling for Infant, Toddler, & Preschool Children

Call (617) 969-5906 ext. 121 or click below for more information on how to enroll your child today!

Contact Us:

492 Waltham Street
Newton, MA 02465
Tel: (617) 969-5906
Fax: (617) 964-3975

Our Mission:

As we have for over 100 years, Family ACCESS empowers and strengthens families and the community by providing programs that nurture child development, promote effective parenting skills and supports working parents. Our new name reminds us of the doors that open, and the rich journeys that result, when children and families have access to the very best education-based resources and programs.

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