Facilitating Access to Early Care and Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Maryland’s research organization ChildTrends has provided a brief that spreads awareness on how to access Early Care and Education services for families and children currently experiencing homelessness. See key findings below:

  • High rates of mobility among families experiencing homelessness make it difficult for them to access high-quality ECE.
  • There is a need to strengthen relationships between early care and education and housing programs; most respondents indicated that any relationships between housing programs and early care and education programs were informal.
  • Agencies and organizations offer a variety of supports for accessing ECE to families experiencing homelessness; these range from improving Early Head Start/Head Start and McKinney-Vento policy implementation to providing financial assistance to cover the cost of transportation or care.
  • Professional development is needed for both the early care and education system and the housing system as they work to support the early learning needs of children experiencing homelessness.

Here is an excerpt for recommendations to states and policymakers: “As the respondents reported, strengthening the relationship between the housing and ECE systems may be an important step in facilitating ECE access for families experiencing homelessness. Previous literature discusses the importance of developing shared expertise across systems, which can allow for better service provisions to children experiencing homelessness. In fact, respondents indicated that a first step is to provide professional development opportunities to both ECE and housing providers on the importance of ECE for young children experiencing homelessness.”

Resource authored by Sara Shaw, Ashley Hirilall, Tamara Halle

Published on May 22, 2020

To view the source in full, click here.

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