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Adapted from a presentation at NAEHCY’s 2013 Annual Conference, by Grace Whitney 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Adapted from a presentation at NAEHCY’s 2013 Annual Conference, by Grace Whitney 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adapted from a presentation at NAEHCY’s 2013 Annual Conference, by Grace Whitney 1

2 Young Homeless Children: National Numbers and Trends 53% of all children in HUD homeless shelters are under the age of 6. Nearly 30,000 homeless children ages 3-5 (not kindergarten) were enrolled in public preschool programs in ; this is only 4% of all students identified as homeless by public schools.

3 Impacts of Homelessness on Young Children Impacts of Homelessness on Young Children Higher rates of developmental delays:  Infants who are homeless start life needing special care four times more often than other babies  Homeless toddlers show significantly slower development than other children Higher rates of chronic and acute health problems Higher exposure to domestic and other types of violence

4 Reflection 1 Take a moment to reflect on the impact of homelessness on very young children and their families and the relevance of this information to your work. Jot down a phrase or two to record your thoughts.

5 Early Care and Education Landscape Child Care Individuals with Disabilities Education Act State Pre-Kindergarten Programs McKinney-Vento and Preschool Head Start & Early Head Start HUD programs- HEARTH Act Maternal, Infant and Early Child Home Visiting (MIECHV)– Affordable Care Act

6 Early Care and Education Landscape: Child Care Federal CCDF block grant that states can supplement  State and local child care funding supplements  States can use federal TANF block grant funds Designated “state child care administrator” State administrative rules, e.g., eligibility, priorities State and some local regulations CCDF requires coordination of ALL child care through Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&R) CCDF designates set-asides for quality initiatives and services for infants and toddlers

7 Early Care and Education Landscape: Child Care Subsidized Child Care  State-funded child care centers, networks of family child care homes through contracts and grants to local agencies Child Care Subsidies, or Vouchers  Used by families to purchase care from licensed and unregulated care providers, including relatives and friends, for the care that best meets their needs Serve children from infants through school-age

8 Early Care and Education Landscape: IDEA Parts B & C Federal funds to states under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)  Part B – Preschool Special Education for ages 3-5  Part C – Infants and Toddlers Uses McKinney-Vento definition of homeless Provides for identification, location, evaluation and education of children with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness  Individualized Plan  Home-based, classroom & consultation models  Goal of mainstreaming

9 Early Care and Education Landscape: State Pre-K Programs State funding of preschool services for 4-year-olds or for 3- and 4-year-olds State agencies provide leadership and provide funding to local school districts  Both school based and community providers  Both targeted and universal designs  State Cabinets and integrated state agencies and departments  Local councils and community partnerships Most states now have some type of state pre-K system

10 McKinney-Vento and Preschool School district McKinney-Vento liaisons must ensure that families and children have access to Head Start, Even Start, and other public preschool programs administered by the LEA. State McKinney-Vento plans must describe procedures that ensure that homeless children have access to public preschool programs. School districts are required to remove barriers to the enrollment of homeless children, including preschool children.

11 Head Start: Basic Overview 1,600 grantees in the U.S and territories that serve over 1 million children age birth to 5 and pregnant women annually  Early Head Start  Early Head Start – pregnant women and children ages birth to 3 years  Less than 5 % of those eligible  Head Start  Head Start – preschool aged children 3-, 4-and 5- year-olds  Less than 50% of those eligible

12 Head Start: Basic Overview COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES for children and families  Health, mental health, dental and nutrition services  Education and special education/disabilities services  Family services thru Family Partnership Agreements, parent involvement and governance, fatherhood initiatives, etc.  Community partnerships The following families are categorically eligible for HS: *Families receiving public assistance (e.g. TANF) *Foster children *Homeless children (McKinney-Vento education definition)

13 Head Start: Basic Overview Head Start Program Options  Full-day/full-year  School day/school year  Part day/part year  Home-based Model  Family child care home (Home Start)  Locally designed option Head Start Act of 2007 allows programs to explore changing program designs to meet changing community needs.

14 Head Start: A Perfect Match for Homeless Families Head Start provides comprehensive services that homeless children may not otherwise receive. The Head Start focus on entire family means parents receive assistance in reaching their goals. Community partnerships put Head Start in an excellent position to work with all agencies serving homeless families. Head Start programs are required to identify and prioritize homeless children for enrollment; allow homeless children to enroll while required paperwork is obtained; and coordinate with LEA liaisons and other community agencies.

15 Homeless Children as Percent of Cumulative Enrollment in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs Source: Head Start Program Information Reports

16 “Project applicants must demonstrate that programs that provide housing or services to families are designating a staff person to ensure that children are enrolled in school and connected to the appropriate services within the community, including early childhood programs such as Head Start, Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, and McKinney-Vento education services” HEARTH Act: Providers’ Assurances Related to Young Children

17 Early Care & Education Landscape in Your World: A Grid Work with someone sitting near you to complete the Early Care and Education Infrastructure in My State/ Community for either the state or local level If you cannot complete a cell, use the Early Care and Education Resource List to find a resource for obtaining the name, contact information you need to complete our grid. You will have 5 minutes for this activity.

18 Reflection 2 Take a moment to reflect on the various resources that support early learning. Which do you currently partner with and who might you become more familiar with in the future? Jot down a phrase or two to record your thoughts.

19 “getting started” strategies for collaboration…….

20 Barriers to Early Childhood Programs for Families Experiencing Homelessness Lack of awareness: Head Start programs may not be working from MV definition of homelessness, MV liaisons may not be “fluent” in early childhood systems, HUD providers may not know “lay of the land” of ECE Lack available slots for all eligible children, especially infants and toddlers, including those who are homeless Lack of capacity for McKinney-Vento liaisons and Head Start programs to do outreach and targeted assistance High mobility Lack of transportation Lack of documentation for enrollment

21 Removing Barriers: Strategies for Awareness and Identification Head Start programs/school districts can incorporate questions on housing status on applications McKinney-Vento liaisons can inquire about young siblings of school-age children Homeless service providers can document ages of all children at intake, and make referrals to Head Start, ECEAP, and other ECE programs

22 Removing Barriers: Strategies for Awareness and Identification Early childhood programs can include information on how to recognize homelessness in staff development/trainings/in-services Shelters can make sure that young children are assessed for developmental delays New HUD contacts can be trained in assessment programs (Ages and Stages, Early Intervention programs, and Special Education Child Find) that provide indicators of potential developmental delaysAges and StagesEarly Intervention programsSpecial Education Child Find

23 Removing Barriers: Strategies for Identification and Responding to Mobility Obtain parental consent for release of information from providers or liaison in order to share information between agencies, and obtain new addresses and continue to provide services when families move In anticipation of mobility, develop joint procedures to expedite services and provide continuous services for highly mobile children.

24 Removing Barriers: Strategies to Expedite Access Liaisons and homeless service staff can provide Head Start applications to identified families and help them fill them out Expedite records by working together; e.g. liaisons can get immunization records, etc. for young siblings of school-age children Develop joint or streamlined procedures and forms (e.g. housing intake forms) Many programs have changed their enrollment criteria to put homeless families at the top of the list

25 Removing Barriers: Strategies to Facilitate Attendance Train family advocates to provide information on housing resources, emergency shelters, DSHS services, domestic violence and substance abuse support, counseling, & medical. Transportation – some programs don’t have program-wide transportation, but do provide it for homeless families

26 Putting it All Together: Strategies for Collaboration For ECE Programs: Develop relationship with K-12 Homeless Liaison for referrals Assign staff member to be the liaison with local homeless shelters/service providers Training for family advocates to continue identifying homeless families throughout the year as circumstances change Presentations and visits to (and from) homeless shelters and advocacy groups about services available Create connections with food banks, churches, health department, and housing groups in the community

27 Reflection 3 Take a moment to reflect on existing and potential resources in your community and how you could create new relationships to support the work you are doing. Jot down a phrase or two to record your thoughts.

28 Reflections to Actions 1. Using your three reflections on the work we’ve done today, take a moment to record an action or two that you will take when you return to your program 2. Share your Action Plan with another person, or two, or three.....


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