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Preschool Aged Homeless Children in Mississippi: Removing Barriers to their Education Diana Bowman National Center for.

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Presentation on theme: "Preschool Aged Homeless Children in Mississippi: Removing Barriers to their Education Diana Bowman National Center for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preschool Aged Homeless Children in Mississippi: Removing Barriers to their Education Diana Bowman National Center for Homeless Education Helpline: 800-308-2145 or homeless

2  NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education’s homeless education technical assistance and information center  NCHE has  A comprehensive website:  A toll-free helpline: Call 800-308-2145 or e-mail  A listserv: Visit for subscription  Free resources: Visit  Homeless Liaison Toolkit (2013 edition): Get to Know NCHE

3  50% of homeless children in shelters are under the age of 5.  Research in neuroscience indicates that poverty and stress in babies can irreversibly alter brain development.  Early detection and intervention of developmental problems can impact future school success.  Preschool and other early childhood services can mitigate the impacts of homelessness and ensure that developmental and health problems are addressed early. Importance of Preschool Services for Homeless Children

4  Safe, orderly environment – eliminate toxic stress  Love and attention  Basic needs met: food, sleep, warmth  Medical attention: illness, developmental delays  Stimulation (being read to, engaged in conversation)  Routine What do Young Homeless Children Need?

5 McKinney-Vento and Young Homeless Children  Local liaisons must ensure that homeless children receive educational services for which they are eligible, including Head Start and Even Start, and preschool programs administered by the school district.  Local liaisons must provide homeless children with referrals to health care, dental, mental health, and other appropriate services.  School districts may use subgrant funds to provide developmentally appropriate early childhood education programs for homeless children.

6  State Plans must establish procedures that ensure that homeless children have equal access to public preschool programs administered by the state education agency  Mississippi State Plan McKinney-Vento and Young Homeless Children

7  Preschool-aged homeless children are automatically eligible for Title I preschools.  School districts should prioritize access to Title I preschool programs for homeless preschool-aged children.  School districts may utilize Title I, Part A funds set aside for homeless students to provide services for preschool-aged homeless children, such as  Screenings for developmental delays or  Developmentally appropriate educational activities. Allowable Uses of Title I, Part A Funds

8  School districts are required to collect data annually on number of preschool-aged homeless children (ages 3-5, not kindergarten) that are  Enrolled in public preschool programs and  Are served with subgrant funds in LEAs receiving subgrants.  LEAs receiving subgrants must collect data on children (ages 0-2) who are served through the LEA subgrant. Data Collection

9  School districts should make every effort to identify and serve preschool-aged homeless children.  Preschool-aged homeless children should be enrolled immediately in programs in the district for which they are eligible even if the family does not have records. What This Means for School Districts

10  Because preschool is not considered compulsory education, programs that are at legal capacity are not required to enroll homeless children, but should prioritize them on a waiting list.  The U.S. Department of Education does not require school of origin transportation for preschool-aged homeless children; however, some SEAs and LEAs enable these children to continue in their programs despite a residential move that would affect enrollment. What This Means for School Districts

11 PurposeActivities Creates awareness of one another’s programs Joint trainings, sharing data and information Provides an opportunity to share or leverage resources Joint needs assessments, identify common needs, joint resource document, memorandum of agreement Demonstrates strong, unified advocacy Serve on task forces to create awareness of needs of young homeless children Creates easy access for parents to multiple programs Create a system of referrals, have enrollment forms available at each program facility Importance of Collaboration

12  On December 20, 2014 the Mississippi Board of Education awarded competitive Early Learning Collaborative funding to 11 collaboratives over the next 3 years  Purpose: to support and facilitate the implementation of voluntary prekindergarten (preK) programs Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013

13  Clarke County Early Learning  Coahoma County Pre-K Collaborative Initiative  Corinth-Alcorn Prentiss Early Learning Collaborative  DeSoto County Early Learning Collaborative  Gilmore Early Learning Initiative Collaborative  Lamar County Early Learning Collaborative  McComb Community Collaborative for Early Learning Success  Petal Early Learning Collaborative  Picayune School District  Sunflower County Early Learning Collaborative  Tallahatchie Early Learning Alliance Contact Deputy Director of Policy Angela Bass at Mississippi First by e-mail at or by phone at Mississippi Early Learning Collaboratives

14  Part C requires representation of the homeless State Coordinator on the Interagency Coordinating Council; Child Find identifies and evaluates children with disabilities, including homeless children  Part B serves preschool-aged children with disabilities ages 3-5. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

15  Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities: Ages Birth through 2  First Steps Early Intervention System Mississippi Department of Health PO Box 1700, 570 E. Woodrow Wilson, Jackson, MS 39215  Susan Boone, Part C Coordinator 800- 451-3903 in MS 601-576-7816 601-576-7540,0,74, html,0,74, html MS Early Intervention (IDEA, Part C)

16  Programs are required to serve young homeless children, prioritize them for enrollment, and enroll them even when records are not present  McKinney-Vento definition of homeless  Requires collaboration with school district homeless programs  In 2009-2010, national data show that nearly 4% of Head Start families were homeless; in MS,.5% were identified as homeless (Institute for Children, Poverty, & Homelessness) Head Start and Early Head Start

17  Required to coordinate with school districts and Head Start programs;  MS programs: ssippi/homeless/2006-12-27 ssippi/homeless/2006-12-27 HUD (Housing and Urban Development funded programs)

18  Child Care and Development Fund oversees grant funds to states for providing low-income working families with affordable, high-quality early care and after-school programs development/ development/  Annual public hearing: advocate for prioritizing homeless families for childcare support  Home Visiting Programs  Help for parents  Can be an alternative when preschool programs are full Early Childhood Programs

19  Identify resources for preschool aged homeless children in your school district.  Link with other programs to create a coordinated approach to serving preschool-aged homeless children, create awareness  Develop a “Collaboration Landscape” To Dos for Local Liaisons

20  Train school staff in identifying preschool-aged homeless children.  Help staff understand the needs and rights of young homeless children. NCHE Resource: Early Care and Education for Young Homeless Children childhood.pdf childhood.pdf To Dos for Local Liaisons

21 Share a new resource from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Birth to 5:Watch Me Thrive initiative  A Housing and Shelter Provider’s guide to Developmental and Behavioral Screening at screening_guide.pdf To Dos for Local Liaisons

22  Collect data on the number of preschool-aged homeless students.  Determine if this number is consistent with the level of poverty in your area and estimated high percentage of young children among all children who experience homelessness  Compare with number of young children experiencing homelessness in Head Start, HUD programs To Dos for Local Liaisons

23  Discuss the needs of preschool-aged homeless children with your Title I coordinator and ensure that  Services are covered in the Part A set aside for homeless children and  Homeless children are prioritized for enrollment in Title I preschool programs. To Dos for Local Liaisons

24  Contact an Early Learning Collaborative in your area  Discuss how with administrators how they can identify and prioritize services for young homeless children  Ensure they understand the definition of homeless  Share the NCHE brief with them To Dos for Local Liaisons

25  Contact Barbara Greene –  Contact NCHE – or   NCHE web page on preschool homeless children:  NAEHCY web page on preschool homeless children: childhood For More Information

26 26 th Annual NAEHCY Conference Only national conference that focuses specifically on educating homeless children and youth: Pre-k, K-12, Higher Education

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