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Early Childhood Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness ICHP Panel Discussion January 2012 Diana Bowman, NCHE Pat Popp, Virginia’s Project HOPE.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Childhood Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness ICHP Panel Discussion January 2012 Diana Bowman, NCHE Pat Popp, Virginia’s Project HOPE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Childhood Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness ICHP Panel Discussion January 2012 Diana Bowman, NCHE Pat Popp, Virginia’s Project HOPE

2 Challenges Young Homeless Children Face Challenges Young Homeless Children Face Lack of structure, routine, stability Trauma Loss Lack of access to food Lack of health care Adolescent mothers Inappropriate living conditions (no play space, overcrowded, unhealthy, over- stimulation or under-stimulation) Stressed attachments to caregivers Invisibility

3 Barriers to Accessing Preschool Programs Many preschool programs lack capacity High mobility can result in not moving up on waiting lists Many children do not have required records upon enrollment Many homeless families live in doubled up situations – may be more unfamiliar with community resources Many homeless families lack transportation Shelters may focus more on the needs of the parents than children Preschool programs may not be familiar with challenges homeless children and families face

4 McKinney-Vento Act Title X, Part C of ESEA Addresses public school education (primarily K-12 education) Includes provisions for preschool-aged children

5 Structure of the Program Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program in the U.S. Department of Education (NCHE is the technical assistance center) State Coordinator for homeless education in state education agencies Local Liaison for homeless education in every school district –Approximately 11% of school districts have subgrants

6 MV Definition of Homeless Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence –Sharing housing due to loss of housing –In hotels, motels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations –In shelters –In cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings

7 Basic Provisions of MV Immediate enrollment School stability Academic support Coordination with other programs

8 MV Provisions Specific to Preschool-aged Children Homeless children are entitled to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children, including preschool education Local liaisons must ensure that homeless children receive educational services for which they are eligible, including public preschool programs State Coordinators must coordinate with other agencies for services to homeless preschoolers

9 Serving Young Homeless Children in Virginia HS Needs Assessment –Lowest level of collaboration = 71.9% - no working relationship/exchange info range –Developing partnerships = 62.5% - somewhat difficult/difficult HS Collaboration Office Strategic Plan

10 Other Partners at the Table Virginia Preschool Initiative Title I Early Childhood Special Education Early Intervention Local liaisons (some with preK school division “hats”) Shelter representative Local Head Start program staff

11 Results of the Task Force EC Parent Pack and mailing Summary of state early childhood programs Developing information briefs “One stop shop” website Training - implementation focus Future – joint mini-grants

12 Addressing Challenges - Identification Avoid using “homeless;” focus on temporary nature of housing or being in transition Coordinate with school districts, Head Start, HUD, and Child Find – mutual referrals (share enrollment forms)

13 Addressing Challenges – Waiting Lists and Lack of Capacity Early registration timelines: Current families register and allow another homeless family to take the space? Help before official enrollment –Invite to socialization activities –Provide books or toys Home visiting when doubled up or shelter space are inappropriate –Open up HS place space, classrooms, etc.

14 Addressing Challenges – Lack of Transportation If parent has a car, reimburse for mileage or use gas cards Explore coordination with schools: preschool, ECSE programs Public transportation – bus/metro tickets/passes

15 Online Lessons on Serving Preschool-aged Homeless Children Office of Head Start system/family/Family%20and%20Com munity%20Partnerships/Crisis%20Sup port/Homelessness/homelessness.htmlhttp://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta- system/family/Family%20and%20Com munity%20Partnerships/Crisis%20Sup port/Homelessness/homelessness.html

16 Helpful Web Sites Project HOPE-VA: NCHE - chool.php chool.php NAEHCY – Head Start: CoC - Project FORUM - ndSpecialEducationAdministrativeColla boration.pdf ndSpecialEducationAdministrativeColla boration.pdf

17 Contact Information Diana Bowman, Director National Center for Homeless Education ; Pat Popp, State Coordinator Project HOPE (Virginia’s Homeless Education Program) ;


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