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Preschool | Early Childhood

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NCHE Resources

Early Care and Education for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness
Given the detrimental effects on development caused by homelessness, young homeless children benefit from receiving quality early care and education services; yet, many barriers limit homeless children's access to these services. This NCHE brief provides information and suggests best practices to facilitate collaboration between schools, service provider agencies, and early childhood programs, and to increase the enrollment of and provision of services to families with young children experiencing homelessness.
Download Early Care and Education for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness.


Resources

Access to Pre-K Education Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
This February 2010 report from the Education Law Center explains the preschool-related provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act and suggests best practices and policy changes for improving the access of young homeless children to public preschools in the United States.
Download Access to Pre-K Education Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! is a coordinated federal initiative to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for families and providers caring for young children. The initiative consolidates materials from a wide array of federal agencies and non-federal partners, and includes tools designed specifically for a variety of audiences, including housing and homeless shelter providers.
Visit the Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! website.

Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness
This resource from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families provides background information on Head Start and Early Head Start programs, shares highlights of how strong partnerships have addressed family homelessness, offers resources to encourage Head Start grantees and housing service providers to work together to expand services for children experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness, and presents resources to help providers connect families to other services they may need.
Download Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness.

Center for Law and Social Policy: Child Care and Early Education
The Center for Law and Social Policy's (CLASP) child care and early education work focuses on promoting policies that support both child development and the needs of low-income working parents and on expanding the availability of resources for child care and early education initiatives.
Visit the Center for Law and Social Policy: Child Care and Early Education webpage.

Children at Risk in the Child Welfare System: Collaborations to Promote School Readiness
This report from the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy examines current practice across systems in order to determine the degree to which the educational needs of children younger than five in the child welfare system are being addressed through collaborations between child welfare agencies, early intervention/preschool special education programs under IDEA, and quality early care and education programs. The report also identifies best practices and policy recommendations for how the multiple agencies which provide these services can coordinate their efforts better.
Download Children at Risk in the Child Welfare System: Collaborations to Promote School Readiness.

Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters
This tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is designed to help shelter staff members create shelter environments that are safe and developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The tool provides recommendations and information on how shelter environments, programming, policies, and staff can support early childhood safety and development.
Download the Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters.

Early Education Home Visiting: Supporting Children Experiencing Homelessness
This brief from the National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) discusses the benefits of early education home visiting programs for support families experiencing homelessness and offers several suggested models for implementing this type of program.
Download Early Education Home Visiting: Supporting Children Experiencing Homelessness.

Examination of Residential Instability and Homelessness Among Young Children
Analyzing data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a nationally representative sample of approximately 5,000 births between 1998 and 2000 in 20 large United States cities, this report from the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness examines young children's experiences with homelessness and its effects on their development and well-being.
Download Examination of Residential Instability and Homelessness Among Young Children.

Evaluation Exchange: Early Childhood Programs and Evaluation
Evaluation Exchange, the evaluation periodical of the Harvard Family Research Project, addresses current issues facing program evaluators of all levels, with articles written by the most prominent evaluators in the field. This issue focuses on early childhood programs. Contributing authors offer a range of views on how best to communicate the importance of investing in a child's early years and how to improve early childhood programs and policies.
Download Evaluation Exchange: Early Childhood Programs and Evaluation.

Head Start Impact Study and Follow-up, 2000–2013
This Congressionally-mandated study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, quantifies the impact of Head Start separately for 3- and 4-year-old children across child cognitive, social-emotional, and health domains as well as on parenting practices.
Download the study.

Helping Young Children Grown and Learn: A Guide for Families and Shelter Providers
This guide from Project HOPE will help parents and shelter providers support children's early learning. Goals of the booklet include helping those working with young children to use everyday activities to encourage learning and growth, notice any concerns in a child's development, and locate resources for more information about early development.
Download Helping Young Children Grown and Learn: A Guide for Families and Shelter Providers.

Homelessness and Young Children: Early Childhood Care and Education (mini-bibliography)
This annotated minibibliography from the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) provides a selection of resources that address the needs and educational rights of young children experiencing homelessness, as well as strategies for working with homeless children and their families in early childhood care and education programs.
Download Homelessness and Young Children: Early Childhood Care and Education.

Meeting the Child Care Needs of Homeless Families: How Do States Stack Up?
This report from the Institute for Children, Poverty, & Homelessness (ICPH) explores the extent to which child care assistance for low-income families provided through the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is meeting the needs of homeless families with young children. The report examines each state’s CCDF plan for federal Fiscal Years 2014–15 and analyzes the state's approach to serving young homeless children under that plan in key areas related to barriers and challenges faced by homeless families.
Download Meeting the Child Care Needs of Homeless Families: How Do States Stack Up?.

Missed Opportunities?: The Possibilities and Challenges of Funding High-Quality Preschool through Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act
This paper, published by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) provides general background on the legislation behind Title I, an overview of the available data on the use of Title I funds for preschool, and examples of how some states and local communities have used Title I funds for these programs. It also examines the U.S. Department of Education's statutes, regulations, and guidance on the use of Title I funds for preschool and raises some unanswered questions.
Download Missed Opportunities?: The Possibilities and Challenges of Funding High-Quality Preschool through Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Promising Practices for Children Experiencing Homelessness: A Look at Two States
This brief from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families provides an overview of the effects of homelessness on young children; federal initiatives that have expanded access to early care and learning for young children experiencing homelessness including Head Start and Early Head Start, the Child Care and Development Fund, Early Childhood State Advisory Councils, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education programs, and the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge; and how two states - Massachusetts and Oregon -have implemented innovative policies to improve early childhood outcomes for young children experiencing homelessness. The brief also presents recommendations for how states can learn from the policies established in Massachusetts and Oregon to develop their own interventions.
Download Promising Practices for Children Experiencing Homelessness: A Look at Two States.

State Early Childhood Profiles: Improving the Odds for Young Children
These state profiles from the National Center for Children in Poverty provide a unique picture of the policy choices states make to promote healthy development and school readiness. It reviews policies that promote healthy development, high-quality early care and education, and effective parenting for young children.
Visit the State Early Childhood Profiles: Improving the Odds for Young Children webpage.

Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children
Funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children is under the guidance of a Coordinating Center consisting of The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH), the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families (ZTT). The Initiative seeks to improve the housing, health, and development of homeless and at-risk mothers and children, and provides valuable resources to assist other groups addressing similar issues on its website.
Visit the Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children webpage.

Using the Best That We Know: Supporting Young Children Experiencing Homelessness
This publication, developed by Project HOPE, explores the effects of homelessness on preschool-aged children and discusses best practices in early intervention for young children experiencing homelessness.
Download Using the Best That We Know: Supporting Young Children Experiencing Homelessness.

When the Bough Breaks: The Effects of Homelessness on Young Children
This brief, developed by Child Trends, highlights the effects of homelessness on children, with a particular emphasis on young children, and notes several policies and practices that could help mitigate negative outcomes.
Download When the Bough Breaks: The Effects of Homelessness on Young Children.

Sample Forms, Materials, and Policies

Illinois Preschool for All Plan for Serving McKinney-Vento Eligible Children and Families
This plan template, developed by the Illinois State Board of Education will assist school districts in establishing how they will serve McKinney-Vento eligible children and families effectively under the state-funded Preschool for All program.
Download the Illinois Preschool for All Plan for Serving McKinney-Vento Eligible Children and Families.

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The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This website was produced with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, on contract no. ED-01-CO-0092/0001. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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