Monday, February 1, 2021

High Quality Early Childhood Education and Homeless Children

From the People's Emergency Campaign,

High-quality early childhood education promises to address many challenges that young children experiencing homelessness face.  To keep that promise, both the homeless housing and early education systems need to communicate effectively so that parents can best support their children.

To that end, U.S. Congressperson Dwight Evans and People's Emergency Center (PEC) convened a panel of 16 experts to offer commentary and recommendations to address the issue of connecting young children experiencing homelessness to high-quality early learning and how systems can collaborate.

The report on that discussion is now available. Read the report at

You can also view the video of the Discussion at This video was viewed by more than 1,300 individuals!

 The panel offered more than 50 recommendations that are summarized here:

  • Improvements in coordination through partnerships. Continue and expand partnerships with stakeholders like parents, early childhood education centers, and housing providers.
  • Data: Develop a more effective data system so that we can target specific support to each of the 2,500 children who participate in shelter per year.
  • Increase and maintain enrollments. There is a need to locate and enroll more children experiencing homelessness and to maintain these enrollments as families' circumstances change.
  • Strengthen Safety Net: Advocate that HUD expand its definition/criteria for funding to include early childhood supports, thus marshaling existing and new resources to ensure that the needed programs and people are available.  

Next steps include working with local, state, and national organizations to take action on the recommendations.