Expanding Early Care and Education for Homeless Children

New! Joint Policy Statement on Meeting the Needs of Families with Young Children Experiencing and At Risk of Homelessness 

Ensuring the early learning and development of our country's youngest children is essential to ACF's work. Supporting the well-being of these young children and their families is an urgent task and one that is critical to improving the long-term educational outcomes of children nationwide.

Several federal policies and programs are in place to strengthen the ability of early care and education (ECE) providers to serve young children experiencing homelessness. Whether you are in a Head Start program, early childhood program, or work at the state level on early childhood systems and services, the resources listed below will assist you in ensuring that these young children are prioritized for services that support their learning and development.

Resource Guides

Policies and Guidance


  • Working Together: Increasing Early Childhood Education Services for Homeless Children (Slide Presentation, PDF)
  • Home Visiting and Homeless Service Systems

Related ACF Blog Posts

Additional Resources

National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH)
NAEH works to prevent and end homelessness by being a leading voice on federal homelessness policy, providing capacity building assistance to communities turning policy into practice, and by advancing data and research around solutions to homelessness.

National Association for the Education Of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)
NAEHCY is an organization dedicated to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. NAEHCY accomplishes this through advocacy, partnerships, and education.

National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, NCHE provides research, resources, and information enabling communities to address the educational needs of children experiencing homelessness.

The National Center on Family Homelessness
The Center offers training to improve the skills and knowledge of people working with families experiencing homelessness.

National Law Center On Homelessness And Poverty
The mission of the Law Center is to prevent and end homelessness by serving as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to end homelessness.

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
USICH coordinates the federal response to homelessness and creates a national partnership at every level of government and with the private sector to reduce and end homelessness in the nation while maximizing the effectiveness of the federal government in contributing to the end of homelessness.

ZERO TO THREE's "Starting Life Without a Home" video calls attention to the negative effects of family homelessness upon the developmental needs of young children.

Last Reviewed: November 15, 2016