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Early childhood experiences with homelessness have long-lasting impacts on a child’s well-being, but access to educational services can help mitigate some of these negative effects. However, federally-funded early childhood education (ECE) programs only serve a small portion of children who experience homelessness. Taking action to mitigate the impacts of early childhood homelessness is critical to ensuring all young children have the opportunity to thrive.

The Office of Early Childhood Development at ACF hopes these profiles, with 2014-2015 data, will provide information for local, statewide and federal conversations and planning toward the goal of ending family homelessness by 2020.

This brief summarizes what the report says about the science of child development and learning.

Addressing Implicit Bias in the Early Childhood System

In the last quarter of 2013, homeless shelters across Massachusetts were overwhelmed by an influx of young families. Public agency managers from the Departments of Early Education and Care (EEC), Public Health (DPH) and Housing and Community Development (DHCD) mobilized together to help shelters manage, and to reduce the impact on children from instability, trauma and high-stress. Agency managers pooled financial resources from an infusion of Race To the Top funding and in-tervened to help shelter staff communicate and lead in ways that benefited young children and their families in the short-term, and contributed to children’s positive outcomes over the long-term.

GAO Executive Summary

December 12, 2016

This executive summary details how a large body of research demonstrates that high-quality early learning experiences – healthy and safe environments, nurturing relationships with program staff, developmentally appropriate and rich curricula, and supportive services that foster learning and development – are critical to setting a strong foundation for children’s success in school and life. Children in high-quality programs, especially children from low-income families, show greater readiness for school and development of skills needed for lifelong success. Affordable, high-quality early learning programs make it more likely that families will be able to work. Economists have found that high-quality early learning programs have a high return for the public investment, with savings resulting from improved educational outcomes, fewer placements in special education, increased labor productivity, and reduced criminal activity.

GAO Report

December 12, 2016

This report discusses how congress required the Secretaries of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED), in consultation with all federal agencies, to identify "all early learning and care programs for children less than six years of age," provide specific recommendations for eliminating overlap and fragmentation among federal early learning and care programs, and make recommendations for streamlining all such programs. The Secretaries appreciate the opportunity to present an overview and analysis of the primary federal early learning programs and to offer recommendations on how to address the needs of children and families. This report also discusses the Administration’s efforts to maximize our current and future investments to increase the quality of and access to early learning for children from birth to kindergarten and how HHS and ED (the Departments) are fostering coordination and collaboration at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure a more effective, efficient, and high-quality system of early learning.

ELCPI Summary

December 5, 2016

Findings from two reports that examine the current state of credentialing, training, advancement, and access to jobs in the early care and education field.

ELCPI Assessment

December 5, 2016

This report explores how career pathways can offer an effective approach to address some of these challenges and support the current and evolving landscape of the ECE sector and its most disadvantaged professionals. Comprehensive and flexible education and training programs can make it easier for individuals to acquire industry-recognized credentials and higher education degrees to advance on a career trajectory. Effective career pathways approaches can also better serve workers that may experience significant barriers to education and employment advancement (i.e., low-skilled adults, and adults with limited English proficiency).

PDG Progress Report

November 30, 2016

Through the Preschool Development Grants (PDG) program, 18 states are expanding access to high-quality programs for 4-year-olds from low- to moderate-income families in over 230 high-need communities. Data from all grantees and subgrantees, as reported in the Annual Performance Reports (APRs) covering January 1 to December 31 of 2015, found that over 28,000 additional children benefited from high-quality preschool in their local communities because of these grants.

This report discusses the importance of supporting the early learning workforce – nearly a totality of whom are women – not only to improve the quality of early learning programs, but also to ensure fair pay so that they can support their own families.