For children and youth experiencing homelessness, schools can be a lifeline. They provide safety, stability, and a connection to community that can help mitigate the impact of homelessness. They can also help make sure these vulnerable children and youth do not fall behind academically, which can impact their ability to stay stably housed and achieve their goals in the future.
In order to ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness stay connected to school, the Council is working to:
- Improve identification of children experiencing homelessness and ensure support for them to enroll in school.
- Eliminate barriers to enrollment and provide seamless transitions from early childhood education through elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education.
- Improve access to and retention in early childhood education programs, elementary and secondary education, and post-secondary education.
- Review existing federal, state, and local program policies, procedures, and regulations to identify mechanisms that could increase both access to and retention in high-quality programs. These mechanisms should help remove barriers and ensure early childhood-to-adulthood educational access, quality child care, and early childhood education through elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education.
- Educate homelessness assistance providers about the laws, and the programs and practices under those laws, designed to increase access to early care and education, such as those carried out under Head Start, the McKinney-Vento Act’s education subtitle, and the independent student provisions of the Higher Education Act.