Back-to-school season continues! For younger children experiencing homelessness, programs like Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, Early Intervention, and Home Visiting play a crucial role in countering the effects of homelessness on children’s development. Shockingly, less than 5% of homeless children are part of these programs. School district homeless liaisons and early childhood development programs play a key role in identifying and supporting young children and their families.
👶 Using ARP-HCY for Early Childhood Development
ARP-HCY Funds Are Uniquely Flexible. States and districts may use ARP-HCY funds for any of the allowable activities under the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program. In addition, the U.S Department of Education has approved other uses of ARP-HCY funding, which allows for supports for Early Childhood Education.
This resource provides examples of how school districts and states are using ARP-HCY funds to support early childhood education and strategies you can implement.
👤 How EdAdvance in Connecticut is using ARP-HCY funds to hire a part time youth outreach case manager and an early childhood specialist.
EdAdvance is one of Connecticut’s six Regional Educational Service Centers, and serves Western Connecticut. In addition to using ARP-HCY funds to increase staffing capacity by hiring a part-time youth outreach case manager, EdAdvance also will be hiring an early childhood specialist. This specialist will conduct community outreach and enroll young children experiencing homelessness in school, early intervention programs, and other early childhood programs. This addresses needs determined in visits to domestic violence shelters and the local home visiting program, which revealed increased numbers of young children experiencing homelessness. In addition to these positions, EdAdvance will be hiring a part-time van driver to help meet the growing transportation needs of K-12 McKinney-Vento students, starting in the fall.
Michelle Anderson, Director of Early Childhood and Family Programs of EdAdvance, says:
“Having additional ARP-HCY funds has been a gift to actually have resources at the ready for plans and the ability to make change with McKinney-Vento families by investing in staff to enhance outreach and support.”
- Access To Early Learning For Young Children Experiencing Homelessness, Birth To Five
- Supporting Young Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness with American Rescue Plan Act Funds
- Allowable and Strategic uses of American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth Funds (ARP-HCY)
- Progress and Promise: An Early Look at COVID Relief Funds for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness