Newsletter (February 27, 2024)

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🗓 Mark Your Calendar: Unveiling Key Insights on Infant and Toddler Homelessness in the U.S. on March 18th

On March 18th, SHC will release “Infant and Toddler Homelessness across 50 states: 2021-2022″, the first ever 50-state analysis of the prevalence of homelessness among infants and toddlers; gaps in access to early learning programs; and recommendations for increasing support. The report, developed in partnership with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, will show that only 11% of infants and toddlers experiencing homelessness are enrolled in an early childhood development program. The report will provide data on include 50 state profiles detailing homelessness among infants and toddlers in each state, along with enrollment rates in early childhood development programs, and state-specific policies that prioritize families experiencing homelessness.

Join us on March 27th at 3pm ET for a webinar highlighting the findings of this report, including examples of actions to increase services to expectant parents, infants, and toddlers experiencing homelessness. 

💻 Upcoming Webinar + Visit The Early Childhood Team In Person! 

Supporting School Readiness of Young Children Experiencing Homelessness with ARP-HCY Funds

Wednesday, March 6 · 3-4 pm Eastern

Approximately 600,000 children under age six experience homelessness across the US, putting them at-risk for developmental delays and long-term academic challenges. K12 school districts have a responsibility to identify and refer younger children to early childhood development services, including by using ARP-HCY funds to support school readiness. During this webinar, participants will hear how Cincinnati Public Schools and the Hawaii Department of Education have successfully leveraged their ARP-HCY funds to partner with early childhood development programs and services to increase identification and enrollment of children under age six.

Come find SchoolHouse Connection at the National Head Start Association Conference: April 15-18

  • Attend our session, “Double the Number: Increasing Enrollment of Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness” on Wednesday, April 17, 12:45pm PT
  • Stop by the SHC booth, #407 in the exhibit hall

💬 ICYMI: Over 500 Participants Joined Our Webinar on Child Evictions

On January 31st, SchoolHouse Connection hosted a webinar on Evicting Children: How Babies Bear the Brunt of the Nation’s Housing Crisis and what we can do about It. Presenters from Eviction Lab, Akron Public Schools, and Family Advocacy and Integrated Resources (FAIR) Project shared data and strategies for improving services to children experiencing homelessness, including:

  • Recent research finding that babies are the age group most at risk of eviction in the United States;
  • Examples of how to expand systems of care between early childhood development providers and other local services to provide low-barrier assistance with needs like financial support and housing;
  • Showing how  K12 pandemic relief funds (ARP-HCY) can be used to forge partnerships between early childhood and other service providers like Legal Aid in order to help more young children and families experiencing homelessness.

👩‍💼 Introducing Sarah Vrabic, SHC’s new Early Childhood Senior Program Manager!

SHC is thrilled to announce that Sarah Vrabic joined our team last November and will be leading our work to support expectant parents, infants, and toddlers accessing early childhood development programs. Sarah brings to the SHC team a decade of experience working with families utilizing the shelter system in Philadelphia, PA. There, she helped families access high quality early childhood education programs and supports and led a collaborative initiative to renovate shelter environments to be more trauma informed and developmentally friendly. Sarah is passionate about bringing systems together to remove barriers to accessing early developmental services and supports for young children and families experiencing homelessness. She is very excited to be a part of the vibrant SchoolHouse Connection team.

    👶 SchoolHouse Connection Partners with NCIT to Support Families and Infants

    SchoolHouse Connection is proud to be among the first official members of the National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT), an education and advocacy movement dedicated to ensuring that every child, from prenatal to age three, and their families have the resources they need to thrive. As members, we are committed to advancing promising prenatal-to-three policies to create and expand systems of support for families—reaching every parent and child at or before birth. We know that when we support babies in their earliest years, they grow into healthy kids who are confident, empathetic, and ready for school and life—and our communities, workforce, and economy become stronger and more productive. 

    🗣 Little Voices, Big Stories: Early Childhood Updates from the Field

    The Americans Most Threatened by Eviction: Young Children

    A new, groundbreaking study from Eviction Lab at Princeton University, Rutgers University, and the US Census Bureau links hundreds of thousands of eviction filings to the children who often remain invisible in the process.

    Key takeaways:

    • Children under age 5 represent the largest share of those affected by evictions each year;
    • One quarter of Black children under 5 in rental homes live in a household facing an eviction filing;
    • At every income level, households with children are more likely to receive an eviction filing than households with no children.

    Building on Strengths: Reaching Unhoused Families with Home Visiting Parent Support Programs

    Home Visiting programs are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of families experiencing homelessness. Lydia Place in Washington state accomplishes this through a multi-pronged approach.

    Key takeaways:

    • Lydia Place utilizes the Parents as Teachers model and the goal of preventing the cycle of homelessness;
    • To address the needs of families experiencing homelessness, staff added parent support and mental health programs;
    • In addition to parenting support, families are also able to access housing support through a dedicated housing manager.

    In parents’ words: Reflections on the social-emotional health system for young children experiencing homelessness

    47 parents currently experiencing homelessness, or who recently experienced homelessness, provided insight regarding barriers to accessing social-emotional health services and their recommendations for improved social-emotional service delivery for young children experiencing homelessness.

    Key takeaways:

    • Parents expressed that “they were the most important people who promoted their child’s social-emotional development.” 
    • They also discussed affordability of programs and access to transportation as two key areas of improvement that would increase participation in available social-emotional services. 

    Short Interpregnancy Intervals Among Women Experiencing Homelessness in Colorado

    Analysis of birth records of 636 women experiencing homelessness revealed short interpregnancy intervals (SIPIs). 

    Key takeaways:

    • SIPIs are associated with increased risk of adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes. 
    • The association between homelessness and SIPIs indicates a need for improved conception management among women experiencing homelessness who have given birth. 
    • Clinical implications and recommendations include utilizing hospital births as an opportunity for identifying homelessness, and providing counseling around 6-7 months after a previous pregnancy, as this is when women experiencing homelessness are more likely to conceive again.

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