Accessing Early Education

Nearly 1.3 million children under the age of 6 were experiencing homelessness in 2019, according to the US Department of Education and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. That equates to approximately 1 in 18 children. While only approximately 10% of these children were served by Head Start, Early Head Start, or McKinney-Vento-funded Early Childhood Education programs. The role of the homeless liaison is to identify and connect these children to quality early education programs. Read the brief developed by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) “Early Care and Education for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness” for more information on how to serve this underserved population.

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A Two-Minute Video to Warm Your Heart!

This uplifting video, “These Little Piggies are Homeless”, was a collaborative project between NCHEP staff and Diane Nilan with “Hear Us” in the making of footprint quilts for the Homeless Memorial Blanket Project

Other Resources

Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to children and families, including those birth to five years of age from low income families.

Head Start Locator
Homeless Liaisons can use this search tool to find their local Head Start Programs.

NC Division of Child Development and Early Education (NCDEE)
Homeless liaisons can use search tools on this website to find their county contacts in early education and assist families with finding quality childcare programs, as well as resources to assist parents in paying for childcare.

Smart Start/Partnership for Children
A statewide network of local partnerships serving children from birth to 5 years responsible for implementing state, federal, local, and private programs and services, such as NC Pre-K, childcare subsidy, and Head Start. 
Find your local Smart Start Partnership for Children

Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) (NC Infant Toddler Program)
The Infant-Toddler Program provides support and services for families and their children, birth to three who have special needs.

Find Your Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC) 
Local Interagency Coordinating Councils (LICCs) are community-based advisory groups focused on early intervention services. 

Documents, Data, and Tools to Help with Early Education Collaboration Efforts

New Early Childhood Coordination Requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 
A toolkit that provides resources and information to homeless liaisons on the statutory requirements regarding coordination with early childhood programs.

Early Learning Coordination Guidance:  Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness 
A companion document to NC’s LEA/Head Start Coordination Guidance to assist with Developing Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s).

ESSA Title I, Part A and Head Start Act:  LEA/Head Start Coordination Guidance 
A checklist of activities that must be addressed in a formal agreement between the LEA and Head Start.

Early Childhood Homelessness State Profiles:  Data Collected in 2018-19 
This report presents national data on children under the age of six who are experiencing homelessness.

NC Early Childhood Action Plan 
State plan that provides a framework for action aimed at improving outcomes for young children birth through age 8 by 2025. 

NCECAP Data Dashboards 
Current data to track the progress of goals in the NC Early Childhood Action Plan.