Improving Outcomes for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness – Connecting Homeless Housing Providers to High Quality Early Learning Programs

Young homeless children fall behind their peers emotionally, physically and academically. As a result, Pennsylvania’s homeless 3rd graders are scored only half as well as their peers. These children are among the most vulnerable of citizens to developmental delays and a lifetime of academic failure.  One positive response for the homeless housing system is help young children access high quality early learning programs.

This webinar intends to provide information for Pennsylvania’s Continuum of Care and homeless service providers and the early learning community to work together to strengthen a young child’s healthy development in spite of their homelessness. Recent policy changes now incentivizes both systems to collaborate. The Continuum of Cares are asked by HUD to declare ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if they are increasing access. And, Head Start and the Child Care Development Fund are now required to aggressively outreach to homeless families, increase enrollment, and report out data. But how are these systems’ responding to the policy changes? Presenters will briefly discuss the potential outcomes for high quality early learning, and share what systems are doing to improve a child’s access.

Tracy Duarte is the Director of Pennsylvania Head Start Collaborative and co-chair of the PA Homeless Children’s Stakeholders.  She will provide the overview and share information about the work being done across the Commonwealth to improve services for Children and Families experiencing homelessness.  Andrea Sheesley, Regional Homeless Coordinator and Sarah Vrabic, Early Education Specialist with Building Early Links for Learning of Philadelphia, will discuss how their organizations are bringing systems together to increase access.

Joe Willard, Vice President, Policy, People’s Emergency Center

Tracy Duarte, Director, Pennsylvania Head Start Collaborative and Co- Chair of the PA Homeless Children’s Stakeholders

Andrea Sheesley, Regional Homeless Coordinator, ARIN IU 28

Sarah Vrabic, Early Childhood Education Specialist, Building Early Links for Learning of Philadelphia

Friday, August 17th, 2018

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