When Children Are Homeless: How Preschool Teachers and Caregivers Can Help

About this resource
Reviewed: 2017

IEL Resource(s)

Online Resource(s)

Homeless Education in Illinois
This page on the Illinois State Board of Education website includes links to information on state grants, resources, publications, laws, and liaisons related to the education of homeless children and youth.

Homeless Prevention Program
The Homeless Prevention Program provides rental assistance, utility assistance, and supportive services to eligible individuals and families who are homeless or who are in danger of eviction or foreclosure.

Emergency & Transitional Housing Program
The Emergency & Transitional Housing Program gives immediate and comprehensive shelter services to persons who are homeless and persons at risk of becoming homeless. Services are provided at shelters run by nonprofit organizations and local governments.

Fact Sheet: Vulnerable Young Children
This fact sheet developed by the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center begins by highlighting several factors that have been found to promote positive outcomes for all vulnerable young children and their families. Subsequent sections provide data on specific populations of at risk children.

Caring for the Health and Wellness of Children Experiencing Homelessness
This tip sheet includes information on causes of homelessness, the effects of homelessness on children, and links to additional resources.

Homelessness and Young Children: Early Childhood Care and Education. Minibibliography
This bibliography developed by the National Center for Homeless Education includes a selection of resources that address the needs and educational rights of young children experiencing homelessness, as well as strategies for working with these vulnerable children and their families in early childhood care and education programs.

Family Homelessness
This Sesame Street site provides videos, articles, workshops, and printables for families and providers on the impact of homelessness.

Self-Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness
This tool is designed for child care, Head Start and Early Head Start, and public pre-k programs as a guide for welcoming and supporting families and children experiencing homelessness.

Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness
This interactive learning series is intended for professionals in early childhood and school-age child care settings, CCDF Lead Agency or designated entity staff, and other key stakeholders. Learn how to identify families experiencing homelessness, conduct community outreach, and much more.

Expanding Early Care and Education for Children Experiencing Homelessness
Agencies within the Administration for Children and Families have outlined resources to support early childhood programs on providing services for young children and their families who are experiencing homelessness. These resources include policies and guidance, resource guides, and national organizations addressing homelessness.

Support for students whose families have lost their homes to foreclosure
This printable brochure provides parents with basic information about the McKinney-Vento Act. Also available in Spanish.


National Alliance to End Homelessness – This national organization is committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. The website provides statistics, webinars, training kits, and other resources related to homelessness.

National Center for Homeless Education
NCHE supports the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness
ICPH does research and provides resources related to poverty and homelessness.

Additional Resource(s)

Child Care for Families Who Are Homeless: A Model of Comprehensive Early Childhood Services
Donna Rafanello
Child Care Information Exchange, 2004

The Dynamics of Families Who Are Homeless: Implications for Early Childhood Educators
Kevin J. Swick
Childhood Education, 2004

Providing Care for Children and Adolescents Facing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity
Council on Community Pediatrics
Pediatrics, 2013
This policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (reaffirmed 2016) helps pediatricians to recognize the factors that lead to homelessness, understand the ways that homelessness and its causes can lead to poor health outcomes, and when possible, help children and families mitigate some of the effects of homelessness.

Relationship-Centered Practices in Early Childhood : Working with Families, Infants & Young Children at Risk
Gail Ensher
Brookes Publishing, 2011
This book is the ultimate guide to relationship-centered care that improves both child and family outcomes.

Serving Students Who Are Homeless : A Resource Guide for Schools, Districts, and Educational Leaders
Ronald E Hallett and Linda Skrla
Teachers College Press, 2017
This book provides guidance to help educational leaders support homeless and highly mobile students who face significant barriers related to access and academic success.

Working with Young Homeless People
Phil Robinson
Jessica Kingsley, 2008
This book is a guide for anyone working with young homeless people, including youth workers, counselors, social workers, residential care staff, teachers, health visitors and managers in the housing, education, health and social welfare sectors.