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Rights of Families Experiencing Homelessness

A young child’s development and learning are supported by consistent relationships and stable routines. Children and families experiencing homelessness have attendance, enrollment, and transportation rights that allow them to maintain a stable school placement for the remainder of the school year. Every Illinois school district has a designated homeless liaison who can help you understand these rights:

  • You can enroll anytime
    Children can enroll, attend classes, and participate in school activities immediately, even without records or other documentation.
  • You can stay in your school
    Children can stay in their school of origin, or the school in which they were last enrolled, if it is in the best interest of the child.
  • You can attend a school nearby
    Children can attend the public school closest to where the family lives if it is in the best interest of the child.
  • You can get free transportation
    Children can receive transportation to and from school until the end of the year, even if this requires crossing district boundaries.
  • Your school district has resources for you
    School districts should provide information on free meals, school supplies, and medical, dental, and other health-related services.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home
  • Family Child Care
  • Child Care Center
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Reviewed: 2019