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Well-being of young children after experiencing homelessness

This brief provides new evidence on relationships between homelessness, enrollment in early care and education, and young children's developmental outcomes. Most research has focused on outcomes for children in shelters, but less is known about how young children fare after a stay in a shelter. We compare how children fared in their development 20 months following a shelter stay relative to children their age nationally on developmental delays, school readiness, and behavioral challenges. Because we lack information about how children in poverty typically score on these measures, this brief focuses on how young children whose families had recently experienced homelessness compare to national norms for children in families of all income levels. High-quality early education and care arrangements have been linked to gains in school readiness for children in low-income families, but less is known about its influence on children who have experienced homelessness. We examine the extent to which children are enrolled in Head Start and other early education and center-based care programs 20 months after a shelter stay, as well as whether continued housing instability after a shelter stay is related to enrollment rates and stability of care arrangements. We then examine whether there is evidence of relationships between Head Start and other early education and center-based care enrollment and children's school readiness and behavioral challenges. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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