Diverse Populations


Homelessness & Poverty in Early Care & Education

Concerns related to homelessness in early childhood are addressed in partnership with the DPI Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Team. The WECCP southern region outreach specialist collaborates with the EHCY team and shares information with the other regional outreach specialists, CESA EC PSTs, via the WECCP listserv and through regional action team meetings. Additional information related to McKinney-Vento responsibilities for children who receive services through LEA funded programs, please view this webinar (YouTube) or additional resources. (webpage)

The task force originally convened in April 2016 in response to new federal policy guidelines on serving homeless children and families in federally funded early care and education programs and recently released, startling indicators that show infants represented the highest percentage of those found in homeless shelters, with toddlers and preschool children representing the second highest rate.

Service providers & advocates at the state and local level will better coordinate existing policies, reaching across programs to ensure that young, homeless children are served in Wisconsin's early care & education programs.


  • Strengthen State Cross-Sector Collaboration around serving young children who are homeless
  • Strengthen Local Cross-Sector Collaboration around serving young children who are homeless
  • Improve Outreach
  • Improve Identification
  • Increase Enrollment in high-quality early care & education services
  • Maintain Stability

Serving Homeless Families in Early Care and Education Programs: A Tool Kit (pdf) Training Modules & Webinars on Serving Homeless Families in Early Care & Education Programs can be found on the Homeless page of PD Packages.

May 2018 (pdf) Mar 2018 (pdf) Jan 2018 (pdf)

Jan 2017 (pdf) Mar 2017 (pdf) Nov 2017 (pdf)

Serving Homeless Families in Early Care and Education Programs: A Tool Kit (pdf) - This tool kit can help programs determine their responsibilities based on the requirements of McKinney-Vento, HeadStart, and Child Care Block Grant funding.

PD Packages: Homelessness page (internal webpage) - This webpage contains training modules that allow leaders to meet the professional learning needs of their teachers in all early care and education settings

Support for Families Experiencing Homelessness (webpage) - The Dept of Children & Families uses a multi-generational approach to support families who are experiencing homelessness. The Child Care & Development Block Grant of 2014 created provisions to bridge the barriers families experiencing homelessness have when accessing high-quality care YoungStar is working to assist childcare providers with identifying and supporting families in need.

Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) (webpage) – This program’s major responsibility is to implement the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, so homeless children & unaccompanied homeless youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education and other services as provided to other children & youths, ensuring homeless children & youth have an opportunity to meet the same challenging state Academic Standards to which all students are held.

Homeless Liaison Directory (webpage) - This WDPI resource provides a list of the Homeless Liaisons identified within each WI School District

eBriefs (webpage) - The WDPI webpage contains the quarterly newsletters that provide legal information, resources, and training opportunities from EHCY.

WI Head Start Fact Sheet (2017) (pdf) – Summarizes the impact that Head Start & Early Head Start programs had on children and families living in poverty in WI.

School House Connection (website) -This national organization works to overcome homelessness through education by providing strategic advocacy & technical assistance in partnership with early childhood programs, schools, institutions of higher education, service providers, families & youth.

National Center for Homeless Education (website) – NCHE is the US Dept. of Education’s technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children & Youth (EHCY) Program.

National Law Center on Homeless & Poverty  (website) – This legal group is dedicated to ending & preventing homelessness through policy advocacy, public education, impact litigation & advocacy training.

Institute for Children Poverty & Homelessness (website) – The Institute seeks to inform and enhance public policy related to homeless families with an emphasis on the impact of children.

Sesame Street in Communities  (website) -  Provides video clips and resources to help professionals talk to children and families experiencing homelessness.

Overlooked: The Far-Reaching Consequences of Late Identification of Homeless Students for Special Education Services (pdf) 2016 report from ICPH

When the Bough Breaks: The Effects of Homelessness on Young Children (pdf) downloaded report from 2012 on Child Trends website that looks at how homelessness impacts the development of young children'


Updated 11/7/2019

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