Access to Early Childhood Development Services for Homeless Families with Young Children: An Exploratory Project


This policy brief summarizes selected literature on homeless families with children who are less than five years old, and incorporates findings from a project prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on the challenges facing families with young children who are temporarily staying with others or in motels/hotels. The aim of this policy brief is to examine the following questions from the project: (1) What are families’ current living arrangements, and do they have alternative plans for shelter if they cannot stay at their current temporary location and are unable to receive the services of a shelter? (2) What conditions are homeless families and children exposed to when they cannot or do not access the services of a shelter? (3) To what extent are families knowledgeable about the federally sponsored early childhood support services available to them?

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