Babies in Playroom

Early Childhood Education

McKinney-Vento liaisons are responsible for connecting young children with early care and education programs including Head Start, Early Head Start, Pre-K, Early Intervention, preschool special education services. Quality early care and education programs offer a crucial opportunity for young children to develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills. Children who are homeless who attend preschool are projected under the McKinney-Vento Act. They have the right to continued enrollment and transportation to their preschool of origin.

Topic Resources

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Laws & Guidance

Child Care Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Differential Payment Rates

On Friday, April 28, 2017, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services issued this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM), 17 OCFS LCM-05: “Child Care Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Differential Payment Rates.” The LCM informs social services districts about recent changes to State regulations regarding the provision of child care services funded under the New York State Child Care Block Grant (NYSCCBG) and Title XX of the federal Social Security Act.

The changes include:
- adding families experiencing homelessness as a priority population;
- adding certain families experiencing homelessness to the category of eligible families when districts have funds available;
- exempting families experiencing homelessness from contributing to the cost of care;
- providing an allowable grace period for children to attend child care programs;
- establishing a differential payment rate for child care services provided to a child experiencing homelessness; and
- amendments to the provisions for differential payment rates to child care providers who are accredited by a nationally recognized child care organization and/or provide care during nontraditional hours.

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Website

Directory of New York State Child Care Coordinating Council (NYSCCCC) Affiliates: Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agencies

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) programs have three major purposes: to provide information and referral services to families seeking early care and education programming for their children (special emphasis on low-income families), to provide technical assistance to individuals and organization seeking to develop early care and education programs, and to provide training and educational opportunities for programs and individuals.

About the Source

OCFS: The Office of Children and Family Services serves New York’s public by promoting the safety, permanency and well-being of our children, families and communities. They achieve results by setting and enforcing policies, building partnerships, and funding and providing quality services.

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Laws & Guidance

District-Administered Pre-K Programs for Children in Temporary Housing

NYSED Field Memo
NYSED’s McKinney-Vento Field Memo #04-2015 (June 2015) provides guidance on the rights of students in temporary housing to access public preschool education programs offered by a school district. It also provides guidance to school districts on outreach and identification of preschool age temporarily housed children, how to request funding and seek class-size variance requests for programs that may already be full, and other early childhood education programs and services that may be available.

PLEASE NOTE: Documents dated before 2016 may not reflect the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2017 amendments to New York State Education Law Section 3209, and/or 2017 amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Early Care and Education Services for Children Experiencing Homelessness

This guide by the NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) has information for parents, early care and education providers, school district staff, shelter providers, and other social service professionals about early care and education programs. This guide also provides information on determining eligibility for children in temporary housing, and their rights and protections.

You can also find a handy chart where community-specific information about early care and education programs can be included and then shared with parents. This document is a fillable PDF, so you can enter information about local programs and services on the chart itself, print it out, and easily share it with parents. Additionally, a link to a fillable Word document version of the chart can be found below.

Note: Save the PDF or Word document to your computer before editing. If you modify the document within your browser, you may not be able to save your edits.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Early Care and Education Services for Children Experiencing Homelessness

This guide by the NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) has information for parents, early care and education providers, school district staff, shelter providers, and other social service professionals about early care and education programs. This guide also provides information on determining eligibility for children in temporary housing, and their rights and protections.

You can also find a handy chart where community-specific information about early care and education programs can be included and then shared with parents. This document is a fillable PDF, so you can enter information about local programs and services on the chart itself, print it out, and easily share it with parents. Additionally, a link to a fillable Word document version of the chart can be found below. [ Word Document]

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Data

Early Childhood Homelessness State Profiles

This report by the U.S. Department of Education (previously issued by the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) provides updated state-by-state data and information on early childhood homelessness in each state.

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Forms & Templates

Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Shelters Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness

Ensuring the early learning and development of our country’s youngest children is essential to our nation’s early care and education providers. Supporting the well-being of these young children and their families is an important task and one that is critical to improving the long-term educational outcomes of children nationwide. With this in mind, North Carolina’s Child Care Services Association (CCSA), in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has released a validated and revised “Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Shelters“. This tool is designed to guide shelter staff in creating safe, developmentally appropriate environments for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families who are experiencing homelessness.

About the Source
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. They promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Everything You Need to Know: Improving Access to Head Start for Families in Temporary Housing

This presentation was given at the May 30th, 2019 New York State Head Start Association (NYSHSA) Conference.

PDF

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Forms & Templates

Grace Period for Enrolling Children without Medical Records and/or Immunization Documentation in Licensed Registered Child Care Programs

In March 2017, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services issued this Policy Statement, #17-1: “Grace Period for Enrolling Children without Medical Records and/or Immunization Documentation in Licensed Registered Child Care Programs,” which explains that licensed child care providers should give parents up to 14 days to provide proof of immunization and request a waiver to the medical statement/physical requirement if the family is experiencing homelessness and the parent does not have the child’s medical statement/physical when the child enrolls in child care. While the parent is getting the needed documentation, the provider should allow children who are homeless to receive child care services.

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Forms & Templates

Housing Questionnaire for Head Start Programs - English

This Housing Questionnaire should be used by Head Start staff as a part of the enrollment process to identify any child who is homeless.

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Forms & Templates

Housing Questionnaire for Head Start Programs - Spanish

This Housing Questionnaire should be used by Head Start staff as a part of the enrollment process to identify any child who is homeless.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

How Preschool Programs Can Help Children Who Are Homeless

This tip sheet by the Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction provides information on the benefits of early education programs for children in temporary housing.

Find tips and strategies to help children who are homeless adapt to the learning environment.

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Laws & Guidance

Information on Transportation of Prekindergarten Students under Four Years of Age

New York State Education Department

This memorandum from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Early Learning and the Office of Educational Management Services provides information about student transportation safety for students under four years of age, including information on appropriate car seats and bus monitors.

About the Source
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. They promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services.

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Website

Interactive Learning Series: Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness

Want to enhance your knowledge around family homelessness and the McKinney-Vento Act? This series from Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (OHS ECLKC) is designed to help Head Start and other early childhood care professionals learn how to identify families experiencing homelessness, conduct community outreach, and build relationships with families and providers.

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Laws & Guidance

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Reauthorized by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that protects the public education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The text attached here is the latest version of the law since it was reauthorized on December 10, 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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Laws & Guidance

New York State Education Law Section 3209, Education of Homeless Children

NYS Education Law Section 3209 describes the rights of students in temporary housing in New York State.

Important changes to New York Education Law Section 3209 went into effect on April 20, 2017. The changes to this law reflect changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act that were made under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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Forms & Templates

Pre-K Class Size Variance Request

New York State Education Department

Pre-K classrooms have a maximum size at twenty children, but can be expanded. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) will grant a class-size variance to allow a 21st child in the classroom if that child is in temporary housing. To get a variance, the Pre-K program should complete this Pre-K Class Size Variance Request and email it to NYSED’s Office of Early Learning at oel@nysed.gov. For more information, see NYSED’s 2015 Guidance Memo.

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Laws & Guidance

REDLINE VERSON of the New York State Education Law Section 3209, Education of Homeless Children

NYS Education Law Section 3209 describes the rights of students in temporary housing in New York State.

Important changes to New York Education Law Section 3209 went into effect on April 20, 2017. The changes to this law reflect changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act that were made under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Below, along with the link to download the new text of the law, you will find a link to a marked-up version of Education Law § 3209 that highlights the changes.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Regulations of the Commissioner of The New York State Education Department

Preschool Special Education Services are discussed in Part 200.16(a)-(f). The regulations provide guidance on the referral process as well as specific information on the timeline for ensuring the delivery of services

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Schoolhouse Connection: Is My Early Childhood Program a McKinney-Vento “Preschool?”

Schoolhouse Connection

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended the McKinney-Vento Act to include preschools specifically within the definition of “school of origin.” As a result, children experiencing
homelessness can remain in the preschool they attended when permanently housed, or the preschool in which they were last enrolled, if that is in their best interest. This flow chart provides a guide to understanding of how determine whether a particular early childhood education program is a
“preschool” under ESSA.

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Forms & Templates

Self-Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness

Ounce of Prevention Fund and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released the “Self-Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness,” a tool 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 into these programs. This tool contains recommendations for making early childhood programs more responsive to the unique needs of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families who experience homelessness in five areas: Identification and Support; Removal of Barriers; Responding to Family Needs; Engagement in Strategic Collaboration; and Improving Collection, Reporting and Utilization of Data. The tool includes additional resources to support programs.

About the Source
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. They promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Summary of Final Head Start Regulations Related to Homelessness

This document from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) summarizes the September 2016 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services comprehensive revision of the Head Start Performance Standards. These final regulations apply to Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

PDF

About the Source

The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) is a national membership association dedicated to ensuring educational equity and excellence for children and youth experiencing homelessness.

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Guides & Fact Sheets

Tip Sheet for Head Start Programs

Children experiencing homelessness are categorically eligible for Head Start, and Head Start programs must prioritize children who are homelessness for enrollment. This Tip Sheet has information about how Head Start programs can identify children experiencing homelessness and better connect them with Head Start programs. The Tip Sheet references the template Housing Questionnaire for Head Start programs, which is an important tool programs can use to better identify children experiencing homelessness.