ERIC Number: ED416013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Blocks to Their Future: A Report on the Barriers to Preschool Education for Homeless Children.
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, DC.
Homelessness has a devastating impact on children. School provides stability and a sense of continuity during an otherwise chaotic time, as well as access to other comprehensive services, both inside and outside the school, such as meals, health care, counseling, and recreation. But despite their desperate need, homeless children face high, often insurmountable barriers in gaining entry to public school and preschool programs because they lack a permanent address. A study assessed the level of access and participation that homeless children have to preschool education, identifies barriers that prevent their participation, and develops policy recommendations to ensure compliance with existing law. The National Law Center surveyed state education officials and shelter service providers, and reviewed certain documents addressing the participation of homeless children in preschool programs. Major findings are: (1) barriers to enrollment and retention are transportation, transience, lack of program availability, lack of parents' understanding of children's educational rights, lack of immunization records or birth certificate, and residency requirements; (2) funding is inadequate; (3) demand for preschool enrollment exceeds availability; (4) state officials have failed to comply with McKinney Act requirements; and (5) some success has been achieved. Based on the findings, recommendations include increased appropriations for the McKinney Act and Head Start, increased monitoring and enforcement by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, and ratification of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. (Appendices present graphs and charts, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, funding and appropriations tables, and survey instruments.) (EV)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Homeless People, Policy Analysis, Policy Formation, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, School Effectiveness, School Responsibility
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 918 F Street, N.W., No. 412, Washington, DC 20004; phone: 202-638-2535; fax: 202-628-2737 ($28).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Stewart B McKinney Homeless Assistance Act 1987