Final Child Care Rules Announced: New Policies for Children Experiencing Homelessness
Last week, the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced final regulations to implement the Child Care and Development Fund program (CCDF).
The new regulations contain several unprecedented provisions to facilitate access to child care for families experiencing homelessness. Under the new rules, States must:
- Use the definition of homelessness from the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Act.
- Establish a grace period for children experiencing homelessness to comply with immunization and other health and safety requirements
- Provide training and technical assistance on identifying and serving children experiencing homelessness to providers and staff and engage in specific outreach targeted to families experiencing homelessness.
- Prioritize children experiencing homelessness for direct child care services, just as they are required to do for children with special needs and children of families with very low family
- Coordinate the provision of child care with early childhood programs serving children experiencing homelessness, State Coordinators for Homeless Education, and, as practicable, local liaisons and Continuum of Care Grantees funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Research shows that families experiencing homelessness are less likely to access child care than housed families with very low incomes. The new CCDF regulations eliminate some of the barriers homeless families face, and present important opportunities for state and local action to support families experiencing homelessness. They also further align child care policy with Head Start and public preschool policies for children experiencing homelessness.
A summary of the final regulations pertaining to children experiencing homelessness and their families may be downloaded here.
The full regulations may be read here.
For more information on young children experiencing homelessness, see NAEHCY's early childhood education page.
For more information, please contact Barbara Duffield, Director of Policy and Programs, at email@example.com.