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“Well-Being of Young Children After Experiencing Homelessness”

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Nearly two years after living in an emergency homeless shelter, young children often still had unstable housing and lagged their peers academically and behaviorally, finds a new study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The study analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ongoing Family and Options study, which includes data on preschool-age children and their families 20 months after experiencing homelessness. The researchers found 3- and 4-year-olds who had been homeless as toddlers had lower literacy skills and higher rates of behavior problems than the national norms for their age, but their math skills were closer to the norm.

Formerly homeless children who took part in early-education programs following homelessness showed stronger early-math and -reading skills than those who did not participate, the study says. Families who had found stable housing six months after being homeless were more likely to enroll their children in early education and center-based child-care programs than families who still had housing problems, but both groups were equally likely to enroll in Head Start programs.

Vol. 36, Issue 27, Page 5

Published in Print: April 5, 2017, as Homeless Students
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