Eligibility of Homeless Children and Youth for California Child Care Programs

Homelessness presents a significant and growing threat to young children in California. One in eleven California children under age six experiences homelessness.

The stresses and instability of homelessness during early childhood have been shown to have a negative impact on social emotional development and later success in school. Child development programs are known to help children undergoing such stresses, while supporting their parents’ efforts to achieve greater permanency for their families.

In 2015, California passed AB 982 (Eggman), which amended California’s child care eligibility laws to ease homeless children’s enrollment in child care programs.

The new law, effective January 1, 2016, (1) adds “being homeless” as a category of need for child care programs; and (2) specifies that local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths, Head Start programs, and emergency and transitional shelters are among a list of entities that can identify a child as homeless, and thereby confer eligibility for child care programs.

Download the complete memorandum below to learn more.

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