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Funder Huddle: Young Children Experiencing Homelessness

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This event was held on February 22, 2024 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Last fall, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study revealing that the Americans who are the most at risk of eviction are babies and toddlers, and that children under the age of 5 make up the largest group by age of people whose households have had an eviction action filed against them. Nearly 600,000 children under the age of six experience homelessness across the U.S, yet alarmingly, only 20% of infants, toddlers, and young children experiencing homelessness are served by an early childhood development program that could change the trajectory of their lives, and connect their families to housing and other supports.

ECFC hosted a discussion with SchoolHouse Connection to learn more about the prevalence and impacts of homelessness on young children, and recent work supported by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative to bridge the gap between the early childhood development and housing/homeless sectors (including learnings from parents and providers).  We were also joined by RALLY, a communications firm partnering on a national messaging campaign to build awareness.

Event Takeaways

  • We discussed sobering data about the risk of homelessness for young children, and long term impacts of unstable housing and homelessness on infants, toddlers and expectant parents, and the fundamental lack of awareness of this issue.
  • Infants, toddlers, and expectant parents experiencing homelessness have an urgent need for access to high quality early childhood development programs, and access to safe, stable, affordable housing and homeless services if they are to thrive. Yet, neither the early childhood development system or the homelessness/housing systems adequately addresses or prioritizes their needs.
  • There is an urgent need for both early childhood development and homelessness/housing sectors to work together so each sector prioritizes and serves infants, toddlers, and expectant parents who are homeless, and work together for holistic, two-generation support and resources that ultimately ensure that children and families thrive.


Connect with SchoolHouse Connection and RALLY speakers about this research and the upcoming messaging campaign.  Visit SchoolHouse Connection's website to find more data, resources on federal and state policy and advocacy, webinars and other tools.

Learn more about the important role philanthropy can play in addressing and preventing homelessness, visit Funders Together to End Homelessness where you can find tools and resources for philanthropy.

ECFC members, and other early childhood funders, interested in homelessness among infants and toddlers, connect with ECFC to share your thoughts on how we can help elevate this discussion in your work.  Funders interested in connecting with Pritzker Children's Initiative about this work can also contact ECFC for connections.

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