Teaching Through Transitions: - The National Association for the

Teaching Through
Implementing High Quality Early Childhood
Education in a Transitional Housing Facility
Dona Anderson
Homes for the Homeless
NAEHCY Annual Conference, Kansas City, MO
October 26, 2014
 EarlyLearn NYC and UPK Expansion
 Homes for the Homeless
 Transformation of Early Childhood Education Centers
 Challenges
 Improvements
EarlyLearn NYC and UPK
 Initiative to maximize funding for early childhood care in NYC while
increasing quality
 Initiative to launch universal pre-K; expand services from half-day to
 Increase number of children served and improve coverage of care
 Improve quality for all City-funded early childhood education
 Partnership between Administration for Children’s Services and NYC
Department of Education
EarlyLearn Results
 February 2014 – 37,150 children served through EarlyLearn
 Center-based care: 92% of seats for preschoolers, 7% for
toddlers, 1% for infants
 Family child care: 21% for preschoolers, 47% for toddlers,
and 32% for infants
 Improved quality standards
Source: Urban Institute, Innovations in NYC Health & Human Services Policy: EarlyLearn
NYC, February 2014.
UPK Results
 UPK expansion
 Before: 58,000 children served, but only 32,000 with full-day;
NYC estimated that 73,000 families needed full-day services
 Now: Converting part-day programs and funding new full-day
seats to bring total 73,000 seats within two years
 $10,239/child in NYC
Source: New York City Office of the Mayor, Office of Management and Budget,
Department of Education, Administration for Children’s Services, Ready to Launch,
January 2014.
Homelessness in NYC
 Right to shelter
 11,866 families, including 24,626 children
 156 facilities (shelters, hotels/motels, cluster sites)
 Average length of stay 431 days
Homes for the Homeless
 History
 Started in 1986 with service-rich transitional housing model
 Now
 Operates four transitional housing facilities serving over 500 families every
 Two EarlyLearn-funded early childhood care and education centers
One mixed-age classroom (20 children, ages 3-5) with one teacher and two
One center with 2 classrooms (35 childen, ages 2-5); one teacher and one
assistant in each classroom
 Flipping our philosophy and adopting EarlyLearn
Challenges - Enrollment
 Enrollment
 Serving a transitional population
 Difficult for some homeless parents to qualify
Vouchers targeted toward those employed
Employment verification and certification
 Stigma of ACS and location
Challenges - Assessments
 Assessments and Evaluations
 Student assessments and screenings
ASQ-3 and ASQ-SE
Teaching Strategies GOLD assessments
Hearing, vision, and dental screenings
 Parents
School readiness survey
Parent satisfaction survey
Challenges - Assessments
 Assessments and Evaluations
 Program
ACS Program Quality Assessment
CLASS for UPK Classrooms
NAEYC Cultural Competency Tool
Strengthening Families Self Assessment
Year-end staff survey
Various other agency surveys
Challenges – Parent Engagement
 Parent Engagement
 Parent Advisory Committee
Challenges in finding and keeping PAC members
Success when paired with other parent events
Opportunities for informal parent support
 Classroom Practice
 Family-style meals
 Dental hygiene
 Classroom Environment
 Learning centers
 Libraries
 Artwork
 Outdoor play spaces
 Teacher Engagement
 Increased professional development days
Example: Interactive Storytelling
 Teacher Qualifications
 Child Development Accreditation
 Teacher salary parity
 Nutrition and Meals
 Medication Administration and Health Plans
 Safety Procedures
 Student Performance (GOLD Assessment)
 From Winter to Spring in SY 2013-14:
Percent of students who were meeting or exceeding standards
increased from winter to spring for 67% of the objectives
 Objectives in the group that showed a decrease included
establishing and sustaining positive relationships, positive
approaches to learning, remembers and connects experiences
 Parent satisfaction survey
 94% report they know the goals the center has for their child
 88% are satisfied with the curriculum and resources
 82% were satisfied or very satisfied with their interactions with
their child’s teachers
 Request for more homework
 Staff Survey
 Staff reported that child and child-teacher assessments and
classroom assessments, additional professional development
and setting school readiness goals were funding mandates that
benefited the program
 Pathways to Cultural Competency Tool
 Of the 47 indicators, 40% met, 32% in progress, 28% not yet
Lessons Learned
 High-quality early childhood care and education can be
provided in a non-traditional setting for all kinds of families
 Engaging parents of young children who are experiencing
homelessness is possible when tailored to meet their needs
and not just the program’s or funder’s needs
 Incremental introduction of elements such as assessments
and professional development can help to ease transitions
Thank you!
For more information: www.hfhnyc.org
Dona Anderson
Senior Public Affairs Officer, Homes for the Homeless
P: 212-529-5252