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Cross-Systems Collaboration to Improve Outcomes for Young Children and Their Families Series: Head Start and Child Care for Children in Child Welfare

April 20 2022
2:00 PM EDT

Approximately 40 percent of all children entering foster care are age five and under. Addressing the needs of these children and their families is critical to helping child welfare systems and early childhood systems achieve better outcomes.

The advantages of Head Start participation for young children and their parents has long been demonstrated. High quality child care supports brain development, advances school readiness, and develops social and emotional skills that benefit children through their lives. Case workers often encounter barriers to enrollment and retention in Head Start and high quality child care, for children in foster care. What are those barriers? What can be done to alleviate those barriers? What is being done at the state level to increase enrollment? How can federal policy support greater access to these ECE programs for foster children? How can the workforce in both of these programs be trained and supported to respond better to children who may present with trauma symptoms and challenging behavior?


  • Tommy Sheridan, Deputy Director, National Head Start Association
  • Susan Savage, Director of Research at the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC)
  • Andria Zaverl, Research Manager at Child Care Resource Center (CCRC)

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