By Marsha Basloe, Senior Advisor for Early Childhood Development, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development
When my son was little, he had a favorite stuffed animal called “elephant.” Elephant went everywhere Benjy went! One of my favorite memories is standing in his bedroom doorway and watching him sleep in his “new big bed” with his arm wrapped around elephant under the covers. This memory was important to me last week as I attended the National Alliance to End Homelessness Family and Youth Conference to present on the Administration for Children and Families’ early childhood efforts to support young children experiencing homelessness.
There were multiple workshops sharing the amazing efforts of programs and communities across the country. Secretary Julian Castro spoke to a large audience about the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s work and HUD’s linking with partners including the Veterans Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. He said that people need more than just housing; families don’t live in silos and it’s why the collaboration and coordination between HUD, VA and HHS is so important – from the federal level to the local level.
Secretary Castro was also clear that HUD had limits to what it could do. This was something I could understand. The Office of Child Care supports low-income working families through child care fee assistance (subsidies) for children age birth through 13 and promotes children’s learning by improving the quality of early care and education and afterschool programs. Through Child Care and Development Fund block grants to states, territories and tribes, nearly 500,000 child care providers serve 1.5 million low-income children who receive subsidies each month. And yet, we have limits as the CCDF funds only 17 percent of children.
Source: Administration for Children and Families