Responding to Trauma in Early Learning and Care: Homelessness

Barnardos. (2024). Responding to Trauma in Early Learning and Care: Homelessness.
In Ireland today, there are babies, toddlers and young children growing up in households impacted by poverty, addiction, neighbourhood violence, discrimination, mental health problems, homelessness and domestic violence, and some children are being subjected to chronic neglect and/or abuse. Working in Early Learning and Care (ELC) settings, we have seen first-hand the devastating impact that traumatic experiences such as these can have on the lives of the youngest and most vulnerable people in our society. For many children, the impact of adverse experiences will negatively affect their wellbeing and development, leading to poor outcomes, and social, emotional and physical issues over the course of their lives. As early years educators, we can play a critical role in supporting children and families by promoting a safe, supportive environment and providing stable, caring relationships in those critical first years of life. Through our intimate relationships with young children and their families we have the opportunity to make a real, positive difference. This resource, which is one in a series looking at how ELC settings can support children experiencing adversity, focuses on children experiencing homelessness. It explores how homelessness can impact children, and how, as early years educators, in partnership with families and other agencies, we can support children and their families experiencing homelessness.