Under the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act, “McKinney-Vento children and youth” means students who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes:
- Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
- Residing in a shelter
- In a hotel or motel
- In a tent, vehicle, abandoned building, streets, park or other unsheltered location
- Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations
- Runaways*: Children who are left home and live in a shelter or inadequate accommodation, even if parents are willing to provide a home.
- Lockouts*: Children whose parents or guardians will not permit them to live at home
*These two categories are unaccompanied homeless youth. These children are not in the physical custody of their parents or court-ordered guardians and lack a fixed, regular, and adequate abode.
The Education for Homeless Children and Youth program, which is part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, ensures that eligible children have the following rights:
- Choice of school: Children eligible for McKinney-Vento services may attend their school of origin (school last attended or school attended when child lost permanent housing) or attend the school that serves their temporary living situation (choice of caregiver)
- Immediate enrollment: Even if medical or other records, birth certificates, or transcripts cannot be produced at the time of enrollment
- Transportation: Transportation must be provided, if requested
- Preschool: Priority consideration to preschool programs for eligible youngsters
- Free lunch & fee waivers: Categorically eligible for free lunch
- Supplemental tutoring: if needed
When you move, you should do the following:
- Contact the school district for McKinney-Vento education (see phone number below) for help in enrolling your child in a new school or arranging for your child to continue in his or her former school. (Or, someone at a shelter, social services office, or the school can direct you to the person you need to contact.)
- Contact the school and provide any information you think will assist the teachers in helping your child adjust to new circumstances.
- Ask the school district, the shelter provider, or a social worker for assistance with clothing and supplies, if needed.
For further reading on legal information, parents’ rights, access to local services, and information on the dispute resolution process in the state of Illinois please visit https://isbe.net/pages/homeless.aspx or consult the "Homeless Youth Handbook - Know your rights."
Grants Management Contact:
Other sources of information:
Kane County Area One Liaison - Jimmy Pawola:
National Center for Homeless Education: