Homelessness in Canadian Children Under Age 6

1American Psychological Association (APA). Effects of Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness on Children and Youth. 2009. http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

While we collect episodic data in Canada on the number of women, children and youth using emergency shelters – and have some indication that these numbers are growing – we do not have a definitive number of children who are actually homeless. Compared to children with permanent homes, we know that homelessness has negative impacts on the health of young children – including hunger; delayed cognitive and emotional development; mental health problems; learning disabilities; poor physical health including low birth weight, malnutrition, ear infections, exposure to environmental toxins and chronic illness.  Early childhood care and education is often interrupted and delayed for homeless children, with homeless children twice as likely to have a learning disability, repeat a grade or to be suspended from school.1