BELL early learning project issues first year report

The People's Emergency Center is making available a report on the Building Early Links to Learning's first year of operations.

Read and download the report here.

To support the healthy development of children ages 0-5 experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia, the emergency / transitional housing homeless system (EH) has partnered with the early learning community (ECE) to improve how it serves young children and to promote resilience by easing access to high quality early learning programs. This project is called Building Early Links for Learning (BELL)

Children in emergency or transitional housing are among the most difficult and challenging to support. They are highly mobile, often times before coming into the homeless system. Systems designed to serve their housed peers often cannot adjust to this challenge. In addition, the homeless housing system is generally focused on the adult and not on children.

BELL has two goals: (1) to promote healthy development for young children, and (2) to build relationships between the education liaisons and early childhood programs near each housing program. BELL created a team of early childhood education specialists with expertise in early child development to work closely with EH “education liaisons.” Key measurable outcomes include the establishment of new procedures, an improved environment within the homeless system fostering child development, and increased enrollment of the children into quality early learning programs.


  • 60 percent of all parents in 18 programs engaged in discussion of child development and accessing high quality early education, matching the project’s goal.
  • 12 housing programs completed an annual self-assessment measuring how well the agency was supporting child development.
  • Formed partnerships or linkages between the homeless housing and early learning systems by creating lines of communications, providing trainings, organizing networking opportunities, and advocating for expanding resources.

To connect with the BELL team, contact Director Roslyn Edwards at 267-777-5805.