Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.4 SOCIOLOGY, Sociology, Demography, Anthropology, Social topics, Family studies, Social issues

Publication Details

Submitted to Department of Social Sciences, Technological University Dublin in partial fulfilment of the requirements leading to the award of Masters of Arts in Mentoring Management and Leadership in the Early Years


Homelessness in Ireland has increased rapidly over recent years with children and families making up increasing proportions of the numbers recorded whilst single parent families are representing a disproportionate number of families experiencing homelessness. Consequently many early years services are supporting unprecedented numbers of children who are experiencing homelessness to engage and fully participate in early education programmes. The experience of homelessness can permeate many levels and various aspects of a child’s life particularly when historical risks and adversities are to be factored. Within this context this study guided by an ecological framework explores the range of influences on the experiences of children and their families during periods of homelessness and early years service providers responding to the needs of children experiencing homelessness. Guided by a qualitative approach Semi structured interviews were carried out with early years service managers and a development officer working for a government funded company providing support to early years service providers to explore what approaches early years services are adopting while responding to the needs of children experiencing homelessness. Findings show despite many challenges early years services face those who work in the sector and in particular for the purposes of this study, early years managers are incredibly committed to their role maintaining the highest standards for all children using their service while acknowledging that children and families experiencing homelessness possess a set of unique needs that may need a unique approach.