We care about the same things you do – excellent services for very young children and families.

Foundations For Families Insights

Our experienced consulting team brings expertise, academic credentials, up-to-date research and regulatory knowledge to three different blogs.

Written Policies and Procedures Align Service Delivery and Compliance

Earlier this summer, we published a blog post about how well-defined policies and procedures can help new and experienced staff to understand their role and support program monitoring. Documenting policies and procedures, particularly following rapid changes that took...

How Climate Change and Natural Disasters Shape Community Needs

Environmental risks are one of the many factors that influence community health. Climate change is increasing the intensity and duration of weather-related disasters, which occur alongside other natural threats such as earthquakes. All communities have some level of risk, and understanding those risks is important.

Support New and Experienced Staff with Well-defined Policies and Procedures

Developing and maintaining up-to-date policies and procedures is essential for any Head Start/Early Head Start program. It is important because they are foundational to a program’s operation and they provide a guide for staff – new and experienced – that helps to ensure clarity and consistency in program implementation.

Environmental Risk Factors Contribute to Community Health Needs

Environmental risks can range from natural disasters and climate change to pollution and air quality. These factors play an important role in the overall health and wellbeing of communities and can vary widely across geographic areas. Certain environmental health factors – like pollution and unsafe drinking water – disproportionately impact low-income communities, and children and pregnant women are at particularly high risk of health problems.

Annual Report Brings Together Program and Community Data

Head Start annual reporting is established in Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), Section §1302.102(d)(2), and requires programs to include a summary of a program’s most recent community assessment. The report must also comply with the Head Start Act. In this blog post, we’ll explore the intersection of HSPPS and the Act and how your program can use the annual report as an opportunity to show need across the service area and within your program.

What Does the Census Data Tell Us About Population Changes in 2020?

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that provides vital information to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. On March 17, 2022, the Census Bureau released the 2016-2020 ACS 5-Year Estimates, after multiple delays due to quality and response issues for 2020 data collection. This data, which many agencies rely on for annual community assessments, is now available at data.census.gov.

Understanding Census Undercounts in Anticipation of 2020 Data Release

The much-anticipated 2020 U.S. Census data is scheduled to be released Thursday, March 17. The census is conducted once every ten years and is designed to count every resident in the United States. Census data is used many ways; for example, to determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, adjust electoral districts, and inform the allocation of federal funding.

Hot Topics (and Resources!) in Community Assessment

Community assessment is foundational to program planning, providing data and information that helps programs to meet children and families’ needs. There are a wide range of resources that programs may tap into to build a comprehensive community assessment or draw from for an annual update.

Here, we share three tools that allow users to explore data at the national, state, and local levels. While the content in each tool is different – focusing on housing, food insecurity, and substance misuse – the functionality is very similar. Start broad and drill down to local data that show how needs vary from one community to the next.

Program Planning: Sequencing Activities to Maximize Time and Enhance Usefulness

In Head Start/Early Head Start, a coordinated approach to program planning and management supports the provision of high-quality services for children and families. Each year, programs implement a variety of required activities to guide programmatic and fiscal operations. The timing of these activities, and how they build upon each other, can impact their effectiveness and value they bring to the program.

NHSA Winter Leadership Institute Provides Federal Policy and Budget Updates

The 2022 National Head Start Association (NHSA) Winter Leadership Institute took place virtually, January 24-27, 2022. As customary for NHSA conferences, representatives from the Office of Head Start (OHS) held a session to share updates from the administration and OHS. Here, we provide some of the important federal funding and policy updates that were shared by OHS leaders.

Two EHS Expansion & EHS-CCP Grants Included in DRS Round 10

Last week, the Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for grants in the upcoming round of DRS were announced. This is the tenth round of DRS, and ten NOFOs were released for grants open for competition. Two of those NOFOs are for Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grants.

5 Strategies for Success in EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 5

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the fifth round of EHS Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants (EHS-Expansion and EHS-CCP) may be released this fall. Since each round of EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP has become increasingly...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#4 of 4)

This is the fourth of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about what to expect for EHS-CCP and EHS Expansion in 2021. Round 4 grant award negotiations...

Is Consolidating EHS-CCP and HS/EHS Grants Right for Your Program?

This time last year, the Office of Head Start (OHS) issued a Program Instruction (PI) announcing an opportunity for grantees to consolidate their Head Start and Early Head Start grants. Now, consolidations may include Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#3 of 4)

This is the third of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about next steps for EHS-CCP Round 4 applicants and what all grantees should know about changes to...

Application Deadline Extended in Six States

The EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) has been updated to provide extensions to the application deadline in six states: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon. For applicants in these states, the deadline is...

Grants.gov Maintenance Scheduled for This Weekend

Grants.gov is scheduled for maintenance this weekend, leading up to Monday’s deadline for submission of EHS-CCP proposals. The maintenance schedule states that systems will go offline Saturday, September 19 at 12:01am ET and will go back online Monday, September 21 at...

5 Tips and 10 Days Before Proposals are Due

Applications for EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 4 funding are due in 10 days, on September 21, 2020. This is anticipated to be the most competitive round of funding yet, and high quality applications will stand out. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you finalize...

Prioritizing Qualified Opportunity Zones in EHS-CCP Round 4

When the EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 4 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was released last month, one of the highlights we noticed is that funding may be prioritized for services in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Here, we provide information about Qualified...

EHS-CCP Round 4 Posted and Applications Due September 21

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the fourth round of Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grants was released on Grants.gov. The applications are due no later than September 21st. The FOA can be found here. With a sixty...

New Section of HSPPS Allows Flexibility for DRS Determinations in Emergencies

The tenth round of DRS is coming to a close next week. If your program is competing in this round, you might be putting the final touches on your application. The application process is a lot of work. Congratulations to all who submit applications! In recent years,...

5 Tips for Successful Submission of DRS Round 10 Applications

The deadline for submission of DRS grant applications, February 2, 2022, is less than three weeks away. At this stage in the process, you are likely putting finishing touches on narrative, gathering appendix items, and planning for submission of your application. It’s the home stretch and carefully navigating the final steps of the application process will help to ensure timely and successful submission of your program’s application.

DRS Round 10 NOFOs Posted and Applications due February 2, 2022

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the tenth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant competitions were announced on Grants.gov on Friday, November 19. Applications are due no later than February 2, 2021. NOFOs are available on Grants.gov by searching for Head Start grant opportunities. If you’re used to seeing “Funding Opportunity Announcement” or “FOA” in grant documents, note that the Office of Head Start has begun using NOFO instead.

DRS Round 10 Forecasted to Open for Competition November 22

The tenth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities were forecasted on grants.gov in July and were expected to open for competition in September. Grants.gov has been updated to reflect a new timeline. The estimated posting date for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) is November 22, 2021. Applications are estimated to be due on January 21, 2022.

DRS Grant Competitions Delayed and New Grants Forecasted

The upcoming round of DRS was scheduled to open for competition on September 8, 2021. The forecasts for these grants were released in July and have not been updated since then. If you’re waiting for a DRS Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to post, new activity on grants.gov may provide some insight.

Create Efficiencies with Internal Grant Writing Expertise

The next round of DRS is right around the corner, with grants competitions forecasted for September 2021. If your program plans to compete for funding through DRS, you may be determining roles and responsibilities for grant writing and submission of your agency’s proposal.

For agencies that don’t have a clear grant writing process, you might need an external grant writer to facilitate the grant writing process from drafting to application submission. Foundations for Families offers this service, comprehensive grant writing.

DRS Round 10 Grant Competitions Forecasted for September 2021

The tenth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities are now forecasted on grants.gov. The estimated posting date for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) is September 8, 2021. Applications are estimated to be due on November 8, 2021.

Explore What Makes DRS Unique and How Your Program Can Prepare

If trends of past DRS competitions hold true, the next round of DRS will likely open for competition this fall. There are not any DRS grants forecasted yet, but you can keep your eye on Grants.gov for updates, and we’ll post any news here. Is your Head Start/Early...

Competing in DRS in 2021? Here’s What You Might Expect

If your program is expecting to compete in DRS this year, you may feel some uncertainty about what that will look like. When will applications be due? What will the requirements be? How can we prepare? These are a few of the common questions we hear from programs anticipating a DRS competition.

DRS Quarterly Status Update (#4 of 4)

In this fourth of four 2020 quarterly status updates, we reflect on the current status of DRS and look ahead to what may be on the horizon for DRS in 2021. DRS Round 9 applications due January 5. The ninth round of DRS competitions opened in late October, and...

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