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Our monthly blog, Talking Points, is a forum for thought leaders in early childhood education. Our writers bring expertise, academic credentials, up-to-date research and regulatory knowledge straight to you.

Our DRS and EHS-CCP blogs share the latest research and regulations in Head Start and Early Head Start.  When Funding Opportunity Announcements are released, we will keep your agency in the know about upcoming deadlines or changes in these grant opportunities.

Subscribing to any of our three blogs also gives you access to our Monthly Round-Up. Read the archives below.

Making the Case for HS/EHS Enrollment Reduction or Conversion

On November 7, 2022, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued an Information Memorandum, Enrollment Reductions and Conversion of Head Start Slots to Early Head Start Slots (ACF-IM-HS-22-09), that provides guidance to Head Start/Early Head Start programs about how to submit a change in scope and the factors that programs should take into consideration for such a request.

Insights on Process and Content to Help Prepare for FY2023 Focus Area Reviews

As programs settle into the new program year, many are looking ahead to Head Start/Early Head Start monitoring reviews. Reviews are around the corner, as Focus Area Two will begin in October, followed by Focus Area One in November. This is the time of year when the Office of Head Start (OHS) releases updated monitoring protocols and guidance for programs to consider.

Funding Highlights from 2022 NHSA Fall Leadership Institute

The 2022 National Head Start Association (NHSA) Fall Leadership Institute took place September 19-22 in Washington, DC. It was a welcome opportunity to see colleagues in person, as the last couple years it has taken place virtually. One aspect of the conference that was particularly interesting from the funding perspective was Updates from the Office of Head Start. We learned about big picture and program-specific funding opportunities.

Wage and Benefits Studies Support Competitive Compensation Systems

Staff wages and benefits are important factors in a program’s ability to attract and retain a qualified workforce. Research shows that higher staff turnover is associated with lower wages in child care programs, so learning how your program’s compensation compares to others is an important strategy for fostering a stable workforce. And with widespread staffing shortages in the child care industry, compensation is more important than ever.

CLASS and Coaching: Valuable Tools to Support Continuous Program Improvement

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Head Start/Early Head Start programs have taken unprecedented steps to provide compliant, high quality programs for children and families. There have been health and safety mandates, guidelines, and protocols to implement, all while programs navigate the day-to-day with a shrinking workforce.

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.

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...

DRS NOFOs Posted for Four States and Applications Due January 24, 2023

On November 10, 2022, five Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities posted on grants.gov. These grants were forecasted in October and were expected to post earlier this month. Applications for DRS grants are due January 24, 2023.

In addition to accessing NOFOs on grants.gov, they are downloadable from the Office of Head Start (OHS) Funding Opportunities website. Service areas with grants open for competition, estimated funding amounts, and estimated numbers of awards are summarized below.

DRS Grants Forecasted to Open for Competition in November 2022

On October 11, 2022, four of the eight Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities expected this fall were forecasted on grants.gov. At the NHSA Fall Leadership Institute, the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced that DRS grant competitions will be for service areas in Puerto Rico and seven states including Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

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...

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