Earlier this week, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released a Program Instruction (PI) – Disaster Recovery Funding for 2018 and 2019 Disasters ACF-PI-HS-19-01– that describes funding available to Head Start/Early Head Start programs that have been impacted by disasters. Funds will be awarded through September 30, 2021 and, as described in the PI, are restricted to FEMA-declared disaster areas.

Here’s what you need to know –

  • There is an important distinction in the PI that disaster recovery needs will be responsive to current community needs and not necessarily reflective of how services were delivered prior to the disaster:

The extent of service interruption and damage to properties as a consequence of these disasters varies dramatically. The Office of Head Start (OHS) recognizes this PI cannot capture all of the circumstances in which disaster funds may be needed to ensure services are restored and align with the current needs of the communities impacted by the wide range of disasters occurring calendar years 2018 and 2019. Disaster recovery needs may not fully reflect how services were delivered prior to the disasters but will be responsive to the current community needs.

  • Disaster recovery funds are a one-time award and are separate from Head Start/Early Head Start base funding awards. Applications are submitted in HSES.
  • The PI requires that Head Start/Early Head Start grantees assess programmatic and community needs prior to their application to understand the impact and costs (immediate through long-term) of the disaster.
  • Grantees may apply for funding in one or more of six categories: Facilities; Materials, Supplies, and Equipment; Program Operations; Additional Health, Mental Health, Dental, and Nutrition Services; Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA); and Disaster Recovery Expenses Incurred Prior to Availability of Funds Under the Act. Allowable expenses within each of these categories are described in detail in the PI.
  • Grantees may submit a single request for needed funds or make additional requests for funds as needs arise. Grant funds must be spent within 24 months of grant award.

Foundations for Families team members have extensive experience helping grantees to assess community needs and write competitive grant proposals. If your program needs assistance to assess community needs and draft an application please be in touch. We would be glad to talk with you about your program’s needs and how we can help you capture disaster recovery funding.

Thank you.

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