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 into the timeline.
Last week, an additional Head Start/Early Head Start grant was forecasted on grants.gov. It is for Communities in the State of California. With the addition of California, there are now 13 DRS FOAs expected to open for competition this fall.
The estimated timeline for the newly forecasted competition in California is November 1, 2021 (estimated posting date) to January 3, 2022 (estimated due date). This aligns closely to the timeline that DRS followed in fall 2020. Based on the forecast for California and last year’s timeline, it seems possible that all of the DRS grant competitions will be on this timeline.
So far, grant forecasts have not been updated to reflect the current delay or to provide a new estimated timeline. You can continue to check grants.gov for updates by visiting the Search Grants page and finding your specific grant.
In the meantime, consider how you can use this extra time to prepare for grant writing. There are many ways you can focus your time – budget planning, program design, and considering start up needs, to name a few! Another area we suggest you consider is data collection. Every grant competition has required criteria, and high quality data collection and analysis can support your programs ability to respond to those criteria.
Collecting key data points, for example, on community needs, eligible children, and the availability of and access to other early learning programs, could put your application a step ahead of the competition. These data will help you prepare a high quality, competitive grant application – one in which your program design is backed by data and is responsive to community need.
If your program needs assistance with data collection to support a competitive proposal, we would be glad to help. Foundations for Families offers a variety of Grant Writing Solutions for services for programs getting ready for a competitive grant, designed to meet the varied needs of Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Please contact us to learn more.
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