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.

Alabama

  • Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee in Walker County ($1,677,564, 1 award)
  • Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee in Choctaw, Dallas, Marengo, and Wilcox Counties ($1,933,015, 1 award)
  • Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee in Jefferson County ($10,834,481, 3 awards)

Colorado

  • Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee in Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Las Animas, and Pueblo Counties ($10,834,481, 3 awards)

Louisiana

  • Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee in St. Landry Parish: ($8,575,471, 1 award)

Wisconsin

  • Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee in Burnett, Clark, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn Counties ($3,456,956, 2 awards)
  • Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership Grant in Burnett, Clark, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn Counties ($1,605,4481 award)

The 10-week turnaround for the upcoming round of DRS is longer than is typically allotted for DRS grant competitions. This is likely a welcome relief for programs that are competing in DRS, as the original estimated due date was just after the new year. It will still be important to have strategies in place to manage DRS through the holidays. Below are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Establish timelines for drafting and review that fit team members’ schedules.
  2. Engage partners early and give plenty of advance notice for letters of support and agreements.
  3. Ensure grants.gov credentials are up to date, determine grants.gov assignments, and begin data entry as soon as possible.
  4. Be aware of scheduled maintenance on grants.gov.

The last point is very important as grants.gov goes down for scheduled maintenance every month, and you will not be able to access grants.gov during an outage. There are three scheduled outages during the application timeline. The last one is scheduled for January 21 (12:01am ET) through January 23 (6:00am ET), which is the weekend before applications are due.

If your program is competing for funding in DRS and needs help, please be in touch. We offer a variety of grant writing services to support programs in DRS. Consider a quality assurance review or grants.gov submission support to help ensure a high-quality and on-time application. Contact us to learn more.

Thank you.

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