At the end of each quarter in 2020 we will post quarterly updates about the status of the many moving pieces of DRS. This is the first of four quarterly status updates for the year. We’ll address topics such as upcoming grant competitions, monitoring, program improvement and more.

Head Start/Early Head Start transforms program operations during COVID-19 closures. The pandemic that our country faces has led to many Head Start/Early Head Start programs having to establish alternative service provision strategies for the foreseeable future. Many administrators are now working from home, and the day-to-day looks very different from what it did just a few weeks ago. Learn how you can refocus energy and attention during program closures.

If your program anticipates competing for funding in the upcoming round of DRS, you might also consider using this time to review your Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) and any other action plans you might have developed to address the challenges identified in your program and to ensure you are working towards completion of all action steps. Similarly, if you have a QIP that is due within 30 days, this is a good time to focus on ensuring it is as complete and comprehensive as possible

DRS Round 8 applicants await award. Programs that submitted a grant application during the eighth round of DRS (fall 2019) are awaiting grant negotiations and award. This will likely take place in the spring, and new grants are scheduled to begin July 1, 2020.

DRS Round 9 is expected later this year. In recent years, the Office of Head Start (OHS) has held DRS competitions in the fall. While there are not currently any DRS grant forecasts on, we have heard from many of you that you’ve received your notice of competition. Typically, forecasts for DRS grants are posted on at least a few weeks in advance of the Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) going live. We will let you know when we see new DRS activity, and you can also sign up on to receive alerts.

The Final Rule on the CLASS condition of DRS is expected this summer. In August 2019, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NOPR) that, among other updates, proposed a change to the CLASS condition of DRS. The NOPR proposed removing the 10% CLASS condition and raising the absolute CLASS thresholds. At the National Head Start Winter Leadership it was announced that the final rule is expected in summer 2020, and the current rule/conditions remain in effect until the final rule is effective.

We hope that you and your program staff are healthy and well. If our team can assist your program in any way, please feel free to reach out. Foundations for Families offers customized Grant Writing Solutions for programs competing for funding through DRS. We also offer an array of customized consulting services to Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Please be in touch to learn more.

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