This is the second of four 2020 quarterly status updates about DRS. Learn about the timing of upcoming grant competitions and resources to prepare.

COVID-19 continues to impact program operation. Many lessons are being learned about the impact of COVID-19 on communities and Head Start/Early Head Start services. The impacts of COVID-19 extend across sectors and touch many areas of families’ lives. Data that show these growing and changing needs will be important information for your DRS proposal. If your program will be competing for funding in DRS Round 9, consider gathering data that illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on your service area so that you can provide the most up-to-date snapshot of community needs.

DRS Round 8 awardees move into start-up phase. Programs that submitted a grant application during the eighth round of DRS (fall 2019) and were awarded funding will begin their new grant year on July 1, 2020. These programs are in a unique position to enter the start-up phase during COVID-19, a circumstance that was unknown at the time of their application. The start-up phase will be critical to programs’ success, whether a prior provider of Head Start/Early Head Start services a new grantee.

DRS Round 9 is not yet forecasted, and it is expected to take place in fall 2020. The ninth round of DRS grant competitions is expected this fall, and there is not yet a forecast posted on It is likely that a forecast will come later this summer, as forecasts are typically posted at least a few weeks in advance of the release of a Funding Opportunity Announcement. To receive timely updates from on new opportunities and announcements, go to the Manage Subscription page of

The Final Rule on the CLASS condition of DRS is still expected this summer. As mentioned in our first quarterly update, the final rule is expected in summer 2020 and the current rule/conditions remain in effect until the final rule is effective. We know that some programs are awaiting this information for clarity about whether or not they will need to compete for funding. For these programs, we recommend a dual planning pathway to ensure you are prepared whether you compete for funding through DRS or submit a new 5-year baseline grant application.

You can expect the next DRS Quarterly Update in September. In the meantime, check back for new and up-to-date information about DRS forecasts, the Final Rule on CLASS, and resources to prepare for grant writing.

Foundations for Families offers customized Grant Writing Solutions for programs applying for funding through DRS. Please contact us to learn more about how we can support your program to submit a competitive application for funding.

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