This is the third of four 2020 quarterly status updates about DRS. Learn about changes to DRS, new resources, and what to expect for the upcoming round of DRS grant competitions.

Changes to DRS were published in Final Rule. Last month, shortly after releasing the 2020 National CLASS Scores, OHS announced substantial changes to DRS. These changes impacted the competition status of some grantees. Many grantees that expected to compete in the upcoming round of DRS are no longer required to do so. These programs will now submit a non-competitive baseline application.

New page on ECLKC provides information about DRS changes. On the Designation Renewal System Changes in 2020 page on ECLKC, you can access the Final Rule, view OHS webinars about the changes, and review responses to FAQs. This is a helpful resource for grantees to understand the changes and what they might mean for their program in the future.

DRS Round 9 grant competitions are expected in early October. The ninth round of DRS grant competitions is expected this fall, and many of the Head Start/Early Head Start forecasts on estimate a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) release date of October 7. The estimated application due date is December 7, 2020.

Format of forecasts is different than in past rounds of DRS. In the past, individual DRS grant competitions were listed on Now, they are grouped by state on – for example, “Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee – Communities in the state of Texas.” To find lists of specific competitions, go to Office of Head Start (OHS) Funding Opportunities. Scroll down to “Forecasted Funding Opportunities.” Select your state from the dropdown menu and then you will see the service areas up for competition, estimated funding amounts, and estimated number of awards.

Planning ahead is key to successful grant writing. If your program will be competing in DRS this fall, consider using the next few weeks to prepare. Firm up your program design and budget, and gather materials you’ll need to support drafting (e.g., community assessment). This is also a good time to confirm your credentials for and make a plan for submission. Keep in mind any planned system outages on

We’ll share the next DRS Quarterly Update in December. In the meantime, check back for new information about the upcoming round of DRS grant competitions.

Foundations for Families offers customized Grant Writing Solutions for programs applying for funding through DRS. If your program plans to write a DRS grant proposal and needs tools and resources to support the process, you might consider our DRS Toolkit. We also offer services to strengthen proposal compliance and competitiveness, such as Quality Assurance Review and Submission Support. Please contact us to learn more.

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