DRS Updates

About DRS Updates

Foundations for Families started this blog in 2011 to provide support for those agencies on the Designation Renewal Systems (DRS) list, and to give you up to date information and analysis about DRS.

DRS Updates provides timely information and context for those agencies in DRS, at risk of being in DRS, or those wishing to compete for the service areas.

Status of DRS Grant Competitions and Resources for Applicants

This fall, there has been a lot of activity related to DRS on grants.gov. Currently, there are grant competitions that are about to close, newly opened competitions, and other grants that are forecasted but have not yet posted. Below is a breakdown of what we know about the status of DRS competitions. We also highlight a few new resources made available by the Office of Head Start (OHS).

Additional DRS NOFO Forecasted – More to Come?

This week, there was new activity on grants.gov as an additional DRS grant opportunity was forecasted. This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), however, is on a different timeline than the 30 active NOFOs that were published in October. Here’s what you need to know.

Changes Coming to Grants.gov

Later this month, October 28-31, Grants.gov will be down for maintenance. We are highlighting this outage for two reasons. First, it falls during the DRS application period. Second, following maintenance, Grants.gov will be different. A blog post from Grants.gov describes the planned update as resulting in a “new look and feel” and with a “more intuitive and responsive user experience.”

30 DRS NOFOs Posted and Applications Due December 14

On October 12, 2023, 30 Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities posted on grants.gov. Grant applications are due December 14, 2023. In addition to accessing NOFOs on grants.gov, they are downloadable from the Office of Head Start (OHS) NOFO Locator. As of the publishing of this blog post, one Head Start/Early Head Start NOFO and two Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) NOFOs remain forecasted,...

Timelines Updated for Many DRS NOFOs and New Grants Forecasted

Over the last day, there has been activity on grants.gov related to forecasted DRS grants. Here’s what you need to know about the timeline and opportunities. Timeline: Some – but not all – DRS grant forecasts have been updated to a new timeline. The new timeline is an estimated NOFO posting date of October 11, 2023, and a due date of December 14, 2023. This is an approximately 9-week turnaround. Additional NOFOs Forecasted: Four additional NOFOs were forecasted, listed below. The service areas...

DRS Archive

Grant writing exceeded our expectations.

We also developed internal capacity through the modeling and coaching provided by Foundations for Families. We have an excellent DRS application. Foundations for Families removed the anxiety from the process, using a strengths-based approach. This helped us focus on the positive components of our program.

Roger Pavey

Executive Director, Community Action of Eastern Iowa

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Two EHS Expansion & EHS-CCP Grants Included in DRS Round 10

Last week, the Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for grants in the upcoming round of DRS were announced. This is the tenth round of DRS, and ten NOFOs were released for grants open for competition. Two of those NOFOs are for Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grants.

5 Strategies for Success in EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 5

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the fifth round of EHS Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants (EHS-Expansion and EHS-CCP) may be released this fall. Since each round of EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP has become increasingly...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#4 of 4)

This is the fourth of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about what to expect for EHS-CCP and EHS Expansion in 2021. Round 4 grant award negotiations...

Is Consolidating EHS-CCP and HS/EHS Grants Right for Your Program?

This time last year, the Office of Head Start (OHS) issued a Program Instruction (PI) announcing an opportunity for grantees to consolidate their Head Start and Early Head Start grants. Now, consolidations may include Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#3 of 4)

This is the third of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about next steps for EHS-CCP Round 4 applicants and what all grantees should know about changes to...

Application Deadline Extended in Six States

The EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) has been updated to provide extensions to the application deadline in six states: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon. For applicants in these states, the deadline is...

Grants.gov Maintenance Scheduled for This Weekend

Grants.gov is scheduled for maintenance this weekend, leading up to Monday’s deadline for submission of EHS-CCP proposals. The maintenance schedule states that systems will go offline Saturday, September 19 at 12:01am ET and will go back online Monday, September 21 at...

5 Tips and 10 Days Before Proposals are Due

Applications for EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 4 funding are due in 10 days, on September 21, 2020. This is anticipated to be the most competitive round of funding yet, and high quality applications will stand out. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you finalize...

Prioritizing Qualified Opportunity Zones in EHS-CCP Round 4

When the EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 4 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was released last month, one of the highlights we noticed is that funding may be prioritized for services in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Here, we provide information about Qualified...

EHS-CCP Round 4 Posted and Applications Due September 21

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the fourth round of Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grants was released on Grants.gov. The applications are due no later than September 21st. The FOA can be found here. With a sixty...

OHS Releases New RAN Protocol and Sample Reporting Form

This month, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released a Risk Assessment Notification (RAN) protocol and sample reporting form to assist programs that experience a child health and safety incident. This new information follows the kick off of FY2024 Head Start monitoring and is in direct response to a concerning increase in the number of child health and safety issues among Head Start/Early Head Start programs in recent years.

FY2024 Monitoring Kicks Off with New Tools and Information

The FY2024 Head Start monitoring season is in full swing as the Office of Head Start (OHS) hosted its Monitoring Kickoff Webinar, new protocols have been posted, and programs have been notified if they’re receiving a FY2024 review. This year, there are meaningful changes to the content and format of reviews. Here, we highlight some of the key takeaways from the kickoff webinar and our initial review of OHS monitoring protocols and materials.

What You Need to Know About FY2024 Federal Monitoring Reviews

The start of the new program year is here, and with it comes a new federal monitoring review season. During the last few years, there have been changes to content and format of reviews, due in large part to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we talk about what’s the same, what might be different, and how your program can prepare for a FY2024 federal monitoring review.

Wage Comparability Studies and the Staffing Crisis, An Interview with Jane Hanson

Jane Hanson shares her insights on the importance of wage comparability studies, requirements for Head Start/Early Head Start programs, and how data can be used to address the staffing crisis. Ms. Hanson is a Consultant with Foundations for Families, specializing in wage comparability studies and data research. She is experienced working with community agencies across the country, helping to provide programs with data to understand and meet staff, family, and community needs.

New Grant Aims to Improve Housing Stability and Support for Low-Income Families

In many communities, a lack of affordable housing is an ongoing challenge. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, no state in the U.S. has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters and rising rental costs often make it difficult to maintain housing. A newly forecasted grant from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services, will help to address these challenges by leveraging the expertise of Community Action Agencies.

CCAMPIS Funding Supports Postsecondary Education with Campus-Based Child Care

To support low-income parents to participate in postsecondary education, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, opened a grant competition for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) program funding, which provides...

Annual Report: Providing Enrollment Data Alongside Community Context

Head Start annual reporting is established in Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), Section §1302.102(d)(2), and is required in the Head Start Act, Section 644(a)(2). To fully address requirements, programs must include a summary of their most recent community assessment in the annual report. Including a summary of the community assessment provides an opportunity to highlight community needs and also offers a chance to provide important context related to other required areas of annual reporting.

Federal Budget Updates for Early Childhood Education Programs

There are many moving pieces to the federal budget. Understanding how funding is approved and when it becomes available can help programs prepare to respond to opportunities as they arise. In this blog post, we review the current status of federal funds related to early childhood education and what may be on the horizon for the upcoming federal fiscal year.

Community Assessment Updates Provide Important Data for Program Planning

Annual updates to Head Start/Early Head Start community assessments have taken on new significance and utility as programs navigate unprecedented staffing shortages and evolving family needs. Many programs are also planning for a Change in Scope Request, which requires a justification built on up-to-date and relevant community and program data.

How to Plan for a Successful Change in Scope Request

Underenrollment action planning is well on its way for some Head Start/Early Head Start programs, and will be soon for many more. Whether responding to an underenrollment letter that has been received, or one expected soon, submitting a Change in Scope Request to the Office of Head Start (OHS) is one strategy programs might consider to mitigate underenrollent challenges and deal with an ongoing child care workforce staffing crisis.

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