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.

Strategies for Managing DRS through the Holidays

During a year that has been anything but typical, this is the first time the DRS application process has spanned the holiday season. The time between the release of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and the application due date is longer than usual – nearly 10 weeks as opposed to 8 weeks – but with the holidays, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more time for application preparation. Here are four strategies to help you navigate DRS through the holidays and to support successful...

DRS Round 9 FOAs Posted and Applications due January 5, 2021

The Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for the ninth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant competitions were announced on Grants.gov. Applications are due no later than January 5, 2021. FOAs are available on the Office of Head Start (OHS) Funding Opportunities website. DRS FOAs were released by state (in past rounds, there was a FOA for each service area that was up for competition). For example, state FOAs include the language, “communities in the state of…” In the Appendix of...

DRS Rule Change in Effect as Grant Competitions Approach

Over the summer, a Final Rule was published that describes substantial changes to DRS. We’ve now reached the effective period for the rule change. The Final Rule published in the Federal Register clearly states “the Final Rule is effective on October 27, 2020.” According to the Final Rule, the revised DRS conditions are in effect as of today. Yet, in the OHS Program Instruction (PI) released on August 27, 2020, the final rule effective date was communicated as November 9, 2020. If you have...

DRS Quarterly Status Update (#3 of 4)

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....

OHS Provides Updates on DRS Round 9 Forecasts and Timing

On Thursday, the Office of Head Start (OHS) hosted a webinar to discuss the recent changes to DRS and provide information about next steps. For grantees expecting to compete in DRS this fall (Round 9), important updates on process and timing were shared. First, many programs that were previously designated for competition in Round 9 have now received a follow up letter from OHS stating whether they will still have to compete or if they are eligible for a non-competitive grant. This decision is...

DRS Updates 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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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...

Tips for Managing the Delay in EHS Expansion & EHS-CCP Round 4

The fourth round of EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP was forecasted to open for competition on July 10, however the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) didn’t post to grants.gov and the forecast hasn’t been updated. We recognize this might create uncertainty for programs...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#2 of 4)

This is the second of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about the timing of the upcoming grant competition and resources to prepare.

EHS Expansion & EHS-CCP Round 4 Grant Competitions Forecasted

On Monday, May 19, 2020 the upcoming Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grant competitions were forecasted on grants.gov. Links to the forecasts for the three Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and detailed...

Reframing DRS: Risk Mitigation to Improve Quality and Prevent Competition

DRS – otherwise known as Designation Renewal System – was put in place in 2011 to help ensure accountability for the delivery of high-quality comprehensive services in Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Finding out that your program is required to compete for...

OHS Announces 2021 Head Start Monitoring Updates

The Office of Head Start (OHS) has shared information about what to expect for 2021 Head Start Monitoring. Most notable, during the 2020-2021 program year, CLASS reviews are suspended, and Focus Area 1 (FA1) and Focus Area 2 (FA2) Head Start/Early Head Start...

Grant Funding Available to Enhance Program Services

As an organization serving children and families, your program is likely aware of the foundational role that grant funding plays in implementing program services. Grant funding is available from public and private sources – federal and state departments, local...

COVID-19 and Community Needs, An Interview with Zoë Beckerman

J. Zoë Beckerman, JD, MPH Zoë Beckerman shares her insights on conducting a community assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic, when programs need to serve children and families at a time of great uncertainty and change. She provides guidance to discover the short- and...

HS/EHS Expansion Grant Competitions Open in 14 States

This week, a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was posted to grants.gov for Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion Grants in communities in 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New...

Growing Community Needs Revealed by COVID-19 Impact Data

There is no doubt that COVID-19 and the resulting economic shutdown has affected communities nationwide. The impacts on children and families are far reaching, and extend deep into health, employment, education, and social services.

Making Data Work For You: Data as a Driver of Program Success

Data collection and management systems are an everyday aspect of Head Start/Early Head Start programs. The type of data that is collected by programs, and when and how it is used, varies from one program to the next. There are a few key strategies that can be followed...

Review Your ERSEA Systems to Ensure Success!

By Patti Greenstein, Consultant and Trainer This year, the Office of Head Start (OHS) revised the FY2020 Focus Area 2 (FA2) Monitoring Protocol to include an increased focus on the area of ERSEA (eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment, and attendance). As OHS...

How to Support Meaningful Practice-Based Coaching in Family Child Care Programs

In this blog post, we look at some of the strengths and challenges of implementing practice-based coaching with family child care programs, and we share examples of how the uniqueness of the family child care setting supports quality improvement.

Five Ways to Refocus Energy During Program Closures

Our thoughts are with early care and education programs during this challenging time that our country faces. We deeply appreciate the vital role that early care and education programs serve in communities and have heard from many of you about the stress and anxiety...

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