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.
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).
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.
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.”
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,...
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...
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.