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.

Create Efficiencies with Internal Grant Writing Expertise

The next round of DRS is right around the corner, with grants competitions forecasted for September 2021. If your program plans to compete for funding through DRS, you may be determining roles and responsibilities for grant writing and submission of your agency’s proposal.

For agencies that don’t have a clear grant writing process, you might need an external grant writer to facilitate the grant writing process from drafting to application submission. Foundations for Families offers this service, comprehensive grant writing.

DRS Round 10 Grant Competitions Forecasted for September 2021

The tenth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities are now forecasted on grants.gov. The estimated posting date for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) is September 8, 2021. Applications are estimated to be due on November 8, 2021.

Explore What Makes DRS Unique and How Your Program Can Prepare

If trends of past DRS competitions hold true, the next round of DRS will likely open for competition this fall. There are not any DRS grants forecasted yet, but you can keep your eye on Grants.gov for updates, and we’ll post any news here. Is your Head Start/Early Head Start program competing in DRS for the first time? You might have some questions about what to expect or how to get ready. You might be more familiar with compiling a baseline or continuation application. While there are...

Competing in DRS in 2021? Here’s What You Might Expect

If your program is expecting to compete in DRS this year, you may feel some uncertainty about what that will look like. When will applications be due? What will the requirements be? How can we prepare? These are a few of the common questions we hear from programs anticipating a DRS competition.

DRS Quarterly Status Update (#4 of 4)

In this fourth of four 2020 quarterly status updates, we reflect on the current status of DRS and look ahead to what may be on the horizon for DRS in 2021. DRS Round 9 applications due January 5. The ninth round of DRS competitions opened in late October, and applications are due January 5. This is the first time we’ve seen DRS competitions extend through the holiday season. And, some grantees that expected to compete were impacted by changes to DRS competition criteria and did not have to...

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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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...

Annual Report Brings Together Program and Community Data

Head Start annual reporting is established in Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), Section §1302.102(d)(2), and requires programs to include a summary of a program’s most recent community assessment. The report must also comply with the Head Start Act. In this blog post, we’ll explore the intersection of HSPPS and the Act and how your program can use the annual report as an opportunity to show need across the service area and within your program.

What Does the Census Data Tell Us About Population Changes in 2020?

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that provides vital information to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. On March 17, 2022, the Census Bureau released the 2016-2020 ACS 5-Year Estimates, after multiple delays due to quality and response issues for 2020 data collection. This data, which many agencies rely on for annual community assessments, is now available at data.census.gov.

Understanding Census Undercounts in Anticipation of 2020 Data Release

The much-anticipated 2020 U.S. Census data is scheduled to be released Thursday, March 17. The census is conducted once every ten years and is designed to count every resident in the United States. Census data is used many ways; for example, to determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, adjust electoral districts, and inform the allocation of federal funding.

Hot Topics (and Resources!) in Community Assessment

Community assessment is foundational to program planning, providing data and information that helps programs to meet children and families’ needs. There are a wide range of resources that programs may tap into to build a comprehensive community assessment or draw from for an annual update.

Here, we share three tools that allow users to explore data at the national, state, and local levels. While the content in each tool is different – focusing on housing, food insecurity, and substance misuse – the functionality is very similar. Start broad and drill down to local data that show how needs vary from one community to the next.

Program Planning: Sequencing Activities to Maximize Time and Enhance Usefulness

In Head Start/Early Head Start, a coordinated approach to program planning and management supports the provision of high-quality services for children and families. Each year, programs implement a variety of required activities to guide programmatic and fiscal operations. The timing of these activities, and how they build upon each other, can impact their effectiveness and value they bring to the program.

NHSA Winter Leadership Institute Provides Federal Policy and Budget Updates

The 2022 National Head Start Association (NHSA) Winter Leadership Institute took place virtually, January 24-27, 2022. As customary for NHSA conferences, representatives from the Office of Head Start (OHS) held a session to share updates from the administration and OHS. Here, we provide some of the important federal funding and policy updates that were shared by OHS leaders.

Grant Competition Opens for Statewide Family Engagement Centers

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) just announced an exciting grant opportunity for agencies to implement and enhance family engagement activities in their state. The Application for New Grants Under the Statewide Family Engagement Centers Program opened for competition on December 20, 2021 and applications are due February 17, 2022.

Looking Ahead to Recovery and Rebuilding in 2022

As 2021 comes to a close, we thank you for the critical role your programs play in serving children and families. We have enjoyed getting to know programs through our work together, at conferences, and in conversations. And, we appreciate you reading our blog!

2021 was a year of opportunities and challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the importance of child care and also the challenges faced by the industry. The challenges the Head Start community faced in 2021, and will continue to face in 2022, are truly unprecedented. In fact, the Office of Head Start reports greater need than ever among children and families.

Child Care Industry Increasingly Fragile as Programs Face Staffing Challenges

Child care providers play a critical role in supporting other essential industries, as was seen during the COVID-19 crisis. The child care system remains increasingly fragile due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Many programs are faced with closure and are unable to sustain operations with diminishing enrollment and staffing shortages. Yet, many child care providers have remained open to support the needs of working families in their community.

FY2022 Head Start Monitoring Protocols Provide Consistency and New Areas of Interest

The webinar on September 23, 2021 was the first glimpse into changes for FY2022 monitoring. Following the webinar, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released Fiscal Year FY2022 Head Start Monitoring Protocols. The Virtual Expo opens in October. It is a great time to familiarize yourself with the protocols, particularly if your program anticipates a FY2022 review.

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