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.

DRS Competitions Forecasted to Open This Fall

The next round of DRS is forecasted to open for competition this fall. On grants.gov, Head Start/Early Head Start grant forecasts are grouped by state. You can also view a detailed list of funding forecasts, including service areas, funding amounts, and estimated number of awards on the Office of Head Start (OHS) Funding Opportunities website. The estimated posting date for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) is September 7, 2020. Applications are estimated to be due on November 6, 2020....

DRS Quarterly Status Update (#2 of 4)

This is the second of four 2020 quarterly status updates about DRS. Learn about the timing of upcoming grant competitions and resources to prepare. COVID-19 continues to impact program operation. Many lessons are being learned about the impact of COVID-19 on communities and Head Start/Early Head Start services. The impacts of COVID-19 extend across sectors and touch many areas of families’ lives. Data that show these growing and changing needs will be important information for your DRS...

How to Build Organizational Capacity for Grant Writing

With the ninth round of DRS grant competitions expected this fall, many programs are beginning to think about how they will complete their grant proposal. Some programs have a team or staff member who develops proposals; other programs might contract with a grant writer. What if your program falls somewhere in between – without an internal grant writer, and unable to procure services of a consultant grant writer? You might consider ways to build your program’s organizational capacity to...

2019 National CLASS Scores Released and What it Means for DRS

Each year, the release of the National Overview of Grantee CLASS Scores provides national statistics by CLASS domain and dimension of the grantees that received CLASS reviews during the past program year. The National Overview for 2019 was recently made available. As it relates to DRS, the National Overview of Grantee CLASS Scores provides valuable information to grantees that received a CLASS review. In the report, the lowest 10% of the national distribution of grantee-level domain scores is...

Gearing Up for DRS Start-Up

This is the time of year that programs who competed for DRS grants in the fall typically begin to receive notification of an award or are contacted by the Office of Head Start (OHS) to begin negotiations. The eighth round of DRS was one of the largest rounds of DRS to date and soon many of the awardees will enter the start up period.

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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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...

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.

Community Assessment Reveals Data to Help Meet Families’ Needs in Rural Kentucky

Missy Saylor, Child Development Director of KCEOC Community Action Partnership, shares her experiences conducting a Head Start/Early Head Start community needs assessment with Foundations for Families. She provides reflections about the process, surprising data, and advice for Head Start/Early Head Start programs about how to make the most of information learned through community assessment.

Develop and Update Policies and Procedures for Compliance and Clarity

Developing or updating policies and procedures is an important activity for any Head Start/Early Head Start program. An intentional and regular focus on maintaining high-quality policies and procedures is also a core component of DRS risk mitigation. In this blog post, we explore why a focus on policies and procedures is important, provide examples, and offer tips for success in this area.

How to Use Self-Assessment to Mitigate Risk in Head Start

Self-assessment is a process that, when planned well and conducted comprehensively, can yield useful information to improve program quality and mitigate risk in Head Start/Early Head Start. Risks may be specific or broad, and with the greatest risk being a program...

Three Guiding Principles to Improve Community Assessment

Community assessment is foundational in a grantee’s program planning process and can be part of a risk mitigation strategy to improve program quality and competitiveness. Information gathered through the community assessment process provides context for determining...

Planning for Your Focus Area 2 Review in FY2021

Fiscal Year 2021 Head Start Monitoring will look different than in years past, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CLASS reviews are suspended, and Focus Area 1 (FA1) and Focus Area 2 (FA2) reviews will take place virtually. This is a big change for FA2, in particular,...

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...

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