This week we learned the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded roughly $290 million in duration funds to Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) programs. Many HS and EHS programs were funded – 665 in total! The list of Agencies Receiving Funds to Extend Head Start and Early Head Start Duration is available on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC). It has been nearly a year since the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced the availability of duration funds. As you may remember, funding was available to existing grantees that did not serve all of their Head Start children for at least 1,020 hours per year.
This is an important investment in children and families, as duration funds will help to ensure communities are able to offer increased availability of full day full year slots. It is also a step toward helping more programs meet the new Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), which require that by 2021 most programs are offering full day full school year services. As stated in a January 3, 2017 announcement from ACF –
This supplemental funding allows Head Start programs to choose the models that work best for their communities when designing programs with more total annual hours. Programs work with parents in deciding to add days at the end of the year, to shorten the summer gap, to add more hours per day or a combination of both.
We look forward to seeing how programs choose to implement their duration funds. Congratulations to all programs that received an award! Foundations for Families’ expert consultants are experienced start up planners, and if we can assist you at all in your journey to increase your program’s service hours please feel free to be in touch.
We have successfully worked with agencies in every round of recompetition to write winning grants, design competitive programs, confirm prudent budgets, and plan for a manageable start-up period. Contact Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at (703) 599-4329 or [email protected] to learn about how we can help.