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 The applications are due no later than September 21st. The FOA can be found here.

With a sixty day turnaround, it’s time to get to work! An initial review of the FOA shows that the substance and criteria for each of the sections of the narrative remain essentially unchanged from the previous round. Some of the most notable changes and updates include:

  1. This will be the most competitive round of EHS funding yet, with only $103 million available in funding (compared to $140 million in Round 3). Funding is available within each of the 10 ACF regions based on the proportion of young children in poverty in that region. Applicants are encouraged to use the regional allocation funding levels as a guide in determining their proposed funding.”
  2. Grants should be written based on projections for a “post-COVID” environment, without physical distancing restrictions. The FOA further states “If, during the project period, OHS and/or grantees are required to adjust program and/or grant requirements due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 or other emergency, OHS will exercise maximum flexibilities as needed. Requirements may be conducted virtually or timelines modified in consultation with OHS.” Take this into consideration when writing your grant.
  3. NEW: Family child care, and the innovative approach to identifying, training, and creating FCC networks, is elevated and discussed multiple times.
  4. In this round, there is an increased emphasis on facilities and property, including a new post-award facilities requirement.
  5. The FOA provides more detail around existing requirements for information related to “Protection of Confidential/Sensitive Information” and “Oversight of Federal Awards.” While this is not a change from prior rounds, be sure to discuss this when you talk about your agency’s organizational infrastructure and management systems.
  6. Reserving the right to prioritize: ACF continues to reserve the right to prioritize funding for qualified applicants that propose services in census tracts designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

If your program is applying for an EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Grant, we strongly recommend a close read of the FOA as soon as possible.

As you get ready for EHS-CCP round 4, please let us know if we can be of assistance. If your program plans to write its own grant proposal and is interested in support to strengthen its compliance and competitiveness, you might consider our Quality Assurance Review. We also offer Submission Support to help programs with the final stage of the application process. Contact us to learn more.

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