It is a busy summer for Head Start/Early Head Start programs! The fourth round of EHS Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grants are up for competition, and Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion funding is available in fourteen states. With these two recent Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), we may be able to find some clues as to what to expect in the next round of DRS.

1:  We expect the DRS Round 9 FOA will closely align with the Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion FOA. Traditionally, the EHS-CCP FOA follows a different, but aligned, format than a DRS FOA. The current Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion FOA looks a lot like what we’ve seen in past rounds of DRS.

2:  It is likely the DRS FOA will request a program design that reflects a post-COVID environment. In both of the currently open competitions, the FOAs request “applications that are based on the number of children they project can be served in a post-COVID-19 environment without the physical distancing restrictions currently in place due to COVID-19.”

The EHS-CCP FOA and the Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion FOA both include the following language about COVID-19 response. We expect to see the same language in the DRS FOA.

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.

3:  Leases may be requested for the appendix, but will not be included in the proposal page limit. In both of the currently open competitions, there is a new requirement for the appendix – “executed leases, draft leases, unsigned leases, or a letter of intent for each proposed property(ies).”

There is a new Post-Award Facilities Requirement that appears in the EHS-CCP and Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion FOAs that will likely show up in the DRS FOA as well. The Post-Award Facilities Requirement is the same in both of the FOAs.

It is expected that, for all facility related projects, the applicable OMB approved SF-429 forms (e.g., SF-429 Cover Page, SF-429 Attachment A – Annual General Report, SF-429 Attachment B – Acquire or Improve Request, and SF-429 Attachment C – Disposition and Encumbrance Request) be submitted along with supporting documents in the Grant Solutions On-Line Data Collection (OLDC) system.

The next round of DRS is forecasted to open for competition on September 7, 2020, with applications due on November 6, 2020. If your program plans to write its own grant proposal and needs tools and resources to support the process, you might consider our Toolkit. We also offer services to strengthen proposal compliance and competitiveness, such as Quality Assurance Review and Submission Support. Contact us to learn more.

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