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) grants.

In the December 19, 2019 PI, OHS described considerations for consolidation of grants. Most notable, grantees with multiple grants must submit multiple annual grant applications. Sometimes, these applications are on different timelines. Each grant also has its own reporting requirements.

Grantees that have an EHS-CCP grant and Head Start/Early Head Start are impacted by these considerations, even if they consolidated separate Head Start and Early Head Start grants in the past. According to the PI released on October 28, 2020,

… It is now possible for a grantee to have one grant for the operation of all of its programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, and EHS-CC Partnerships. In these cases, the primary grant that assumes all approved funding, slot levels, service areas, and options will remain with the traditional Head Start grant or award number with project codes of CH, CI, or CM. During the grant consolidation process, project period end dates are subject to change. The grant with the oldest project period — typically the grant scheduled to end the soonest — becomes the primary grant.

You might be wondering if consolidation is a good option for your program. Consider the pros and cons, many of which were laid out by OHS.

Potential benefits may include streamlining administrative requirements, reducing reporting and auditing burden across multiple grants, easing planning and oversight of grant activities, and eliminating concerns about cost allocation.

Potential risks may include moving all grants to the project period of the oldest grant and, most notable, if one of the grants included in the consolidation meet the conditions in DRS then the consolidated funding amount will be included in the competitive funding.

Balancing the pros and cons will be important as programs consider whether to request a consolidation. If your program is concerned about its DRS risk, keep in mind that a comprehensive approach to DRS risk mitigation can help to prevent a program from having to compete.

Foundations for Families’ Consulting Services are customized to meet the unique needs of each program. Our team of consultants embraces collaboration and is highly-skilled at implementing services remotely. If your program is interested to learn more about our services, including DRS risk mitigation, please contact us.

Thank you.

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