The National Head Start Association (NHSA) recently released an Analysis of the Designation Renewal System, Cohorts One to Three. The report provides interesting snapshots of the cohorts and summary information related to cohort demographics, triggers for recompetition, and competition outcomes. The report offers a valuable, insider look at DRS – a recommended read for those of you who have already entered the process or could be triggered for recompetition in the future.

One of the most interesting things we learned form the report is that approximately 74% of grantees had their grants restored in full or in part. This is encouraging for programs entering DRS and speaks to the need to maintain a clear focus on quality and effectively addressing triggers. It suggests that current grantees are those best suited in their community to offer high-quality services to children and families. In the report, NHSA also states that DRS does not yet effectively target competition at poor quality grantees. Perhaps this could mean we’ll see some changes in the next round?

The summary of triggers presented in the report is intriguing as well. In Cohort One all 129 grantees were triggered for deficiency. In Cohort Two about a fifth of programs were triggered for CLASS scores in the lowest 10%, as well as a few grantees with CLASS scores below thresholds, revocation of license, or failure as a going concern. With Cohort Three there was even greater spread among these categories.

With DRS Round 5 on the horizon it serves us well to look back on the triggers, outcomes, and lessons learned from the first three cohorts. If your agency ends up on the list of grantees required to compete for continued funding, we can help.

Thank you.

Contact Us

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.

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