The  Pennsylvania Head Start Association Government Affairs (PHSA) conference call yesterday (April 18) noted that Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes told a group at National Head Start Association (NHSA) in Nashville that the RFPs for the grants not involved in the lawsuit would be posted that day.  The grants involved in the legal action will be released at a later date.

As of 11am, 7 of the RFPs have been released.  Two represent a Head Start and Early Head Start opportunity in the same area: Cities of Clifton, Patterson and Prospect Park in Passaic County, New Jersey.

This is clearly the website to monitor today.

We’ve not studied the RFPs carefully (yet) but at first glance, these elements are interesting:

  • Opportunity to Implement a Birth-to-Five Program

This means that OHS is announcing an Early Head Start and Head Start funding opportunity in the same service area, simultaneously.  Applicants can apply for either the Early Head Start program, the Head Start program or both which would include infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pregnant women.  If applicants want to apply for both, they have to complete two full applications and describe in each a model of joint operation.   In this case, however, each budget and budget narrative should be limited to the funding associated with either the Early Head Start or Head Start funding announcement.

  • Electronic Submission requirement

On January 1, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families implemented required electronic application submission (www.grants.gov) for discretionary grant applications.  All of the recompetition RFPs fall under the discretionary grant application category. There is an allowance for applicants that do not have internet connection or the ability to upload big documents.

  • Length

With a nod to the many, many questions we’ve received about page length…it looks like what they are calling Phase One application narrative has a 100 double-spaced page limit.  Phase One covers the table of contents, the demonstration of need, outcomes to promote school readiness, past performance, staffing (this is a nice turn of phrase: Staffing and Supporting a Strong Early Learning Workforce), organizational capacity/governance, budget and budget justification.  The budget justification has a 10 single-spaced page limit. Phase Two has a maximum of 30 double-spaced pages. Phase Two includes internal controls compliance/ethics, accounting policies/procedures and accounting system. The 30 double-spaced pages of Phase Two belong with other appendices, like resumes, letters of support, organizational charts and financial statements. Together, the Phase Two document and other appendices items may not be more than 130 pages.

  • Past Performance

For the grantees on the 132 list, this is an especially interesting section.  It makes clear that ACF will retrieve and review the grantee’s last two triennial monitoring reports, plus any other OHS monitoring reports issued in the five years preceding the posting of this funding opportunity announcement.

We’ll post more as more is available.

Thank you.

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If your agency has activated a ‘trigger’ and is facing recompetition – you might want or need guidance. In most cases, we can help you get through this critical period and, if we can’t, we’ll certainly help you find the support you need.

If you are a delegate agency thinking about responding to the upcoming RFP to continue to serve your children and families on your own, but are unsure about grant writing, give us a call.

If you are a community based, solid organization with your heart and management practices in the right place and think could do just as well or better on behalf of young children and their families, we can help you think that through and move forward if you’d like. Call us: 703-299-6570 or 703-299-6570 or email augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com.

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