On April 25, 2016 the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued an announcement of supplemental funds available to extend the duration of services in Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) programs. Approximately $294 million will be awarded to increase the total annual hours of services offered to children enrolled in EHS and HS programs.
The following are the highlights of what we learned from review of the announcement and ACF materials:
Who should consider applying for the supplemental funds? There are three main categories of programs that may apply for funding – EHS and HS grantees that 1) do not already provide full-day/full-year services for 40% or more of their HS center-based participants, 2) do not provide continuous services continuous services for all of their family child care participants or EHS center-based participants, or 3) want to convert slots to center-based program schedules.
According to the announcement, Supplemental Funds Available to Extend Duration of Services in Head Start and Early Head Start ACF-PI-HS-16-02 –
Over 90 percent of existing grantees that currently do not serve all of their Head Start children for at least 1,020 hours are eligible to apply for these funds. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expects to award funds to grantees eligible under this Program Instruction in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories, pending a fundable application. Subject to appropriations, funds awarded would become part of a grantee’s base funding in future years.
What is required to apply for funds? Check out the announcement for detailed eligibility and application requirements. The application is limited to 20 pages. You’ll have to provide information about the number of hours per year currently provided for each program option. You’ll also need to describe in your application how you will increase hours of services to children and for how many children. A strong discussion of your approach – with a clear implementation plan linked directly to your proposed budget – is essential. Applications are due June 24, 2016.
Is start-up included as part of the funding opportunity? Applicants may request start-up funding. The announcement notes that funding for start-up activities is not guaranteed, but rather negotiated at the time of the word. Many EHS and HS grantees have found start-up funds to be essential for smooth implementation. This is something to think about as you develop an implementation proposal and budget.
What else should I know? The Office of Head Start (OHS) is offering a webinar to review the opportunity and application process. The webinar will take place Friday, April 29, 2016 and you can register here. OHS has also posted Frequently Asked Questions document. We’ll keep you updated as we learn any new information.
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.