Talking Points

About Talking Points

Foundations for Families brings expertise, academic credentials, up-to-date research and regulatory knowledge to you. Working with others, we learn more about what’s important. With a mission to promote excellence in early childhood education, FFF believes that bringing more voices to the table makes for richer conversation.

This blog is a forum for thought leaders in early childhood education. We invite them to share their multi-disciplinary perspectives in 0-8 education.

Foundations for Families was created to meet the business, management and professional development needs of early childhood educational providers and systems.

Funding for Head Start/Early Head Start Through the American Rescue Plan

As U.S. schools plan for their future, the American Rescue Plan has designated assistance for State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs and LEAs) through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Two-thirds of ARP ESSER funds - $81 billion - have already been distributed. The remaining third will be distributed once the state plans are approved. To date, every state has submitted their funding plan; six states and the District of Columbia have had their plans approved....

Data Updates and COVID Impact Essential for 2021 Grant Writing

If your program is preparing for grant writing in 2021 – whether it be DRS, Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership, or another upcoming opportunity for the early childhood community – now is a great time to consider the resources and information you will need at your fingertips for success. In recent years, fall has been a busy time for responding to Office of Head Start (OHS) grant opportunities. As your program nears the end of the current program year and thinks about summer planning, we offer a few strategies to help you prepare.

Risk Mitigation Recap: Continuous Improvement for Head Start and Early Head Start

During the past six months, we’ve introduced concepts in the Talking Points blog about how Head Start/Early Head Start programs can take a planned and systematic approach to minimize the risk of being identified for participation in the Designation Renewal System (DRS) and improve program services. Today, we bring it full circle with this risk mitigation recap.

Make Ongoing Monitoring Central to an Effective Management System

This year, we’ve highlighted a few strategies to implement a risk mitigation framework in programs. Through a planned approach, your program can identify, minimize, and eliminate risk. One of the most impactful actions your program can take is to improve its system of ongoing monitoring. Ongoing monitoring is required in Head Start Program Performance Standard (HSPPS) 1302.102 (b) Monitoring program performance and is part of a comprehensive monitoring system. Per HSPPS, Head Start/Early Head...

Talking Points Archive

FFF was very organized and thorough. Any question we had was met with thoughtfulness and guidance to come to a clear understanding. I felt the final products were designed for our agency specifically.
Sue Beene

Head Start Director, Lubbock Independent School District, Lubbock, TX

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DRS Round 10 Grant Competitions Forecasted for September 2021

The tenth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant opportunities are now forecasted on grants.gov. The estimated posting date for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) is September 8, 2021. Applications are estimated to be due on November 8, 2021.

Explore What Makes DRS Unique and How Your Program Can Prepare

If trends of past DRS competitions hold true, the next round of DRS will likely open for competition this fall. There are not any DRS grants forecasted yet, but you can keep your eye on Grants.gov for updates, and we’ll post any news here. Is your Head Start/Early...

Competing in DRS in 2021? Here’s What You Might Expect

If your program is expecting to compete in DRS this year, you may feel some uncertainty about what that will look like. When will applications be due? What will the requirements be? How can we prepare? These are a few of the common questions we hear from programs anticipating a DRS competition.

DRS Quarterly Status Update (#4 of 4)

In this fourth of four 2020 quarterly status updates, we reflect on the current status of DRS and look ahead to what may be on the horizon for DRS in 2021. DRS Round 9 applications due January 5. The ninth round of DRS competitions opened in late October, and...

Strategies for Managing DRS through the Holidays

During a year that has been anything but typical, this is the first time the DRS application process has spanned the holiday season. The time between the release of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and the application due date is longer than usual – nearly 10...

DRS Round 9 FOAs Posted and Applications due January 5, 2021

The Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for the ninth round of Designation Renewal System (DRS) grant competitions were announced on Grants.gov. Applications are due no later than January 5, 2021. FOAs are available on the Office of Head Start (OHS) Funding...

DRS Rule Change in Effect as Grant Competitions Approach

Over the summer, a Final Rule was published that describes substantial changes to DRS. We’ve now reached the effective period for the rule change. The Final Rule published in the Federal Register clearly states “the Final Rule is effective on October 27, 2020.”...

DRS Quarterly Status Update (#3 of 4)

This is the third of four 2020 quarterly status updates about DRS. Learn about changes to DRS, new resources, and what to expect for the upcoming round of DRS grant competitions. Changes to DRS were published in Final Rule. Last month, shortly after releasing the 2020...

OHS Provides Updates on DRS Round 9 Forecasts and Timing

On Thursday, the Office of Head Start (OHS) hosted a webinar to discuss the recent changes to DRS and provide information about next steps. For grantees expecting to compete in DRS this fall (Round 9), important updates on process and timing were shared. First, many...

Will Your Program Still Have to Compete in DRS?

Last week, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released a Program Instruction (PI) announcing changes to DRS. The changes are substantial. Programs that received a determination letter for the upcoming round of DRS will only be required to compete for funding if it would...

5 Strategies for Success in EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 5

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the fifth round of EHS Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants (EHS-Expansion and EHS-CCP) may be released this fall. Since each round of EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP has become increasingly...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#4 of 4)

This is the fourth of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about what to expect for EHS-CCP and EHS Expansion in 2021. Round 4 grant award negotiations...

Is Consolidating EHS-CCP and HS/EHS Grants Right for Your Program?

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 Quarterly Status Update (#3 of 4)

This is the third of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about next steps for EHS-CCP Round 4 applicants and what all grantees should know about changes to...

Application Deadline Extended in Six States

The EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) has been updated to provide extensions to the application deadline in six states: Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oregon. For applicants in these states, the deadline is...

Grants.gov Maintenance Scheduled for This Weekend

Grants.gov is scheduled for maintenance this weekend, leading up to Monday’s deadline for submission of EHS-CCP proposals. The maintenance schedule states that systems will go offline Saturday, September 19 at 12:01am ET and will go back online Monday, September 21 at...

5 Tips and 10 Days Before Proposals are Due

Applications for EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 4 funding are due in 10 days, on September 21, 2020. This is anticipated to be the most competitive round of funding yet, and high quality applications will stand out. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you finalize...

Prioritizing Qualified Opportunity Zones in EHS-CCP Round 4

When the EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP Round 4 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was released last month, one of the highlights we noticed is that funding may be prioritized for services in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Here, we provide information about Qualified...

EHS-CCP Round 4 Posted and Applications Due September 21

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the fourth round of Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grants was released on Grants.gov. The applications are due no later than September 21st. The FOA can be found here. With a sixty...

Tips for Managing the Delay in EHS Expansion & EHS-CCP Round 4

The fourth round of EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP was forecasted to open for competition on July 10, however the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) didn’t post to grants.gov and the forecast hasn’t been updated. We recognize this might create uncertainty for programs...

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