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.

Reframing DRS: Risk Mitigation to Improve Quality and Prevent Competition

DRS – otherwise known as Designation Renewal System – was put in place in 2011 to help ensure accountability for the delivery of high-quality comprehensive services in Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Finding out that your program is required to compete for funding through DRS can be unsettling, even if it was expected. A program’s response to DRS is often reactive, addressing the conditions that triggered a DRS designation. Grantees may also choose to take a proactive approach when...

OHS Announces 2021 Head Start Monitoring Updates

The Office of Head Start (OHS) has shared information about what to expect for 2021 Head Start Monitoring. Most notable, during the 2020-2021 program year, CLASS reviews are suspended, and Focus Area 1 (FA1) and Focus Area 2 (FA2) Head Start/Early Head Start monitoring will take place virtually. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was announced by OHS in a September 2020 Information Memorandum (IM). The IM also laid out review timelines. Focus Area 1 (FA1) reviews will begin in November...

Grant Funding Available to Enhance Program Services

As an organization serving children and families, your program is likely aware of the foundational role that grant funding plays in implementing program services. Grant funding is available from public and private sources – federal and state departments, local agencies, foundations, for-profit companies, and more. It can be difficult to know where to look for funding, and we’ll begin by providing steps you can take to identify federal grants. We also provide a couple of examples of upcoming...

COVID-19 and Community Needs, An Interview with Zoë Beckerman

J. Zoë Beckerman, JD, MPH Zoë Beckerman shares her insights on conducting a community assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic, when programs need to serve children and families at a time of great uncertainty and change. She provides guidance to discover the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 to help find a path forward. Ms. Beckerman is a Teaching Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Health Policy and Management at The George Washington University’s...

HS/EHS Expansion Grant Competitions Open in 14 States

This week, a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) was posted to grants.gov for Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion Grants in communities in 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina. The FOA can be found here. The deadline for applications is September 21, 2020, and the turnaround time is very quick for the anticipated project start date, December 2, 2020. Per the FOA,...

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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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...

OHS Announces Substantial Changes to DRS

On August 27, 2020, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released a Program Instruction (PI) announcing changes to DRS that were published in a Final Rule. This announcement is important for all Head Start/Early Head Start grantees, and particularly important for grantees...

2020 National CLASS Scores Released

The release of the National Overview of Grantee CLASS Scores provides national statistics by CLASS domain and dimension of the grantees that received CLASS reviews during the past program year. The National Overview for 2020 was recently made available. Due to...

Four Clues to What We Might See in DRS Round 9

It is a busy summer for Head Start/Early Head Start programs! The fourth round of EHS Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grants are up for competition, and Head Start/Early Head Start Expansion funding is available in fourteen states....

DRS Competitions Forecasted to Open This Fall

The next round of DRS is forecasted to open for competition this fall. On grants.gov, Head Start/Early Head Start grant forecasts are grouped by state. You can also view a detailed list of funding forecasts, including service areas, funding amounts, and estimated...

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...

EHS-CCP Quarterly Status Update (#2 of 4)

This is the second of four 2020 quarterly status updates about the Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) initiative. Learn about the timing of the upcoming grant competition and resources to prepare.

EHS Expansion & EHS-CCP Round 4 Grant Competitions Forecasted

On Monday, May 19, 2020 the upcoming Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grant competitions were forecasted on grants.gov. Links to the forecasts for the three Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and detailed...

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