Last week, the Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for grants in the upcoming round of DRS were announced. This is the tenth round of DRS, and ten NOFOs were released for grants open for competition. Two of those NOFOs are for Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grants.

The service areas for EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP grants in DRS are the Borough of Bronx, New York; and Los Angeles County, CA (zip codes 90002, 90007, 90011, 90027, 90037, 90044, 90089 and 90813). If your program is interested in applying for either of these grants, or would like to be kept in the loop about developments in DRS, consider following our DRS Updates blog for timely information (subscribe here).

As highlighted in our recent blog post, there are a few notable differences between the NOFOs for this round of DRS and prior rounds. These changes impact sections related to staffing, facilities, and subawards to name a few.

It is also important to note that NOFOs ask applicants to propose a projected number of children that can be served in a post-COVID environment, without physical distancing restrictions in place. It will still be essential to understand and highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eligible children and families when describing community needs.

Further, a May 2021 Program Instruction (PI) from the Office of Head Start (OHS) highlights the importance of having up-to-date information about families most in need of services. Competitive applications will link community needs and estimated numbers of eligible children to an aligned program design.

The pandemic has created and exacerbated long-standing disparities and inequities for families who have been marginalized for decades. The number of children and families in poverty has grown significantly. All grantees should update their community assessments to guide their intensive recruitment efforts and to ensure they are reaching families most in need of services. 

If your program is interested in EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP grant opportunities, but these service areas are not a fit for your program, stay tuned. Additional funding for competitive grants may be coming. You can use this time to review the current NOFO. To do so, search for Head Start opportunities, select an Opportunity Number for a grant that has posted, and go to the “Related Documents” tab to view the NOFO. And, make sure that your community assessment is up-to-date so that you are well positioned to respond to funding opportunities when they become available.

Whether your program is pursuing one of the DRS grants open for competition or is keeping future EHS Expansion and EHS-CCP opportunities in mind, we are here to help. For programs applying now, consider a quality assurance review or submission support to ensure competitive, comprehensive, and timely submission of your application. If your eye is on future opportunities, explore how to get ready for a competitive grant. Please contact us to learn more.

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