DRS can feel unpredictable as programs learn about deficiencies or await a grant competition. From timelines to process, it can be hard to know what to expect. In this blog post, we recap what we know about the status of DRS in 2023, from open competitions to what may come.

Happening now: Currently, there are eight DRS grant competitions open in four states – Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, and Wisconsin. These competitions all opened in early November and applications are due January 24, 2023. A list of the service areas open for competition, estimated funding amounts, and estimated number of awards per service area are provided in our recent blog post.

Happening soon: At the 2022 NHSA Fall Leadership Institute, Office of Head Start (OHS) staff shared that there would be two upcoming rounds of DRS for service areas in Puerto Rico and seven states: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. One round would be forecasted in October and posted in November; these are the competitions described above. OHS staff noted that the second round of DRS grant competition will take place during the winter. Since the competitions in Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, and Wisconsin are already open, the next round may include Florida, Indiana, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

There are not any DRS grant competitions currently forecasted on grants.gov. However, it is not unusual for forecasts to be posted only a few weeks before a competition opens. If OHS still plans to have a winter round of DRS, we expect that grant forecasts will go live sometime after the new year and Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) will post shortly thereafter. We recommend setting up notifications on grants.gov to help you stay in the loop about Head Start grant competitions.

On the horizon: Very little has been shared from OHS about what DRS plans look like beyond this winter. However, we do know that DRS competitions will continue to take place. And, there are some patterns from previous years that may hold true. In recent years, DRS grant competitions have tended to take place in the fall. Competitions used to take place in early fall, wrapping up before holidays. More recently, grant competitions are spanning the holidays. If this holds true, there may be a round of DRS around November 2023.

Further, at points throughout the year, OHS will share updates about the timing of upcoming competitions. DRS plans can change, and is when you might hear about it. For example, keep your eye on the NHSA Winter Leadership Institute, where OHS usually shares an update.

Whether your program expects to compete in DRS in the next round or during this next year, there are steps your program can take to get ready for a competitive grant competition. Take a moment to explore what makes DRS unique and how it compares to more typical Head Start/Early Head Start grant writing (e.g., baseline, continuation).

If your program is competing for funding in DRS – or expects to compete in the near future – and needs help, please be in touch. We offer a variety of grant writing services to support programs in DRS. Consider a quality assurance review or grants.gov submission support to help ensure a high-quality and on-time application. Contact us to learn more.

Thank you.

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