Proposed changes to Performance Standards – comments due by 8/18/15

Today, HHS released the proposed new performance standards. Like you, we are reading them now. Secretary Burwell suggests that the new standards will raise program quality and significantly reduce the regulatory burden on programs.

Of particular note, the new expectation is that ALL programs operate for a full school day and a full year. Read the complete press release, here and the proposed new performance standards, here.

Please note, the public may comment on the proposed standards until August 18, 2015.

Thank you.

Contact Us 

Foundations for Families offers training, technical assistance and consulting services to grantees, state and regional organizations and associations, and the child care industry. Please be in touch with Amy Augenblick at 703-599-4329 or Augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com and learn about how we can support you and your program.

DRS4 Forecasted: Should Drop July 15 and Due in 60 Days (9/14/15)

Today, the DRS4 FOAs were forecasted. This announcement was required by CFR 1307.

In each forecast you will find information about the communities that are receiving Head Start or Early Head Start awards for services, available federal funds, expected number of awards and specific (if estimated) target dates for the post date, application due date, award date and start date.

When OHS is ready to accept applications, a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), you will be able to find it here searching CFDA 93.600 or you can also sign up to be notified by email.

Important Dates:

  • OHS expects to begin publishing Funding Opportunity Announcements on July 15, 2015.
  • The expected application due date is September 14, 2015.
  • The expected award date is June 30, 2016
  • The expected start date is July 1, 2016.

If you want to see the list please visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/hhsgrantsforecast; click on AGENCY: ACF; put the Head Start CFDA number in the search box (93.600), make sure you are showing 100 records (default is usually 25 and that makes it cumbersome); click on the header Last Updated so that 4/20/15 (at least, there may be more recent forecasts when you do this); and look at those that do not have a date in the Posted to Grants.gov column.

Note that if you click through to see forecast details, you will have to resort when you click on the back button to try to get back to the list.

As predicted, OHS has given the current group on DRS participants just 60 days to complete the application.

60 days.

We will be talking more in the next few days about what you can do with your gift of time – now through July 15 – and there is plenty that you should be doing!

Consider, is your program design competitive?  Are your local resources being leveraged? Is your budget model clear and compelling?  Is your approach current?

We hope and trust you are using this time productively.

Contact Us

If you are in Round 4 DRS and need help with your grant application, or if you are a delegate or otherwise qualified agency considering your options, please be in touch with Foundations of Families.

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 703-599-4329 or abaugenblick@gmail.com to learn about how we can help.

NHSA Annual Conference – DRS4

ABA headshot 2015

Welcome to Washington!  We hope you are enjoying the conference, connecting with old friends and getting a lot out of the sessions.

If you are here because of DRS, we are sorry about that and know that being on the list is not great. As the FOA hasn’t yet dropped, this is an ideal time to get ready. You can save yourself and your staff a lot of stress by preparing for the FOA and confirming or refining your program design and delivery plan right now.

We want to help!

In Round 1, we worked with a current grantee that was writing to keep its current Head Start and Early Head Start programs; a delegate agency interested in becoming the grantee for the portion of the program that it was already serving; a newly formed coalition of agencies and a school system that wanted to replace the current grantee in a large metropolitan city, and a small non-profit delegate in New York City that needed a relevant community assessment to drive its proposal to become a grantee. All of these applications were successful with our help.

In Round 2, we worked with two current Head Start and Early Head Start grantees that responded to the birth to five FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) format with innovative program designs. We worked with another new community coalition that included several non-profit agencies, and a major metropolitan school district proposing to provide birth to five services in a major US city and select surrounding neighborhoods in an innovative way. All of these applications were successful with our help.

In Round 3, we worked with a large educational service district interested in becoming the new grantee for the existing Early Head Start, Head Start and Migrant/Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program in their service area. We wrote two proposals: birth to five and MSHS. We wrote a birth to five application for a current Head Start and Early Head Start agency operating a program that spans a large city and several very rural counties. Applicants had 60 days to write their applications in Round 3, compared to the 90 days allowed in Rounds 1 and 2. These awards have not yet been issued.

As I write this, the DRS Round 4 funding opportunity has not been released to the ACF grants forecaster or grants.gov. According to federal staff at January’s NHSA meeting, they should be posted to the forecaster, “shortly”. Yesterday, we heard that they would be released “soon”. We assume that the DRS Round 4 applications will, largely, follow the format of the DRS Rounds 2 and 3 birth to five funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and the Round 3 timeline with just 60 days between release and due date.

The good news is that everyday between now and the day they are released is a gift because you have time to reflect, consider changes, and prepare.

If you would like to talk about ways we can help you, please call us at 703-599-4329 or email me at abaugenblick@gmail.com.

Thank you.

Contact Us

If you are in Round 4 DRS and need help with your grant application, or if you are a delegate or otherwise qualified agency considering your options, please be in touch with Foundations of Families.

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 703-599-4329 or abaugenblick@gmail.com to learn about how we can help.