Thinking Strategically about Compensation in EHS-CCP Round 2

We’re nearly three weeks in from the release of the Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership Round 2 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), and we know many of you are thinking about your program design. Having the FOA in hand takes away the guesswork, as we now know the regional funding allocations, priorities, and the main differences from the Round 1 FOA.

Last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Education issued a timely report, High-Quality Early Learning Settings Depend on a High-Quality Workforce, Low Compensation Undermines Quality. The report stresses the importance of early learning and the science on early brain development – something those of you working with young children know and experience daily. A high-quality workforce is one of the keys to high-quality early learning experiences. The report highlights the glaring pay gap between child care, Head Start, and preschool teachers with their counterparts at public elementary schools.

For those of you applying for EHS-CCP Round 2 funds, how might you think about leveraging funds in light of the findings in the compensation report?

There are a few strategies you might want to consider. First, link compensation increases to the attainment of increased credentials. In Staffing Section 4.3 of the FOA, it specifically states:

ACF is particularly interested in professional development plans that include long-term strategies and support for staff and teachers’ progression along career pathways to higher credentials, tied to increased compensation, in addition to on-site coaching/mentoring/supervision.  

As you build your proposal and address very important aspects such as professional development, be intentional about how it ties back to compensation.

Second, set reasonable, competitive salaries to attract and retain a high-quality workforce. If you are proposing new staff be hired to support EHS-CCP implementation – whether at child care partner sites or in existing EHS programs – be intentional about the competitiveness of wages and compensation. Look at the data in the report and consider local data to ensure that you’re closing the pay gap between child care and K-12 educators. When raising the bar on quality, also raise the bar for compensation.

The challenge of recruiting and retaining infant and toddler teachers with a CDA is significant.  This is true for EHS-CCP, and true for the private sector as well.  There are also costs associated with having to replace well trained CDA infant and toddler teachers.  Rather than have to cover the expense of replacing qualified staff, pay salaries that help to retain staff that are moving up the career ladder.  The benefits of attracting and retaining highly qualified staff extend not only to the staff person but also to the children and families that benefit from seamless, consistent relationships with program staff.

With limited funding and tight budgets, it can be challenging to address the many fiscal needs in any type of early care and education setting. Thinking strategically about how to use EHS-CCP funds won’t solve all of the fiscal challenges with providing high-quality care to children, but it will be an important step in the right direction!

Thank you.

Contact Us

Foundations for Families offers EHS-CCP grantees targeted technical assistance and strength-based coaching of key start-up staff. We have helped multiple organizations design, plan for, and draft successful proposals for the first round of EHS-CCP and plan to offer the same expertise for any new opportunities. Please be in touch with Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at 703-599-4329 or to learn about how we can support you and your program.

OHS Announces Modified FY17 Monitoring Schedule

On June 17 the Office of Head Start (OHS) sent an important communication to the Head Start community. The email communication confirmed that the new Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) would be released “close to the start of the new program year.” OHS noted that once the long-awaited new HSPPS are in hand there will be many opportunities for training to help bring the field up to speed on the new standards. We were glad to see the email mention a need for training at multiple levels, including grantee staff, boards, Policy Councils, and technical assistance providers to name a few.

As detailed in the email communication, monitoring will continue, although on a modified schedule. ERSEA reviews will continue to be scheduled and CLASS reviews will not be modified. Reviews will be scheduled for Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grantees that did not already have an existing EHS program, and each new EHS-CCP will receive a schedule of modified reviews

Perhaps the most important takeaway from the communication is that:

FY17 review events will not be regularly scheduled in the areas of Leadership Governance and Management Systems, Environmental Health and Safety, Fiscal and Comprehensive Services, and School Readiness.

The communication was careful to mention that if “concerns or issues” arise in the areas where reviews are not planned for FY17 then OHS may schedule a review.

We look forward to seeing the new HSPPS and hearing more about OHS’s training strategy!

Thank you.

Contact Us

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 or to learn about how we can help.

Revised HSPPS on the Horizon

The Head Start community has been awaiting the release of revised Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), and we’re hearing the much-anticipated standards may be available soon – perhaps as early as September. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the revised standards was out for public comment June through September 2015. A year later, the standards could be in hand for the start of the new program year.

At the Region IV Head Start Association 2016 Leadership Summit we had a chance to hear from leadership from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) who shared insight into what to expect from the new standards. We heard that the revised standards would be a significant shift from the current organization of HSPPS, including the numbering of standards. It sounds like to goal is streamline information, reduce duplication, and ensure easier use for programs. According to ACF one area that didn’t change, however, is Designation Renewal System (DRS). Rollout of the revised HSPPS may take through the next program year, so expect more information to come related to training and implementation.

At the conference we also heard strong reminders about the importance of Duration of Services and start up. The significance of full year care was stressed, and programs were encouraged to request start up funding to plan for the changes associated with providing longer hours of care.

Stay tuned – we’ll keep you posted about any new information we learn about the upcoming release of the revised HSPPS!

Thank you.

Contact Us

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 or to learn about how we can help.