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Head Start and/or Early Head Start Grantee -- Washington, District of Columbia

Contracts for Services to Washington, DC Nonprofits, For-Profits,
and Agencies for Comprehensive Early Childcare Services

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Office of Head Start (OHS)

Deadline Date:

12/19/18 4:30 PM ET - Paper applications; 11:59 PM ET - Electronic applications


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Contracts for services to Washington, DC nonprofits, organizations, and businesses for programs to prepare children from birth to age five for school. Funding is intended for programs to give disadvantaged children a strong early education so that they arrive in kindergarten on par with their peers.

The federally-funded Head Start program provides high-quality, comprehensive early education programming to low-income children and families so that children start school ready to succeed. The Office of Head Start (OHS) is offering applicants the opportunity to apply for funding to serve pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and children from birth to compulsory school age in one application. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications from public or private non-profit organizations, including faith-based organizations or for-profit organizations that seek to provide a high-quality, comprehensive program incorporating both Head Start and Early Head Start funding, or to provide services for Head Start only or Early Head Start only, in a manner that ensures continuous services and seamless transitions for children and families residing in Washington, District of Columbia.

The goal of this FOA is to ensure an equitable distribution of resources to meet the demonstrated community needs of children from birth to compulsory school age, ensuring continuity of services and taking into account the availability of high-quality and comprehensive early childhood education opportunities (which may include public preKindergarten programs for 4-year-olds). This FOA provides applicants the opportunity to propose to reallocate funding between Head Start and Early Head Start based on both the needs in the community and the applicant's capacity and experience serving pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and/or preschool-age children. Applicants may explore combining Head Start and Early Head Start funds with resources from other early childhood programs or funding streams, including state, local, and private sector funding for child care, pre-Kindergarten, and special education services. Please note that applicants responding to this FOA will be expected to begin providing Head Start and/or Early Head Start services quickly after award, with a minimal startup period, to support limited to no disruption in services to the currently enrolled children and families in this service area.

Head Start and Early Head Start are designed to increase the number of low-income children receiving high-quality, comprehensive early education services that help facilitate healthy development, including physical and social/emotional development, and prepare them for school success. To meet this goal, it is critical that funds awarded through this FOA do not supplant existing services. Given the need for continuity of care to support the rapid development in the earliest years, the OHS expects that grantees will serve pregnant women, infants, and toddlers for at least 1,380 annual hours, unless approved for a locally-designed option. OHS expects that grantees will implement a full-year model that will require per-child costs that, in most circumstances, will be higher than the costs needed to provide part-year services. Applicants are encouraged to use this opportunity to design a model of services and program options that best meet the needs of children and families over time, including helping to meet the child care needs of parents.

Applicants are encouraged to bring new and innovative ideas that are evidence-based or evidence-informed to maximize the extent to which Early Head Start and Head Start, in collaboration with other partners and early childhood education providers, can prepare children and their families for school.

The Head Start Program Performance Standards are the foundation on which programs design and deliver comprehensive, high-quality individualized services to support the school readiness of children from low-income families. The program performance standards set forth the requirements local grantees must meet to support the cognitive, social, emotional, and healthy development of children from birth to age 5. They encompass requirements to provide education, health, mental health, nutrition, and family and community engagement services, as well as rules for local program governance and aspects of federal administration of the program.

ACF is interested in new and innovative models that provide continuous and seamless services for pregnant women, children and their families. These models should be designed to be responsive to community needs, be evidence-based or evidence-informed, and maximize the extent to which the Early Head Start and Head Start resources, in collaboration with other partners and early childhood education providers, can prepare children and their families for school.

Eligible Participants

Head Start serves children when they are at least 3 years old by the date used to determine eligibility for public school in the community where the Head Start program is located. Early Head Start programs enroll pregnant women and infants and toddlers from birth to age 3. Families must either have incomes below the poverty line or be eligible for public assistance in order to be income eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start programs. In addition, homeless children and children in foster care are categorically eligible for services. Children are selected for enrollment based on age and income eligibility and relative level of need with regard to other criteria that are identified within each community.

Head Start regulations permit up to 10 percent of enrolled participants to be from families that do not meet these low-income criteria. A provision in the Head Start Act which is applicable to both Head Start and Early Head Start, allows grantees that can ensure that all eligible children, including homeless children, are served, to enroll up to an additional 35 percent of its participants from families with incomes greater than or equal to 100 percent, but less than 130 percent, of the poverty line. It is not expected, however, given the relatively low Early Head Start participation rates, that the provisions of Section 645(a)(1)(B) regarding serving up to 35 percent of a program’s enrollment from families with incomes up to 130 percent of the poverty line would apply for this announcement.

Additionally, programs must ensure that at least 10 percent of the total number of children enrolled by the Head Start or Early Head Start agency and delegates are children with disabilities unless a waiver is granted.

Applicants may elect to propose program models that promote socioeconomic diversity within classrooms. Federal Head Start funds must be used to serve eligible children as described in this section. Additional children who are not income-eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start can be served so long as their participation is supported through other funding sources, including child care subsidies, public school pre-K allocations, parent-paid tuition, or other sources. Such program designs may be beneficial in promoting socioeconomic diversity within classrooms. All costs must be allocated to appropriate funding sources in compliance with federal requirements.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 132633

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $9,615,026 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $500,000 Per Budget Period

Term of Contract:

Length of Project Period: 60-month project period with five 12-month budget periods


  • Child Care Center
  • City or township governments
  • Community-based Organizations; CBO(s)
  • County governments
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Head Start
  • Independent school districts
  • Indian housing authorities
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entities applying for Head Start only - or - both Head Start and Early Head Start:

Eligible applicants are limited to local public or private nonprofit agencies, including community-based and faith-based organizations, or for-profit organizations that wish to compete for funds that are available to provide Head Start and/or Early Head Start services to children and families residing in Washington, District of Columbia. Applicants must demonstrate they meet the statutory requirement for designation as a Head Start and/or Early Head Start agency as defined in the Head Start Act.

For designation as a Head Start agency, ACF will consider all "qualified applicants in such community" as required by Section 641(d) where the applicant demonstrates it has an organizational base within the community to be served. This could be established by virtue of the applicant being a provider of services in the community or having a clear relationship to the community as evidenced, for example, by board representation from the community or by evidence of the support of community leaders, including, but not limited to mayors; city council members; school principals; presidents of local chambers of commerce; county government officials; social service provider organizations; community organizations representing low-income, minority, or other relevant sectors of the community; and child care providers and organizations.

Entities applying for Early Head Start only:

Eligible applicants are any public or private nonprofit agencies, including community-based and faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies.

Eligibility is limited to public or private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations or for-profit organizations in the service area that can provide Early Head Start services to children and families residing in Washington, District of Columbia.

Entities operating Head Start programs are eligible to operate Early Head Start programs.

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.

This funding opportunity announcement previously limited the available service area to Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8 in Washington, District of Columbia. This modification removes Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8, thereby opening the available service area to all wards in Washington, District of Columbia.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Due Date: December 19, 2018 by 11:59 PM ET (online submission)

Electronic applications will only be accepted via ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile.

The registration process at can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Applicants must enter the DUNS number in the data entry field labeled "Organizational DUNS" on the SF-424 form.

In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through must register with SAM in order to apply online. Failure to register with SAM will prevent your organization from applying through

Plan ahead. Please allow at least 10 business days after you submit your registration for it to become active in SAM and at least an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems, i.e.,

Cost Sharing or Matching:

Grantees must provide at least 20 percent of the total approved cost of the project. The total approved cost of the project is the sum of the ACF (federal) share and the non-federal share. The non-federal share may be met by cash or in-kind contributions, although applicants are encouraged to meet their match requirements through cash contributions.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, grantees will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-Federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A grantee’s failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of Federal funds.

View the opportunity on

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and Apply at

Address to Request Application Package:

Office of Head Start
OHS Operations Center
1401 Mercantile Lane
Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774

Phone: (888) 242-0684

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC