U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Office of Head Start (OHS)
04/09/18 11:59 PM ET Electronic Receipt; or 4:30 PM ET Hard Copy Receipt
Grants to Alabama nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, school districts, and IHEs to provide comprehensive early learning and childhood development services in Clay, Talladega, Calhoun, Randolph, Cleburne, and Coosa Counties. Applicants are advised to confirm or verify the required registrations well in advance of the deadline date.
Program Background and Purpose:
The Head Start program is administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), an operating division (OPDIV) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). ACF intends to fund applications that demonstrate an organization's commitment and capacity to operate a Head Start and/or Early Head Start program that raises the quality of early care and education in the community and helps children start school ready to succeed. School readiness requires that children are cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally prepared to continue to make progress as they enter Kindergarten. ACF is seeking applicants that are able to use the best evidence-based early education practices in their programs to support high caliber classroom instruction, home visiting services, and effective family engagement and health promotion.
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide grants to public and private nonprofit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to predominately economically disadvantaged children and families. Head Start's primary purpose is to prepare children to be ready for school. In fiscal year (FY) 1995, the Early Head Start program was established to serve pregnant women and children from birth to 3 years of age in recognition of the mounting evidence that the earliest years matter a great deal to children's growth and development. Since its beginning in 1965, Head Start has served more than 35 million children and their families. In FY 2016, Head Start served 915,603 children and families; of these, nearly 160,000 participants were served in Early Head Start programs. Currently there are approximately 1,700 Head Start grantees, including approximately 1,100 grantees providing Early Head Start.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs must provide directly or through referral, early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that will enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of participating children in the key domains of physical development and health; social and emotional development; approaches to learning, language and literacy; and cognition and general knowledge. Programs support parent engagement in their roles as their children’s teachers and advocates, and help parents move toward self-sufficiency. Head Start promotes school readiness by addressing the key domains of language, literacy, mathematics, science, and social and emotional development.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs emphasize family engagement because of the critical role that parents play in supporting their children's healthy development and school success. Effective programs engage parents in their children's development and learning. Programs also emphasize the significant involvement of parents in the administration of local Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These leadership opportunities are designed to strengthen skills that parents can apply to improving their family's economic well-being and to becoming more effective advocates for their children.
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, as required in 45 CFR § 1302.21(c), unless approved for a locally-designed option. OHS expects grantees that choose to implement a full- year model, as described in 45 CFR Part 1302 Subpart B, may 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.
Head Start Program Performance Standards:
In addition to the Head Start Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9801 et seq., Head Start is governed by the Head Start Program Performance Standards that define the scope of services necessary to support children's development and school readiness. 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.
OHS is responsible for monitoring the quality of Head Start and/or Early Head Start program services and the grantee's compliance with federal and other applicable requirements. The federal government uses several mechanisms to conduct its oversight. These reviews can either be announced or unannounced. During onsite monitoring visits, all aspects of a grantee's program are reviewed, including compliance with health and safety requirements, compliance with rules related to children's eligibility for the program, and compliance with financial management requirements. New grantees are reviewed at the end of their first year of operation based on the authority in Section 641A(c)(1)(B) of the Head Start Act.
As a condition of acceptance of an award under this FOA, all grantees are required to participate fully in ACF-sponsored evaluations and adhere to all evaluation protocols established by ACF to be carried out by its designee contractors.
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 (45 CFR § 1302.12(b)(c)).
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, as discussed in Section 645(a)(1)(B), 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#: 162834
Expected Number of Awards: 3
-Award Ceiling: $8,355,852 Per Budget Period
-Award Floor: $500,000 Per Budget Period
The anticipated project start date is 7/1/2018.
The grant covers a 60-month project period with five 12-month budget periods.
It is important to note that the eligibility requirements are different for Head Start and Early Head Start.
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 local for-profit agencies, pursuant to Section 641(a)(1) of the Head Start Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9836(a)(1) in the service area, that can provide Head Start services to children and families residing in Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun, Coosa, and Cleburne Counties, Alabama. 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 pursuant to Section 645A(d) of the Head Start Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9840A(d).
Eligibility is limited to public or private non-profit 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 Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun, Coosa, and Cleburne Counties, Alabama.
Entities operating Head Start programs are eligible to operate Early Head Start programs.
Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
Entities applying for Head Start and/or Early Head Start:
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.
Grantees must, unless a waiver is granted, contribute 20 percent of the total cost of the program from non-federal funds. A waiver may be granted for any of the grounds listed in Section 640(b) of the Head Start Act.
All applicants must have a DUNS Number and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM). Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days. Plan ahead. 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. Grants.gov.
The application due date is 4/9/2018.
ACF requires electronic submission of applications at Grants.gov. Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow these applicants to submit an application in paper format.
The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 PM, ET, on the due date.
The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 PM, ET, on the due date.
Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.
View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start
330 C Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (888) 242-0684
Office of Grants Management Contact:
Administration for Children and Families
1301 Young Street, 9th Floor
Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (214) 767-8849
USA: Alabama: Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun, Coosa, and Cleburne Counties