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Utah School Readiness Initiative High Quality School Readiness (HQSR) Grant

Grants to Utah Early Childhood Programs to Promote
Academic Success for Disadvantaged Children

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Utah State Board of Education (USBE), Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/01/18 5:00 PM Electronic Receipt


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Grants to Utah early childhood education programs to promote school readiness for disadvantaged young children. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent by February 23. The purpose of this program is to build and develop high-quality early childhood education programs that serve general education populations from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The High Quality School Readiness (HQSR) Grant is defined by the Utah School Readiness Initiative, Utah Code §53A-1b-106 (Initiative). The purposes of the Utah School Readiness Initiative are to increase school readiness, improve academic performance, and reduce remediation costs associated with poor academic outcomes. One component of the Initiative is the HQSR Grant Program. The HQSR Grant Program provides resources to existing early education programs administered by Local Education Agencies (LEAs), private child care providers and home-based educational technology programs. The grants are available to programs serving economically disadvantaged three- and four-year-old students not receiving special education services. It is highly encouraged that programs serve students with disabilities in an inclusive environment (i.e., with both typically developing students and students with disabilities being educated together in the same room).


The School Readiness Initiative Act establishes the School Readiness Board (hereafter referred to as the Board) and the following initiatives: (1) the HQSR Grant Program, (2) Results-Based School Readiness Contracts, and (3) an independent evaluation of outcomes (Utah Code §53A-1b-101 et seq.). The following describes each initiative:

1. HQSR Grant Program

The School Readiness Initiative Act outlines the elements of a high-quality early childhood education program (Utah Code §53A-1b-105) (for more information see the Questions and Additional Information section). The HQSR Grant Program enables LEAs and private child care providers of early education programs to develop the necessary structures and processes to implement the components. The goals of the program are to increase high-quality early education capacity in the state and collect longitudinal data. The longitudinal data collected includes academic outcomes, special education use, and English language learner services for Results-Based School Readiness Contracts. Additional data may be requested.

LEAs and charter schools using federal (Title I) or state education funding for their current early childhood education (pre-kindergarten) program must apply for this Grant through the Utah State Board of Education (USBE).

Private providers, home-based technology providers and Charter schools with early childhood education provided by private providers must apply through the Department of Workforce Services (DWS).

2. Results-Based School Readiness Contracts

Results-Based School Readiness Contracts enable private investors to fund access for economically disadvantaged students to attend high-quality, early education programs demonstrating academic achievement and reduced special education costs. Performance metrics are established in the contracts, and if these are met, Utah will repay the private investor.

3. Independent Evaluation of Outcomes

As required by the School Readiness Initiative Act, the School Readiness Board selected an independent evaluator responsible for reviewing all data and determining whether a program has effectively implemented the components of a high-quality early education program (Utah Code §53A-1b-110). The independent evaluator reports findings to the Board. Individual programs are not responsible for the cost of the evaluation.

Appropriation and Sustainability:

It is anticipated that the Initiative will receive an ongoing appropriation. Each year, the Board will determine the amounts appropriated to Results-Based School Readiness Contracts and the High Quality School Readiness Grant Program.

The grant program is not designed to provide ongoing financial support for high-quality early childhood education programs, but to fund the structure and processes needed in order to move school readiness programs toward high quality. Programs will be expected to have an in-depth sustainability plan to continue funding a high-quality early education program when the grant funds are no longer available. Applicants must receive a minimum score of 15 out of a possible 20 points on the Sustainability portion of the scoring rubric to be considered for the Grant. Sustainability will be monitored through quarterly reports and continued funding will be contingent on measurable progress.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169007

Term of Contract:

The contract start date is July 1, 2018.

The end of the first grant term is June 30, 2019. Funded programs must spend all grant funds by June 30, 2019. Unspent funds cannot be carried over into the next contract period. Grants may be renewed for two additional one-year periods. Renewals are not guaranteed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This grant is not intended to fund the expansion of preschools, which may include providing additional slots for children or opening new preschool classrooms.

Programs must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for this grant. Applications from inclusive programs are encouraged.

1. Applicant must be an existing, early childhood education program, primarily serving typically developing students;

2. Applicant must be one of the following:
a. LEA or charter school using federal (Title I) or state education funding for its current early childhood education (pre-kindergarten) program (these programs apply through the USBE); or
b. Private child care provider, home-based educational technology provider or charter school that does not use federal or state education funding for its current early childhood education (pre-kindergarten), and uses a private or third-party provider on its campus (these programs apply through DWS).

3. Applicant must agree to use the awarded funds in schools serving at least 25 percent of economically disadvantaged students, as defined in Utah Code 53A-1b-102(2);

4. Applicant’s school readiness program must agree to register and maintain a minimum enrollment of 25 percent of economically disadvantaged 3- and 4-year -old students throughout the grant cycle and prioritize enrollment for those students;

5. Applicant’s school readiness program must currently exhibit some elements of high-quality programs, as defined in Utah Code 53A-1b-105;

6. Applicant must have, or be willing to obtain, a data system with the capacity to collect longitudinal, academic outcome data, including special education use by student;

7. Applicant must partner with USBE to provide each student with a statewide unique student identifier (SSID);

8. The following preschool programs are not eligible for this grant:
a. Pay for Success participants (i.e. entities with a results-based contract under Utah Code 53A-1b-110);
b. Applicants receiving HQSR-E grant funding;
c. Applicants from private preschool programs receiving funds through the Utah Office of Child Care Preschool Quality Improvement grant; or
d. Applicants having received three years of funding through this Grant.

9. Applicant must file one application for each tax identification number. Where there are multiple sites under one tax identification number, applicants must apply for all sites using a single application; and

10. Applicant must agree to cooperate with the independent evaluator. In addition, a minimum of 80 percent of the economically disadvantaged families must submit parent consent forms for data collection and tracking SSID number purposes.

Funding from this Grant may not be used to fund student enrollment and cannot supplant current funding, nor can it pay for new classrooms. This grant funding cannot be used for director, teacher, paraprofessional or any other staff bonuses.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The RFGA Information meeting was scheduled for Friday, December 1, 2017, 1:00 - 3:30 PM at the Utah State Board of Education, Basement West, 250 East 500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

Applicants who were unable to attend may view a recording of the meeting here:

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants are highly encouraged to submit a “Letter of Intent” to apply by February 23, 2018, at 5:00 PM, MST. Failure to submit a “Letter of Intent” does not preclude an applicant from applying for the Grant. The “Letter of Intent” should state the applicant’s interest in applying for the program in the 2018 application window.

Questions regarding proposal may be directed via email. Answers will be posted online under the High Quality School Readiness Grant section at:

If the DWS or USBE finds it necessary to modify the Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for any reason, DWS/USBE will issue a written addendum to the original RFGA. Addenda (final) will be posted no later than Thursday, February 22, 2018.

The grant submission deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 5:00 PM. Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 PM (electronic timestamp). Proposals received after March 1, 2018, at 5:00 PM will not be accepted.

Applicants will be notified of awards after the final approval of the School Readiness Board.

Contact Information:

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

The application must be emailed in one email, complete with all documents to:

Utah State Board of Education (USBE):


Private providers:
Florencia Schapira
The Department of Workforce Services (DWS)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Utah