U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grants
The Head Start and Early Head Start (EHS) programs provide grants to 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 and ensure their healthy development. EHS enrolls pregnant women and children from birth to age 3. Applicants may request to operate services through the EHS-CC Partnership model for center-based services for infants and toddlers, and family child care services for infants, toddlers, and children up to the age of 3; or through the non-partnership EHS Expansion model for direct or delegated center-based, family child care; home-based or locally designed options with services for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers; or a combination approach of both models. Grantees must serve a sufficient number of pregnant women, infants, and toddlers, and their families so that the funding level is adequate to support the full array of staffing and infrastructure necessary for successful implementation. Although ACF is not setting a minimum number of participant slots for which applicants must apply, ACF recommends applicants not currently operating EHS or EHS-CC Partnerships propose no fewer than 72 slots, which may include multiple child care center and/or family child care home partner sites. ACF recognizes that organizations with existing EHS infrastructure to support the necessary services may propose fewer than 72 slots.
Applications are being considered for Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships, non-partnership Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion, or applications that include a combination of both. Applicants have the choice of applying in one of three ways: 1) EHS-CC Partnerships, 2) non-partnership EHS Expansion, or 3) a mix of both EHS-CC Partnerships and non-partnership EHS Expansion. However, applicant entities may submit only one application per service area regardless of how they choose to apply.
Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships: New or existing Head Start, EHS, and EHS-CC Partnership grantees can apply to use funding to partner with local child care, including family child care providers to provide comprehensive, high-quality services to eligible infants and toddlers through EHS-CC Partnerships. These EHS-CC Partnerships will enhance and support early learning settings to provide full-day, full-year, comprehensive services that meet the needs of low-income working families; enhance access to high-quality, full-time child care; support the development of infants and toddlers through strong relationship-based experiences; and prepare them for the transition into preschool. Through EHS-CC Partnerships, grantees will partner with local child care centers and/or family child care programs and will leverage current investments through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) or other sources to extend the hours of service and increase comprehensive services available for EHS eligible children. All infants and toddlers in an EHS-CC Partnership site will benefit from facilities or family child care homes that meet licensing and EHS facility safety requirements.
Developing New Family Child Care Providers and Building Networks: Applicants are encouraged to propose innovative approaches that increase the supply of high quality early care and education in their community. Especially in communities with a shortage of child care providers, such approaches might include training new family child care providers and establishing family child care networks. Family child care networks can create increased administrative efficiency and access to resources. They also can decrease isolation and increase professional development opportunities and support among and between family child care providers.
Non-partnership Early Head Start Expansion: New or existing Head Start, EHS, and EHS-CC Partnership grantees can apply to establish or add new traditional EHS slots through non-partnership EHS Expansion. Non-partnership EHS Expansion grantees will also provide early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that will enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of participating children; support parents’ efforts to fulfill their parental roles; and help parents move toward self-sufficiency. Given the need for continuity of care for very young age children, the Office of Head Start (OHS) expects that applicants will propose a full-day, full-year model with sufficient hours to meet the child care needs of families and not less than 1,380 hours per year.
Combination Approach: New or existing grantees can apply to both expand the number of EHS slots and implement the EHS-CC Partnership model designed to bring EHS services to infants and toddlers in child care and family child care settings.
Note: See solicitation for a listing of EHS services to be provided to the children and families through this grant and also a listing of applicable program options (e.g., center-based, home-based, family-child care) for each eligible model (e.g., Early Head Start and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Model or the EHS-CC Partnerships Model).
Applicants should identify the model(s) they plan to implement (in a post-COVID-19 without the physical distancing restrictions currently in place due to COVID-19). The non-partnership EHS Expansion model is operated directly by the program and/or its delegates. The EHS-CC Partnership model is operated through child care centers and family child care homes, generally through a contracted partnership. Applicants may also propose to offer both models in a single program. Regardless of model, all grantees are required to leverage existing local resources and collaborate with community organizations to ensure that a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services are provided to enrolled pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families.
Amount: $103,057,319 is available to make up to 60 awards that range from $750,000-$21,096,468 per budget period for a 60-month project period (with five 12-month budget periods). Grantees must provide at least 20 percent of the total approved cost of the project.
Eligibility: Entities operating Head Start, entities operating Indian Head Start or Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs, and other public entities and nonprofit or for-profit private entities, including community-based and faith-based organizations, capable of providing child and family services that meet the standard for participation.
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