How will you evaluate my application?

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) does not provide direct guidance or instruction in the development of an applicant's project design or in writing their applications. Applicants should use their best judgment in determining whether they are able to meet the requirements contained in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), whether they are able to develop an application they believe to be responsive to the FOA and in designing and writing their applications. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of the FOA. The review panels will use these evaluation criteria as their principal guidance in the same way that it is the principal guidance for applicants.

The application requirements listed below are excerpted from Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description of the FOA as an additional resource.

1. Community Need and Objectives – 25 Points

1.1. The applicant must describe how it will maximize community impact by directing resources to the area(s) of greatest need. The applicant must clearly a) describe the precise geographic location and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project; b) define the area(s) of greatest need, using information from its state, county, or community assessment; c) estimate the number of infants and toddlers who are Early Head Start eligible; and d) estimate the number of infants and toddlers who are receiving child care subsidy by geographic location.

  • Non-Partnership Expansion applicants must justify why an EHS-CC Partnership is not the best option for the community they are proposing to serve.

1.2. Applicants that propose services in areas of high poverty identified by the zip codes listed in the Appendix of this FOA will receive 5 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1of this FOA.

1.3. The applicant must identify existing child care services in the geographic area to be served by the proposed project. Applicants must also describe the level of quality of those child care providers and the extent to which meeting Early Head Start quality standards will require significant improvements in their partners' current level of quality.

1.4. The applicant must describe whether it will: a) improve the services provided to infants and toddlers currently being served; b) expand the number of infants and toddlers it proposes to serve through this funding; or c) do both a and b.

1.5. The applicant must justify its program option (center-based and/or family child care) as the most appropriate to meet the needs of the community. The applicant must specify how it will meet the requirement for full-day, full-year services (48 weeks), including the planned number of hours per day, days per week, and weeks per year of program operations.

1.6. EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe how they will leverage funds from other sources to maximize the impact of its proposed project. Specifically, EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe a plan to ensure that at all times at least 25 percent of the total number of Early Head Start eligible children served in the EHS-CC Partnership will also have child care subsidies. This requirement is not applicable for applicants proposing only Non-Partnership Expansion.

1.7. The applicant must submit an enrollment plan that expressly states: a) the projected dates it will begin delivering services to children with this grant funding, and b) when it will reach full enrollment.

1.8. The applicant must describe its recruitment and selection criteria to ensure it enrolls the children most in need in the community. The applicant must describe how the program will ensure that not less than 10 percent of the total number of infants and toddlers enrolled will be children with disabilities [PDF, 560KB].

2. Project Design and Approach – 30 Points

2.1. The applicant must describe its methods of service delivery and justify its plan to meet the needs for comprehensive child development services for the highest need infants, toddlers, and their families and must include supporting data from its community assessment. This plan must include education, health, nutrition, social, and family support services, and other service needs, including the special populations the applicant proposes to serve. The applicant must describe its procedures to identify children with disabilities and its plan to coordinate with programs providing services as described in section 645A(b)(11) of the Head Start Act.

2.2. The applicant must propose appropriate ratios and group sizes for care and must present evidence of appropriate staffing. Additionally, the applicant must describe how it will meet or exceed all federal, state/tribal, and local early care and education regulations and ensure that all of its facilities will be licensed.

2.3. The applicant must describe its plan to use curricula and teaching practices that promote progress toward infant and toddler school readiness goals and are:

  • Based on scientifically valid research,
  • Developmentally appropriate for infants and toddlers, and
  • Aligned to infant and toddler State Early Learning Guidelines, if appropriate.

2.4. The applicant must describe the process for involvement of other service providers, public or private entities, and other agencies in the community in meeting these needs for comprehensive services to maximize access and minimize duplication.

2.5. The applicant must also include formal linkages with home visiting programs, local Head Start, and state pre-kindergarten preschool programs to provide for a continuity of services through the age of mandatory school attendance for children and families enrolled in Early Head Start and child care. The applicant must describe its systematic procedure for transitioning children and parents, including established channels of communication and the process for how the program will support transitions for enrolled infants and toddlers to Head Start or other community-based preschool programs.

2.6 The applicant must describe formal linkages with providers of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); with the state interagency coordinating council, as established in part C of IDEA; and with the agency responsible for administering section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

2.7. The applicant must describe a system of screening, referral, and follow-up to ensure that appropriate developmental, sensory, and behavioral services are provided for every enrolled child.

2.8. The applicant must describe its plan for family engagement (including mothers, fathers, grandparents, kinship caregivers, and non-English speaking parents, as appropriate). The applicant must also discuss how activities will be designed to encourage parents to participate in program decision-making and leadership.

2.9 EHS-CC Partnership applicants must discuss how partnerships have been, or will be, developed, maintained, and utilized to support the EHS-CC Partnership project goals. If the applicant has not identified all partner sites, then it must provide a detailed plan, timeline, and criteria for identifying partners.

3. Organizational Infrastructure and Management Systems – 10 Points

3.1. The applicant must describe its proposed organizational structure, including the assignment of key management functions and content area expertise, as well as the organization's supervisory structure to ensure full implementation of comprehensive child development and family support services. This includes the proposed roles and responsibilities of the applicant entity, the partners and/or delegate agencies.

3.2. The applicant must provide evidence of the capacity of its senior executive managers and governing board to: (1) exercise effective oversight of program operations and accountability for federal funds; (2) include the Policy Council in the planning and decision-making process; (3) ensure representation of the diverse community served; (4) set and monitor overall agency priorities and operational systems; and (5) conduct community assessment, annual self-assessments, ongoing monitoring, and outcome-based evaluations.

3.3. The applicant must propose a plan to meet applicable program governance requirements established in Section 642(c) of the Head Start Act, including proportionate parent representation from child care partners on policy councils, if applicable.

3.4. The applicant must include documentation of its experience providing high-quality early childhood services for infants and toddlers and its ability to effectively and efficiently administer a project of the size, complexity, and scope of the proposed program.

3.5. The applicant must describe its plan to maintain strong fiscal controls and cost effective fiscal management across all sites.

4. Staffing – 10 Points

4.1. The applicant must provide evidence that after 18 months of operation, all teachers funded by this grant will have an Infant Toddler or Family Child Care Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, or state certificate that is comparable to those CDAs, and will have been trained (or have equivalent course work) in early childhood development with an infant and toddler focus.

4.2. The applicant must describe how the program will recruit, train, and supervise or contract with high-quality staff to ensure the retention of staff and to create the kind of responsive and continuous relationships between caregivers and children that are crucial to learning and development for infants and toddlers.

4.3. The applicant must describe an ongoing strategy for professional development, evidence-based coaching/mentoring, and supervision that supports reflective practice oriented to improving skills, knowledge, and effectiveness.

  • EHS-CC Partnership applicants must ensure their plan addresses all EHS-CC Partnership staff, including family child care providers.

4.4. The applicant must propose family service worker caseloads (not to exceed 1 family worker to 40 families) that reflect best practices and are tied to high-quality service delivery and that reflect, where applicable, state requirements that are more stringent than the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

5. EHS-CC Partnership Priority – 10 Points

5.1 ACF will prioritize applicants proposing EHS-CC Partnerships. Entities applying to operate 100 percent of their program through EHS-CC Partnerships will be awarded 10 priority points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

6. Bonus Points – 6 Points

6.1. Applicants that propose to serve children that reside within a federally designated Promise Zone, and that serves a substantial share of children within that Zone, will receive 3 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

6.2. Applicants that propose a plan to ensure that at all times greater than 40 percent of the total number of Early Head Start eligible children served by this grant will also have child care subsidies will receive 3 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

7. Budget and Budget Justification – 15 Points

Applicants must submit an annual (12-month) budget. The federal funding amounts reflected in the applicant's budget and on the SF-424 [PDF, 101KB], Application for Federal Assistance, Line 18a (Federal), must match.

The applicant's 12-month budget request should include both base and training and technical assistance (T/TA) funding. Base funding is for use in program operations, staff, materials, equipment, facilities, etc. In addition to base funding, applicants should request an additional 2.5 percent of the base funding for T/TA funding. T/TA funding is used for the purposes of improving program quality and helping prepare children to succeed in school and is described in Section 648 of the Head Start Act. Therefore, the total federal funds requested in the applicant's budget and on the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, Line 18a (Federal), should include the sum of the applicant's proposed base and T/TA funding.

ACF recognizes that EHS-CC Partnership grantees will need to retain some portion of the federal funds to ensure adequate oversight of the progress partners are making towards implementation and over time sustaining high-quality, comprehensive education services.

7.1. Applicants must demonstrate that funds are budgeted to provide all required comprehensive Early Head Start services to eligible children and families in a cost-effective manner.

  • EHS-CC Partnership applicants' budgets must clearly indicate that a significant portion of funding will be directed to its child care partners to ensure high-quality early learning experiences and must describe how they use the funding to make quality improvements in their partner(s).

7.2. The applicant must discuss in the Budget Justification how they will use a combination of federal funds as well as resources from other early childhood programs [PDF, 32KB] or funding streams, including state, local, and private sector funding for child care, pre-kindergarten, and special education services.

7.3. EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe their plan to ensure that children whose families lose child care subsidy eligibility will continue to be served.

7.4. The applicant must describe the planning steps to be taken to ensure that all necessary resources beyond the requested grant funds are available to implement the project. The applicant must demonstrate that it will contribute the required non-federal share/match of the total project cost using allowable sources, as well as any additional leveraged resources (for example, in-kind staff hours, materials, facilities, etc.). The applicant must identify each source of non-federal share match, including the estimated amount per source and the valuation methodology. Applicants requesting a waiver must demonstrate that they meet the requirements in 45 CFR § 1301.21 for a waiver.

7.5. If the applicant is proposing start-up costs, it must submit a separate start-up budget. Start-up costs must be justified, reasonable, and applicable for the applicant's proposed program. Start-up costs may include costs associated with: 1) ensuring that proposed facilities comply with state and local requirements and are adequately equipped, 2) purchasing classroom equipment and supplies, 3) conducting staff background checks, and/or 4) providing orientation and training for staff. If the applicant is not requesting start-up costs, this requirement is not applicable.

 

Criteria from FOA Specific to American Indian and Alaska Native Programs

How will you evaluate my application?

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) does not provide direct guidance or instruction in the development of an applicant's project design or in writing their applications. Applicants should use their best judgment in determining whether they are able to meet the requirements contained in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), whether they are able to develop an application they believe to be responsive to the FOA and in designing and writing their applications. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of the FOA. The review panels will use these evaluation criteria as their principal guidance in the same way that it is the principal guidance for applicants.

The application requirements listed below are excerpted from Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description of the FOA as an additional resource.

1. Community Need and Objectives – 25 Points

1.1. The applicant must describe how it will maximize community impact by directing resources to the area(s) of greatest need. The applicant must clearly a) describe the precise geographic location and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project; b) define the area(s) of greatest need, using information from its state, county, or community assessment; c) estimate the number of infants and toddlers who are Early Head Start eligible; and d) estimate the number of infants and toddlers who are receiving child care subsidy by geographic location.

  • Non-Partnership Expansion applicants must justify why an EHS-CC Partnership is not an option for the community they are proposing to serve.

1.2. Applicants that propose services in areas of high poverty identified by the zip codes listed in the Appendix of this FOA will receive 5 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1of this FOA.

1.3. The applicant must identify existing child care services in the geographic area to be served by the proposed project. Applicants must also describe the level of quality of those child care providers and the extent to which meeting Early Head Start quality standards will require significant improvements in their partners' current level of quality.

1.4. The applicant must describe whether it will: a) improve the services provided to infants and toddlers currently being served; b) expand the number of infants and toddlers it proposes to serve through this funding; or c) do both a and b.

1.5. The applicant must justify its program option (center-based and/or family child care) as the most appropriate to meet the needs of the community. The applicant must specify how it will meet the requirement for full-day, full-year services (48 weeks), including the planned number of hours per day, days per week, and weeks per year of program operations.

1.6. EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe how they will leverage funds from other sources to maximize the impact of its proposed project, including the use of child care subsidies. This requirement is not applicable for applicants proposing only Non-Partnership Expansion.

1.7. The applicant must submit an enrollment plan that expressly states: a) the projected dates it will begin delivering services to children with this grant funding, and b) when it will reach full enrollment.

1.8. The applicant must describe its recruitment and selection criteria to ensure it enrolls the children most in need in the community. The applicant must describe how the program will ensure that not less than 10 percent of the total number of infants and toddlers enrolled will be children with disabilities [PDF, 560KB].

2. Project Design and Approach – 30 Points

2.1. The applicant must describe its methods of service delivery and justify its plan to meet the needs for comprehensive child development services for the highest need infants, toddlers, and their families and must include supporting data from its community assessment. This plan must include education, health, nutrition, social, and family support services, and other service needs, including the special populations the applicant proposes to serve. The applicant must describe its procedures to identify children with disabilities and its plan to coordinate with programs providing services as described in section 645A(b)(11) of the Head Start Act.

2.2. The applicant must propose appropriate ratios and group sizes for care and must present evidence of appropriate staffing. Additionally, the applicant must describe how it will meet or exceed all federal, state/tribal, and local early care and education regulations and ensure that all of its facilities will be licensed and/or regulated.

2.3. The applicant must describe its plan to use curricula and teaching practices that promote progress and to overcome barriers toward infant and toddler school readiness goals and are:

  • Based on scientifically valid research,
  • Developmentally appropriate for infants and toddlers,
  • Culturally appropriate for the tribal community or population, and
  • Aligned to infant and toddler State Early Learning Guidelines, if appropriate.

2.4. The applicant must describe the process for involvement of other service providers, tribal, public or private entities, and other agencies in the community in meeting these needs for comprehensive services to maximize access and minimize duplication.

2.5. The applicant must also demonstrate include formal linkages with home visiting programs, local Head Start, and state pre-kindergarten preschool programs to provide for a continuity of services through the age of mandatory school attendance for children and families enrolled in Early Head Start and child care. The applicant must describe its systematic procedure for transitioning children and parents, including established channels of communication and the process for how the program will support transitions for enrolled infants and toddlers to Head Start or other community-based preschool programs.

2.6 The applicant must describe formal linkages with providers of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); with the state interagency coordinating council, as established in part C of IDEA; and with the agency responsible for administering section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

2.7. The applicant must describe a system of screening, referral, and follow-up to ensure that appropriate developmental, sensory, and behavioral services are provided for every enrolled child.

2.8. The applicant must describe its plan for family engagement (including mothers, fathers, grandparents, kinship caregivers, and non-English speaking parents, as appropriate). The applicant must also discuss how activities will be designed to encourage parents to participate in program decision-making and leadership.

2.9 The applicant must demonstrate that it has involved the tribal community (e.g., tribal leaders, elders, and other partners) in developing the proposed project, ensured community participation in the project’s implementation over time, planned for building and maintaining community support for the project, and included a strategy for building community awareness of the project and keeping community members aware of progress and outcomes.

2.10 EHS-CC Partnership applicants must discuss how partnerships have been, or will be, developed, maintained, and utilized to support the EHS-CC Partnership project goals. If the applicant has not identified all partner sites, then it must provide a detailed plan, timeline, and criteria for identifying partners.

3. Organizational Infrastructure and Management Systems – 10 Points

3.1. The applicant must describe its proposed organizational structure, including the assignment of key management functions and content area expertise, as well as the organization's supervisory structure to ensure full implementation of comprehensive child development and family support services. This includes the proposed roles and responsibilities of the applicant entity, the partners and/or delegate agencies.

3.2. The applicant must provide evidence of the capacity of its senior executive managers, Tribal Council, or governing board to: (1) exercise effective oversight of program operations and accountability for federal funds; (2) include the Policy Council in the planning and decision-making process; (3) ensure representation of the diverse community served; (4) set and monitor overall agency priorities and operational systems; and (5) conduct community assessment, annual self-assessments, ongoing monitoring, and outcome-based evaluations.

3.3. The applicant must propose a plan to meet applicable program governance requirements established in Section 642(c) of the Head Start Act, including proportionate parent representation from child care partners on policy councils, if applicable.

3.4. The applicant must demonstrate its ability to provide high-quality early childhood services for infants and toddlers and its ability to effectively and efficiently administer a project of the size, complexity, and scope of the proposed program.

3.5. The applicant must describe its plan to maintain strong fiscal controls and cost effective fiscal management across all sites.

4. Staffing – 10 Points

4.1. The applicant must provide evidence that after 18 months of operation, all teachers funded by this grant will have an Infant Toddler or Family Child Care Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, or state/tribal certificate that is comparable to those CDAs, and will have been trained (or have equivalent course work) in early childhood development with an infant and toddler focus.

4.2. The applicant must describe how the program will recruit, train, and supervise or contract with high-quality staff to ensure the retention of staff and to create the kind of responsive and continuous relationships between caregivers and children that are crucial to learning and development for infants and toddlers.

4.3. The applicant must describe an ongoing strategy for professional development, evidence-based coaching/mentoring, and supervision that supports reflective practice oriented to improving skills, knowledge, and effectiveness.

  • EHS-CC Partnership applicants must ensure their plan addresses all EHS-CC Partnership staff, including family child care providers.

4.4. The applicant must propose family service worker caseloads (not to exceed 1 family worker to 40 families) that reflect best practices and are tied to high-quality service delivery and that reflect, where applicable, state requirements that are more stringent than the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

5. EHS-CC Partnership Priority – 10 Points

5.1 ACF will prioritize applicants proposing EHS-CC Partnerships. Entities applying to operate 100 percent of their program through EHS-CC Partnerships will be awarded 10 priority points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

6. Bonus Points – 6 Points

6.1. Applicants that propose to serve children that reside within a federally designated Promise Zone, and that serves a substantial share of children within that Zone, will receive 3 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

6.2. Applicants that propose a plan to ensure that at all times greater than 25 percent of the total number of Early Head Start eligible children served by this grant will also be supported by child care funding will receive 3 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

7. Budget and Budget Justification – 15 Points

Applicants must submit an annual (12-month) budget. The federal funding amounts reflected in the applicant's budget and on the SF-424 [PDF, 101KB], Application for Federal Assistance, Line 18a (Federal), must match.

The applicant's 12-month budget request should include both base and T/TA funding. Base funding is for use in program operations, staff, materials, equipment, facilities, etc. In addition to base funding, applicants should request an additional 2.5 percent of the base funding for T/TA funding. T/TA funding is used for the purposes of improving program quality and helping prepare children to succeed in school and is described in Section 648 of the Head Start Act. Therefore, the total federal funds requested in the applicant's budget and on the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, Line 18a (Federal), should include the sum of the applicant's proposed base and T/TA funding.

ACF recognizes that EHS-CC Partnership grantees will need to retain some portion of the federal funds to ensure adequate oversight of the progress partners are making towards implementation and over time sustaining high-quality, comprehensive education services.

7.1. Applicants must demonstrate that funds are budgeted to provide all required comprehensive Early Head Start services to eligible children and families in a cost-effective manner.

  • EHS-CC Partnership applicants' budgets must clearly indicate that a significant portion of funding will be directed to its child care partners to ensure high-quality early learning experiences and must describe how they use the funding to make quality improvements in their partner(s).

7.2. The applicant must discuss in the Budget Justification how they will use a combination of federal funds as well as resources from other early childhood programs [PDF, 32KB] or funding streams, including state, tribal, local, and private sector funding for child care, pre-kindergarten, and special education services.

7.3. EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe their plan to ensure that children whose families lose child care subsidy eligibility will continue to be served.

7.4. The applicant must describe the planning steps to be taken to ensure that all necessary resources beyond the requested grant funds are available to implement the project. The applicant must demonstrate that it will contribute the required non-federal share/match of the total project cost using allowable sources, as well as any additional leveraged resources (for example, in-kind staff hours, materials, facilities, etc.). The applicant must identify each source of non-federal share match, including the estimated amount per source and the valuation methodology. Applicants requesting a waiver must demonstrate that they meet the requirements in 45 CFR § 1301.21 for a waiver.

7.5. If the applicant is proposing start-up costs, it must submit a separate start-up budget. Start-up costs must be justified, reasonable, and applicable for the applicant's proposed program. Start-up costs may include costs associated with: 1) ensuring that proposed facilities comply with state, tribal, and local requirements and are adequately equipped, 2) purchasing classroom equipment and supplies, 3) conducting staff background checks, and/or 4) providing orientation and training for staff. If the applicant is not requesting start-up costs, this requirement is not applicable.

Criteria from FOA Specific to Migrant and Seasonal Programs

How will you evaluate my application?

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) does not provide direct guidance or instruction in the development of an applicant's project design or in writing their applications. Applicants should use their best judgment in determining whether they are able to meet the requirements contained in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), whether they are able to develop an application they believe to be responsive to the FOA and in designing and writing their applications. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of the FOA. The review panels will use these evaluation criteria as their principal guidance in the same way that it is the principal guidance for applicants.

The application requirements listed below are excerpted from Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description of the FOA as an additional resource.

1. Community Need and Objectives – 25 Points

1.1. The applicant must describe how it will maximize community impact by directing resources to the area(s) of greatest need. The applicant must clearly a) describe the precise geographic location and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project; b) define the area(s) of greatest need, using information from its state, county, or community assessment; and c) estimate the number of migrant and seasonal infants and toddlers who are Early Head Start eligible.

  • Non-Partnership Expansion applicants must justify why an EHS-CC Partnership is not an option for the community they are proposing to serve.

1.2. The applicant must identify existing child care services in the geographic area to be served by the proposed project. Applicants must also describe the level of quality of those child care providers and the extent to which meeting Early Head Start quality standards will require significant improvements in their partners' current level of quality.

1.3. The applicant must describe whether it will: a) improve the services provided to migrant and seasonal infants and toddlers currently being served; b) expand the number of infants and toddlers it proposes to serve through this funding; or c) do both a and b.

1.4. The applicant must justify its program option (center-based and/or family child care) as the most appropriate to meet the needs of the community. The applicant must specify how it will meet the requirement to serve seasonal children for full-day, full-year services (48 weeks), including the planned number of hours per day, days per week, and weeks per year of program operations. The applicant must specify how it will meet an adequate length of services for migrant families that arrive to work and live in the agricultural communities.

1.5. EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe their efforts to leverage funds from other sources to maximize the impact of its proposed project. If other funds are not leveraged, EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe the challenges that prevent additional funds from being included in their proposed Partnership. This requirement is not applicable for applicants proposing only Non-Partnership Expansion.

1.6. The applicant must submit an enrollment plan that expressly states: a) the projected dates it will begin delivering services to children with this grant funding, and b) when it will reach full enrollment.

1.7. The applicant must describe its recruitment and selection criteria to ensure it enrolls the children most in need in the community. Children that move the most during the year because parents are searching for agricultural work must be given priority. The applicant must describe how the program will ensure that not less than 10 percent of the total number of infants and toddlers enrolled will be children with disabilities [PDF, 560KB].

2. Project Design and Approach – 30 Points

2.1. The applicant must describe the number of children, migrant and/or seasonal, they propose to serve, and the methods of service delivery. The applicant must justify its plan to meet the needs for comprehensive child development services for the highest need infants, toddlers, and their families and must include supporting data from its community assessment. This plan must include education, health, nutrition, social, and family support services, and other service needs, including the special populations the applicant proposes to serve. The applicant must describe its procedures to identify children with disabilities and its plan to coordinate with programs providing services as described in section 645A(b)(11) of the Head Start Act.

2.2. The applicant must propose appropriate ratios and group sizes for care and must present evidence of appropriate staffing. Additionally, the applicant must describe how it will meet or exceed all federal, state/tribal, and local early care and education regulations and ensure that all of its facilities will be licensed.

2.3. The applicant must describe its plan to use curricula and teaching practices that promote progress toward infant and toddler school readiness goals and are:

  • Based on scientifically valid research,
  • Developmentally appropriate for infants and toddlers,
  • Culturally and linguistically responsive, and
  • Aligned to infant and toddler State Early Learning Guidelines, if appropriate.

2.4. The applicant must describe the process for involvement of other service providers, public or private entities, and other agencies in the community in meeting these needs for comprehensive services to maximize access and minimize duplication.

2.5. The applicant must also include formal linkages with home visiting programs, local Head Start, and state pre-kindergarten preschool programs to provide for a continuity of services through the age of mandatory school attendance for children and families enrolled in Early Head Start and child care. The applicant must describe its systematic procedure for transitioning children and parents, including established channels of communication and the process for how the program will support transitions for enrolled infants and toddlers to Head Start or other community-based preschool programs.

2.6 The applicant must describe formal linkages with providers of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); with the state interagency coordinating council, as established in part C of IDEA; and with the agency responsible for administering section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

2.7. The applicant must describe a system of screening, referral, and follow-up to ensure that appropriate developmental, sensory, and behavioral services are provided for every enrolled child.

2.8. The applicant must describe its plan for family engagement (including mothers, fathers, grandparents, kinship caregivers, and non-English speaking parents, as appropriate). The applicant must also discuss how activities will be designed to encourage parents to participate in program decision-making and leadership.

2.9 EHS-CC Partnership applicants must discuss how partnerships have been, or will be, developed, maintained, and utilized to support the EHS-CC Partnership project goals. If the applicant has not identified all partner sites, then it must provide a detailed plan, timeline, and criteria for identifying partners.

3. Organizational Infrastructure and Management Systems – 10 Points

3.1. The applicant must describe its proposed organizational structure, including the assignment of key management functions and content area expertise, as well as the organization's supervisory structure to ensure full implementation of comprehensive child development and family support services. This includes the proposed roles and responsibilities of the applicant entity, the partners, and/or delegate agencies.

3.2. The applicant must provide evidence of the capacity of its senior executive managers and governing board to: (1) exercise effective oversight of program operations and accountability for federal funds; (2) include the Policy Council in the planning and decision-making process; (3) ensure representation of the diverse community served; (4) set and monitor overall agency priorities and operational systems; and (5) conduct community assessment, annual self-assessments, ongoing monitoring, and outcome-based evaluations.

3.3. The applicant must propose a plan to meet applicable program governance requirements established in Section 642(c) of the Head Start Act, including proportionate parent representation from child care partners on policy councils, if applicable.

3.4. The applicant must include documentation of its experience providing high-quality early childhood services for infants and toddlers and its ability to effectively and efficiently administer a project of the size, complexity, and scope of the proposed program.

3.5. The applicant must describe its plan to maintain strong fiscal controls and cost effective fiscal management across all sites.

4. Staffing – 10 Points

4.1. The applicant must provide evidence that after 18 months of operation, all teachers funded by this grant will have an Infant Toddler or Family Child Care Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, or state certificate that is comparable to those CDAs, and will have been trained (or have equivalent course work) in early childhood development with an infant and toddler focus.

4.2. The applicant must describe how the program will recruit, train, and supervise or contract with high-quality staff to ensure the retention of staff and to create the kind of responsive and continuous relationships between caregivers and children that are crucial to learning and development for infants and toddlers.

4.3. The applicant must describe an ongoing strategy for professional development, evidence-based coaching/mentoring, and supervision that supports reflective practice oriented to improving skills, knowledge, and effectiveness.

  • EHS-CC Partnership applicants must ensure their plan addresses all EHS-CC Partnership staff, including family child care providers.

4.4. The applicant must propose family service worker caseloads (not to exceed one family worker to 40 families) that reflect best practices and are tied to high-quality service delivery and that reflect, where applicable, state requirements that are more stringent than the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

5. EHS-CC Partnership Priority – 10 Points

5.1 ACF will prioritize applicants proposing EHS-CC Partnerships. Entities applying to operate 100 percent of their program through EHS-CC Partnerships will be awarded 10 priority points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

6. Bonus Points – 3 Points

6.1. Applicants that propose to serve children that reside within a federally designated Promise Zone will receive 3 points under the Criteria listed in Section V.1. of this FOA.

7. Budget and Budget Justification – 15 Points

Applicants must submit an annual (12-month) budget. The federal funding amounts reflected in the applicant's budget and on the SF-424 [PDF, 101KB], Application for Federal Assistance, Line 18a (Federal), must match.

The applicant's 12-month budget request should include both base and T/TA funding. Base funding is for use in program operations, staff, materials, equipment, facilities, etc. In addition to base funding, applicants should request an additional 2.5 percent of the base funding for T/TA funding. T/TA funding is used for the purposes of improving program quality and helping prepare children to succeed in school and is described in Section 648 of the Head Start Act. Therefore, the total federal funds requested in the applicant's budget and on the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, Line 18a (Federal), should include the sum of the applicant's proposed base and T/TA funding.

ACF recognizes that EHS-CC Partnership grantees will need to retain some portion of the federal funds to ensure adequate oversight of the progress partners are making towards implementation and over time sustaining high-quality, comprehensive education services.

7.1. Applicants must demonstrate that funds are budgeted to provide all required comprehensive Early Head Start services to eligible children and families in a cost-effective manner.

  • EHS-CC Partnership applicants' budgets must clearly indicate that a significant portion of funding will be directed to its child care partners to ensure high-quality early learning experiences and must describe how they use the funding to make quality improvements in their partner(s).

7.2. The applicant must discuss in the Budget Justification how they will use a combination of federal funds, and when possible, resources from other early childhood programs [PDF, 32KB] or funding streams, including state, local, and private sector funding for child care, pre-kindergarten, and special education services.

7.3. EHS-CC Partnership applicants must describe their plan to ensure that children whose families lose child care subsidy or other non-federal funding eligibility will continue to be served.

7.4. The applicant must describe the planning steps to be taken to ensure that all necessary resources beyond the requested grant funds are available to implement the project. The applicant must demonstrate that it will contribute the required non-federal share/match of the total project cost using allowable sources, as well as any additional leveraged resources (for example, in-kind staff hours, materials, facilities, etc.). The applicant must identify each source of non-federal share match, including the estimated amount per source and the valuation methodology. Applicants requesting a waiver must demonstrate that they meet the requirements in 45 CFR § 1301.21 for a waiver.

7.5. If the applicant is proposing start-up costs, it must submit a separate start-up budget. Start-up costs must be justified, reasonable, and applicable for the applicant's proposed program. Start-up costs may include costs associated with: 1) ensuring that proposed facilities comply with state and local requirements and are adequately equipped, 2) purchasing classroom equipment and supplies, 3) conducting staff background checks, and/or 4) providing orientation and training for staff. If the applicant is not requesting start-up costs, this requirement is not applicable.

 

Last Reviewed: July 2014

Last Updated: July 22, 2014