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Make the Most of Cost Allocation, Cost Principles, Indirect Costs, and Budgeting

Tools and Resources

Head Start New Fiscal Officer Training Inventory

Find out how fiscal officers can use this training inventory to identify strengths and gaps in their knowledge base. Learn ways to establish training priorities.

Types of Indirect Cost Rates

Learn more about cost allocation principles and practices. Find out how they help Head Start programs organize their funding sources and comply with federal regulations.

Cost Allocation Narrative

Cost allocation is a way to ensure that federal funds are used solely for programs and that no other federal funds are used for any other purpose. Grantees who have more than one funding source will find this information useful. Find out how to make sure that each program bears its appropriate share of the costs.

Administrative Cost Limitations

Learn more about administrative cost limitations. Review these frequently asked questions that directors and fiscal managers may ask.

Comparability of Wages

Review this section of the Head Start Act, to learn about wage comparability. Find ways to ensure that employees are compensated according to salary scales based on training and experience.

Parent Activity Funds Narrative

Parent committees are allocated a specific amount from the Parent Activity Fund. These funds are used to develop and implement parent projects and activities. Use this narrative to find useful information when preparing annual budgets.

Carryover of Unobligated Balance

Review this excerpt from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Grants Policy Statement to learn about the need to seek prior approval for the carryover of unobligated funds. Determine whether to use unobligated balances if there is a need to address programmatic goals and objectives.

Management Matters: Cost Allocation

Learn more about cost allocation. It is the process of assigning the shared cost of an item or service to two or more programs and is a key element of the Fiscal Management System. Organizations use cost allocation to ensure that costs are shared equitably across different funding sources and programs.

Notice of Grant Award

The notice of grant award shows the amount of federal funds authorized for obligation and the budget period for the approved project. Learn more about the conditions of grant awards.

Sample Indirect Cost Rate for Nonprofit Organizations

Use this helpful sample to learn more about indirect costs. Indirect costs have been incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be readily identified with a particular final cost objective.

Policies and Regulations

Program Structure, 45 CFR §§ 1302.20–1302.24

A program must choose to operate one or more of the following program options: center-based, home-based, family child care, or an approved locally-designed variation. Review these regulations to explore the requirements for choosing and developing these options.

Financial and Administrative Requirements, 45 CFR § 1303

Section 641A of the Head Start Act that requires the Secretary modify as necessary program performance standards. Review the standard around an agency’s financial and administrative requirements.

Cost Principles, 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart E

Explore the cost principles in this subpart to determine the allowable costs of work performed by a non-federal entity under federal awards.

Additional Support

HHS Grants Policy Statement (GPS)

Review this statement to find the general terms and conditions of HHS discretionary grant and cooperative agreement awards. This statement applies to almost all HHS discretionary grant programs that are awarded to organizational entities.

Last Updated: July 6, 2018