Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Head Start
 
Head Start Grantee - Fremont County, Colorado
HHS-2013-ACF-OHS-CH-R08-0508
Application Due Date: 08/14/2012

 

Head Start Grantee - Fremont County, Colorado
HHS-2013-ACF-OHS-CH-R08-0508
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview
Executive Summary
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - (if applicable)
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Package
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements
Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting
Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
Section VIII. Other Information
Head Start Grantee - Fremont County, Colorado
HHS-2013-ACF-OHS-CH-R08-0508
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children & Families
 
Program Office:Office of Head Start
Funding Opportunity Title:Head Start Grantee - Fremont County, Colorado
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2013-ACF-OHS-CH-R08-0508
CFDA Number: 93.600
Due Date for Applications: 08/14/2012
 

Notice: On January 1, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families implemented required electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for discretionary grant applications. (76 Fed. Reg. 66721-66723, October 27, 2011, New Policies and Procedural Requirements for the Electronic Submission of Discretionary Grant Applications). Please see Section III.3. Disqualification Factors, Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission and Application Submission Options, and Section IV.3. Explanation of Due Dates and Times for information on electronic application submission and the availability of exemptions allowing applicants to submit applications in paper format.

 
Executive Summary:

The Head Start program provides high-quality, comprehensive early education programming to low-income children and families so that children start school ready to succeed.  In 2007, Congress enacted legislation that required, for the first time in the program's history, greater competition within communities for Head Start funding.  The goal of the legislation and the subsequent regulations finalized on December 9, 2011, is to ensure that Federal Head Start funding is directed to the organizations that are most capable of delivering high-quality early education that puts children on a pathway to school success and opportunity.

This funding opportunity announcement is the mechanism for implementing this new competitive requirement and competitions that result from grantee relinquishments and terminations.  This announcement solicits applications from local public or private non-profit organizations, including faith-based organizations or local for-profit organizations, in the community that seek to provide high-quality Head Start services to children and families residing in Fremont County, Colorado.

Funds in the amount of $1,122,542 annually will be available to provide Head Start program services to eligible children and their families in Fremont County, Colorado. This dollar amount includes base funding of $1,103,215 (for use in program operations, staffing, materials, equipment, facilities, etc.) and $19,327 in technical assistance (TA) funding. The appropriate use of training and technical assistance (T/TA) funds for the purposes of improving program quality and helping prepare children to succeed in school are described in Section 648 of the Head Start Act.

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 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. Effective Head Start programs help children develop in each of these areas. ACF is seeking applicants that are able to utilize the best evidence-based early education practices in their programs to support high-caliber classroom instruction and effective family engagement and health promotion.

Head Start is governed by Program Performance Standards that define the scope of services necessary to support children's development and school readiness. These Program Performance Standards are found 45 CFR Parts 1301-1310 and in Section VI.2. Award Administration Information, Administrative and National Policy Requirements of this funding opportunity announcement.

The evaluation criteria in this funding opportunity announcement are structured into two phases. Phase One is organized around six core elements of an effective Head Start program that is focused on school readiness and ongoing academic success.  They are as follows: 

(A)  Demonstration of Need for Child Development and Health Services;

(B)  Achieving Early Learning and Development Outcomes to Promote School Readiness for Children;

(C)  Past Performance;

(D)  Staffing and Supporting a Strong Early Learning Workforce;

(E)  Organizational Capacity and Governance; and 

(F)  Budget and Budget Justification.

Phase Two focuses on an organization's ability to effectively implement and oversee operations which comply with applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. ACF is interested in awarding Federal funds to entities that can demonstrate strong organizational capacity as supported by their internal fiscal systems as follows:

(A)  Internal Control Compliance and Ethical Values;

(B)  Accounting Policies and Procedures; and 

(C)  Accounting System.

Eligibility is limited to local public or private non-profit organizations, including faith-based organizations or local for-profit organizations, in the community that can provide Head Start services to children and families residing in Fremont County, Colorado.

Public Comment

ACF welcomes public comments from the community listed in this funding opportunity announcement. We are particularly interested in hearing from parents of children presently enrolled in Head Start, persons employed by such agencies, local government officials, and other representatives of the community to be served. The intent of the public comment is to inform ACF about the needs of the service area and any pertinent information commenters may wish to provide about potential applicants. Comments should be sent to the OHS Operations Center at OHS@headstartgrants.org.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The Head Start program is authorized by the Head Start Act, 42 U.S.C § 9831 et seq.

Description

Program Background and Purpose

The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private non-profit 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 FY 1995, the Early Head Start program was established to serve pregnant women and children from birth to three 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 29 million children and their families. In FY 2011, Head Start served 964,430 children and families; of these, more than 114,000 participants were served in Early Head Start programs. There are approximately 1,600 Head Start grantees, including 950 grantees providing Early Head Start.

Head Start promotes school readiness by enhancing the social, cognitive, and emotional development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families.  Language, literacy, mathematics, and science are among the key domains that must be addressed through Head Start. 

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 Head Start programs engage parents in their children's learning and help parents themselves make progress toward their educational, literacy, and employment goals. The Head Start program also emphasizes the significant involvement of parents in the administration of local 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 is 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 Head Start funds awarded through this funding opportunity announcement do not supplant existing services. Thus, an entity receiving a Head Start grant must: 1) expand the number of children it is serving relative to the number it would serve in the absence of the grant, and/or 2) improve the services provided to children it would serve in the absence of the grant.

Head Start grantees must, unless a waiver is granted, contribute at least 20 percent of the total cost of the program from non-Federal funds. No more than 15 percent of total costs may be used for program administration. An HHS official may grant a waiver of the 15 percent limitation on allowable development and administration costs for a Head Start program (45 CFR Part 1301.32) and approve a higher percentage for a specific period of time not to exceed twelve months.

Many Head Start programs provide a part-day, center-based program option or a home-based program option for eight or nine months a year. However, grantees have the option of providing full-day, full-year services and, in recent years, an increased number of grantees have been offering this program option, often through collaborations with local child care providers, to help meet the child care needs of parents who are either working or in job training.  Head Start agencies are expected to accurately identify the community's need for services and to implement a program design that meets those needs. A program design can be responsive to community needs through partnerships or through direct provision of services using the Head Start grant funding.

The Office of Head Start (OHS) is responsible for monitoring the quality of the program a Head Start grantee operates and that grantee's compliance with Federal requirements.  The Federal government uses several mechanisms to conduct its oversight.  Most notably, each Head Start grantee is subject to onsite monitoring reviews. These reviews can either be announced or unannounced. During onsite visits, all aspects of a grantee's program are reviewed, including the quality of the instruction provided using the CLASS instrument, compliance with health and safety requirements, compliance with rules related to children's eligibility for the program, and compliance with financial management requirements. 

Eligible Participants

Head Start serves children when they are at least three 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 three. Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs may enroll children from birth to age five. Programs serve families who have incomes below the poverty line or are eligible for public assistance. In addition, homeless children and children in foster care are categorically eligible for Head Start.  Children are selected for enrollment based on age and income eligibility and relative level of need with regard to other criteria which are identified within each community. 

The law permits up to 10 percent of enrolled Head Start children to be from families that do not meet these low-income criteria. A new provision in the Head Start Act, as discussed in Section 645(a)(1)(B), allows grantees that can ensure that all eligible children including homeless children are served, to enroll up to 35 percent of its participants from families with incomes greater than or equal to 100 but less than 130 percent of the poverty line. 

Additionally, Head Start programs must assure that at least 10 percent of the total number of children enrolled by the Head Start agency and delegates are children with disabilities unless a waiver is granted.

Federal Head Start funds must be used to serve eligible children as described above. Grantees may elect to also serve additional children who are not income eligible for Head Start, but whose 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 which may contribute to improved child outcomes. All costs must be allocated to appropriate funding sources in compliance with Federal requirements.

Head Start Grantee: Fremont County, Colorado

Description

The Administration for Children and Families solicits applications from local public or private non-profit organizations, including faith-based organizations or local for-profit organizations in the community, that wish to compete for funds that are available to provide Head Start services to children and families residing in Fremont County, Colorado.

Funds in the amount of $1,122,542 annually will be available to provide Head Start program services to eligible children and their families in Fremont County, Colorado. This dollar amount includes base funding of $1,103,215 (for use in program operations, staff, materials, equipment, facilities, etc.) and $19,327 in technical assistance (TA) funding. The appropriate use of training and technical assistance funds for the purposes of improving program quality and helping prepare children to succeed in school, are described in Section 648 of the Head Start Act.

Applicants must demonstrate they meet the statutory requirement for designation as a Head Start agency in Section 641 of the Head Start Act. 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. 

Applicant Support Website

The Office of Head Start (OHS) strongly encourages entities interested in applying for this Head Start grant opportunity to visit http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/grants. This interactive website offers a robust collection of resources intended to support organizations in gaining a deeper understanding of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, the funding opportunity announcement, and evaluation criteria. A profile of current grantee services, equipment and inventory can also be found through this website. Head Start is a Federal program with important regulations that grantees must meet. At the applicant support website, applicants can familiarize themselves with these requirements. Finally, the website includes helpful tips for applying via Grants.gov. All interested applicants are reminded to frequently refer back to this funding opportunity announcement when preparing their application.

Prospective applicants will also have the opportunity to send questions to OHS by email through the website listed above. A summary of the questions and OHS responses will be posted for public view on the applicant support website as soon as they become available.

Interested applicants may also contact the OHS Operations Center at (866) 796-1591 or TTY: 711 if they have additional questions.

II. Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $1,122,542
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Award Ceiling: $1,122,542 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $0 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $0 Per Budget Period

Length of Project Periods:

60-month project with five 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of Federal funds.

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, grantees will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-Federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A grantee’s failure to provide the required matching amount will result in the disallowance of Federal funds.

Please note that the expected number of awards represents an estimated range of awards that the Office of Head Start might make as the result of this funding opportunity announcement. If the expected number of awards is 1, applicants are expected to submit proposals for the entire service area. If the expected number of awards is 2 or greater, applicants may submit one application to apply to either serve the entire service area or a portion of the service area. 

The Designation Renewal System (DRS), as established in 45 CFR Part 1307 - Policies and Procedures for Designation Renewal of Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees, went into effect on December 9, 2011. This regulation requires all Head Start and Early Head Start grants be transitioned from indefinite project periods with 12-month budget periods to five-year grants.

Please see Section IV.5 Funding Restrictions for limitations on the use of grant funds awarded under this announcement.

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are any local public or private non-profit agency, including community-based and faith-based organizations, or for-profit agency within a community, pursuant to the Head Start Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9836(a)(1).

Eligibility is limited to local public or private non-profit organizations, including faith-based organizations or local for-profit organizations in the service area, that can provide Head Start services to children and families residing in Fremont County, Colorado.

In accordance with 45 CFR Part 1307 titled "Policies and Procedures for Designation Renewal of Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees," grantees terminated for cause by ACF within five years of the posting date of this funding opportunity announcement are ineligible for competition.

A Head Start or Early Head Start agency that has had a "denial of refunding," defined in 45 CFR Part 1303.2, within five years of the posting date of this funding opportunity announcement is also ineligible for competition.

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in Section IV.2 for documentation required to support eligibility.
 
III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: Yes
Grantees are required to meet a non-Federal share of the project cost, in accordance with Section 640(b) of the Head Start Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9835 (b).
Grantees must provide at least 20 percent of the total approved cost of the project. The total approved cost of the project is the sum of the ACF (Federal) share and the non-Federal share. The non-Federal share may be met by cash or in-kind contributions, although applicants are encouraged to meet their match requirements through cash contributions. For example, in order to meet the match requirements, a project requesting $1,122,542.00 in ACF (Federal) funds must provide a non-Federal share of the approved total project cost of at least $280,636.00 , which is 20 percent of total approved project cost of $1,403,178.00 .Grantees will be held accountable for commitments of non-Federal resources even if they exceed the amount of the required match. Failure to provide the required amount will result in the disallowance of Federal funds. A lack of supporting documentation at the time of application submission will not exclude the application from competitive review.

To receive a waiver or a reduction in the required non-Federal share, the applicant must provide ACF with written documentation of need. This request must identify which of the five waiver criteria found at Section 640(b)(1-5) of the Head Start Act it believes to be relevant. It may be submitted with the grant proposal document or during the budget negotiation period. Approval of the waiver request cannot be assumed by the applicant without written notice from ACF. Waiver requests will not result in a deduction of points in the evaluation of the application. In light of the current economic climate ACF will be receptive to reasonable arguments for such waivers.

Matching requirements (including in-kind contributions) of less than $200,000 (up to $199,999) are waived under grants made to the governments of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (other than those consolidated under other provisions of 48 U.S.C. 1469) pursuant to 48 U.S.C. 1469a(d). This waiver applies whether the matching required under the grant equals or exceeds $200,000.
Non-Federal resources will be evaluated under criteria found in Section V.1. of this announcement.
 
III.3. Other

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirements


DUNS Number Requirement

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number is the nine-digit, or thirteen-digit (DUNS + 4), number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.

All applicants and subrecipients must have a DUNS number at the time of application in order to be considered for a grant or cooperative agreement.  A DUNS number is required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the Government-wide electronic portal, www.Grants.gov.  A DUNS number is required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement, and block grant programs.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:

U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711
Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1)
Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., CST

The process to request a D-U-N-S Number by telephone will take between 5 and 10 minutes.
 

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) Requirement

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is the Federal registrant database and repository into which an entity must provide information required for the conduct of business as a recipient.  CCR, managed by the General Services Administration, collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of agency financial assistance missions.

Effective October 1, 2011, HHS required all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, Federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:

  • Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, ACF:

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

Additionally, all first-tier subaward recipients (i.e., direct subrecipient) must have a DUNS number at the time the subaward is made

CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220. CCR registration must be updated annually.  CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date. 

APPLICATION DISQUALIFICATION FACTORS


Applications from individuals, foreign entities, or sole proprietorship organizations will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount exceeding the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Application Submission Disqualifications

Beginning January 1, 2012, ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov.  Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow these applicants to submit an application in paper format. Information on requesting an exemption from electronic application submission is found in Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a dated and time-stamped email from www.Grants.gov, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.


Please Note
: Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged. Applications that fail the Grants.gov validation check are not transmitted to ACF though they may have been submitted on time.

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time-stamp email. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which are transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.


The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET
, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper applications received from applicants that have not requested an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission" in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

Applications that are disqualified under any of these circumstances will receive written notification by letter or by email.

Read and observe the formatting instructions for application submissions in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

Additional Application Submission Disqualifications

In accordance with 45 CFR Part 1307 titled "Policies and Procedures for Designation Renewal of Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees," grantees terminated for cause by ACF within five years of the posting date of this funding opportunity announcement will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

A Head Start or Early Head Start agency that has had a "denial of refunding," defined in 45 CFR 1303.2, within five years of the posting date of this funding opportunity announcement will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Shawna Pinckney
Office of Head Start
OHS Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (866) 796-1591


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Funding Opportunities Forms webpage at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html. See Section IV.2.Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Standard Forms that are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d): Available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website and at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms.

Federal Relay Service:
Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

FORMATTING ACF APPLICATIONS


For All ACF Applications:

Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
The individual(s), named by the applicant/recipient organization, who is authorized to act for the applicant/recipient and to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or awards.

Each applicant must designate an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). An AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.

AOR Authorization is part of the registration process at www.Grants.gov where the AOR will create a short profile and obtain a username and password from the Grants.gov Credential Provider.  AORs will only be authorized for the DUNS number registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR).

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified. The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR. The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

Follow the instructions provided in the formatting section to ensure that your application can be printed efficiently and consistently for the competitive review.   

Observe page limitations.
All applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section. Be sure to print all attachments (components) on paper and count the number of pages before submission. Keep the printed copy as a hard copy of your application for your files.

Application Package Components
Applications must be divided into the sections listed in the table. (The order in which components are submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov or included in a paper application may not be the same as listed in the table.) Page limitations apply to the Project Description document and the Appendices and the following:

  • The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.
  • The Budget Justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and/or OMB-approved Forms

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.


ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED VIA www.Grants.gov:
 

Notice: The Administration for Children and Families has implemented required electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov.  Applicants are now required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format.  See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile. Only applications, which pass the Grants.gov validation check, will be acknowledged.

Please read this section carefully before beginning application submission. It is mandatory to follow the instructions provided in this section to ensure that your application can be printed efficiently and consistently for review.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.

NOTE: Applications submitted via www.Grants.gov will undergo a validation check. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options and Section IV.3. Submission Due Dates and Times, Explanation of Due Dates. The validation check can affect whether the application is accepted for review. Applications that fail the www.Grants.gov validation check will not be transmitted to ACF. If the application fails the validation check and is not resubmitted by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, it will be disqualified.

Signatures
Follow the AOR Authorization and E-Biz POC  instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

Required OMB-Approved and Standard Forms (SFs)
www.Grants.gov  provides its own protocols for the submission of OMB-approved and Standard Forms (SFs) such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL, Project/Performance Site Location form.  See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for required OMB-approved Standard Forms and required assurances and certifications.

Application Package Components
Applications must be divided into the sections listed in the table. It is important that each component is submitted in a separate electronic file. Page limitations apply to the Project Description document and the Appendices and the following:

  • The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.
  • The Budget Justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and/or OMB-approved Forms

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

The required content of the Project Description and any Appendices, and their page limits, are listed later in this section.

With the exception of the required Standard Forms (SFs), all application materials must be formatted so that they will print out onto 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins.  All pages of the application component, i.e., Project Description, Budget Justification, Appendices, must be sequentially numbered.  Applicants should print all attachments on paper and count the number of pages before submitting the application. Applicants should keep a hard copy of the submitted application package for their files. The font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable.

All elements of the application submission, with the exception of the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, the Budget Justification, required Assurances and Certifications, and proof of legal status/non-profit status, must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font. The Project Summary/Abstract is required to be one single-spaced page in 12-point font.  The Budget Justification may be single-spaced page in 12-point font and should be no more than 10 pages. The font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable.

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section:

Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov.
Limit file names to 50 characters and do not use special characters (example: &,-,*,%,/,#) including periods (.), blank spaces, and accent marks, within application form fields, and file attachment names. An underscore (_) may be used to separate a file name.

Use only file formats supported by ACF.
It is critical that applicants only submit application components using the supported file formats listed here. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do not encrypt or password protect the electronic application files!
If ACF cannot access submitted electronic files because they have been encrypted or are password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:

The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption from ACF in order to submit an application in paper format. See Section IV.2.Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission later in this section under Application Submission Options.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and/or OMB-approved Forms

No page limitations.

Required Certifications and Assurances

No page limitations.

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page.

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages and will not count against page limitations.

Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Non-Profit Status

No page limitations.

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section.

Copies Required
Applicants must provide one original and two copies of all application materials when submitting an application in paper format. 

Signatures
An original signature of the AOR is required only on the original copy of paper application submissions. A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Format Requirements for Paper Applications

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section. 

All application materials must be submitted on 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins. All pages of the paper application submission must be sequentially numbered.  Application materials must be printed on one side only of each page so that they may be easily reproduced. If two-sided pages are submitted, only the "front" page will be used. 

All elements of the application submission, with the exception of the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, the Budget Justification, required Assurances and Certifications, and proof of legal status/non-profit status, must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font. The Project Summary/Abstract is required to be one single-spaced page in 12-point font.  The Budget Justification may be single-spaced, in 12-point font, and should be no more than 10 pages. The font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable.

All copies of a mailed or hand-delivered paper application must be submitted in a single package. A separate package must be submitted for application under a single funding opportunity. The package must be clearly labeled for the specific funding opportunity it is addressing.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate subsections of the application, including supporting documentation. Use a clip (not a staple) to securely bind the application together. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the Federal government for review. Application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes.

Instructions on the order of assembly for paper application submissions are available under this formatting section.

Addresses for Submission of Paper Applications
See Section IV.6. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper application submissions.

Page Limitations for Paper Format Application Submissions
Page limitations do not include OMB-approved Standard Forms (SFs), the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, proof of legal status/non-profit status, required Assurances and Certifications, and the Budget Justification, which should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages.

If an application exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the Project Description or the double-spaced page limitation cited for the Appendices, the extra pages will be removed and will not be reviewed. In addition, if an application narrative is single-spaced and/or one-and-a-half spaced (in whole or in part) the total number of these lines will be doubled. This adjustment may result in an increased total number of pages, which will be removed so that the application conforms to the cited double-spaced page limitation.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page with 12-point font. Any pages over the one-page limit will be removed.

Page Limitations and Content of The Project Description and Appendices for All Application Formats:

The Phase One application narrative must be no more than 100 double-spaced pages (including the budget). An additional 10 single-spaced pages is allotted for the budget justification. Only numerical budget tables included as part of the application narrative may be single-spaced. All pages at the end of the application narrative (Phase One, including the budget) that exceed 100 double-spaced pages will be removed from the application package and will not be evaluated as part of the competitive review.

The Phase One section of the application narrative should be submitted in one electronic file in the following order:

  • Table of Contents,
  • Demonstration of Need for Child Development and Health Services,
  • Achieving Early Learning and Development Outcomes to Promote School Readiness for Children,
  • Past Performance,
  • Staffing and Supporting a Strong Early Learning Workforce,
  • Organizational Capacity and Governance,
  • Budget, and
  • Budget Justification (up to 10 single-spaced pages).

The Phase Two section of the application must be no more than 30 double-spaced pages and should be included in the appendices. This section should be clearly labeled as "Phase Two." All pages at the end of the Phase Two narrative that exceed 30 double-spaced pages will be removed from the application package and will not be evaluated as part of the competitive review. The Phase Two narrative should be submitted in one electronic file in the following order:

  • Internal Control Compliance and Ethical Values,
  • Accounting Policies and Procedures, and
  • Accounting System.

Finally, the application may also include up to an additional 100 pages of appendices, for a total of 130 pages, including Phase Two.  Appendices may include resumes, letters of support, organizational charts, financial statements, and other supporting documents. All pages at the end of the appendices that exceed 100 pages will be removed from the application package and will not be evaluated as part of the competitive review.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application. All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at ACF Funding Opportunities Forms or at the Grants.gov Forms Repository unless specified otherwise.

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424C - Budget Information - Construction Programs

and

SF-424D - Assurances - Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a construction project. Standard Forms must be used. Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

Required for all applications when applying for a construction project.  By signing and submitting the SF-424D, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

and

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project. Standard Forms must be used.  Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project. By signing and submitting the SF-424B, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Assurance: Absence of Non-compete Agreement

Submission is required with the application package for all applicants wishing to receive bonus points.   Assurance must be submitted by the application due date.  The format for the assurance is available in the Appendices of this announcement.  See Section V.1. Criteria for more information on bonus points.

Applicants that wish to receive the bonus points must include in their applications the following statement, "On behalf of (organization), I, (name), attest that (organization) does not have a non-compete or other agreement with any entity, at the time this application is submitted, which prohibits the entity from applying for a Head Start or Early Head Start grant on its own behalf or imposes a penalty on that entity for making such application." The statement must be signed by the person who is authorized to sign the application on behalf of the applicant.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application by the application due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  Or, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications.  Submission of the survey is voluntary.   Applicants applying electronically may submit the survey along with the application as part of an appendix or as a separate document.  Hard copy submissions should include the survey in a separate envelope.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due prior at the time of application.  It may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit the SF-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions. Applicants must furnish an executed copy of the Certification Regarding Lobbying prior to award.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of this Certification is required for all applications.


Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-Federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information.If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.
IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  The project description should be concise and complete. It should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested. Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly. In preparing the project description, information that is responsive to each of the requested evaluation criteria must be provided. Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations. It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application in a manner that is clear and complete.

General Expectations and Instructions

ACF is particularly interested in specific project descriptions that focus on outcomes and convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant-funded activity should be placed in an appendix.

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants that are required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria. The topics listed in this section provide a broad overview of what the project description should include while the Criteria in Section V.1. identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the application's project description.  The summary must be clear, accurate, concise, and without reference to other parts of the application.  The abstract must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served. 

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax)
  • E-Mail Address
  • Web Site Address, if applicable

 The project abstract must be single-spaced and limited to one page in length.

Objectives And Need For Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need for assistance, including the nature and scope of the problem, must be demonstrated, and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly and concisely stated. Supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included. Any relevant data based on planning studies or needs assessments should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes.  Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as needed. In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to provide information on the total range of projects currently being conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the funding opportunity announcement.

Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished.  Account for all functions or activities identified in the application.  Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than other approaches. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the outcomes to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished.  Data may be organized and presented as project tasks and subtasks with their corresponding timelines during the project period. For example, each project task could be assigned to a row in the first column of a grid. Then, a unit of time could be assigned to each subsequent column, beginning with the first unit (i.e., week, month, quarter) of the project and ending with the last.  Shading, arrows, or other markings could be used across the applicable grid boxes or cells, representing units of time, to indicate the approximate duration and/or frequency of each task and its start and end dates within the project period.

When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Please see Section V.1. Criteria for program-specific requirements that are the critical elements that will be evaluated in the application review process.

Geographic Location

Describe the precise location of the project and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project. Maps or other graphic aids may be attached.

Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Applicants must provide the following documentation of their legal status:
Legal Status means being established as a public agency under State law or a non-profit under State or Federal law. ACF will accept proof of status as a for-profit organization under State or Federal law.
 
Applicants that are current Head Start or Early Head Start grantees must provide proof of policy council approval of the application required by section 642(c)(2)(D)(iii) of the Head Start Act and 45 CFR § 1304.50(d)(1)(i).

Proof of Non-Profit Status
Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status. Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:
  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS tax-exemption certificate.
  • A statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
  • A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.
  • Any of the items in the subparagraphs immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.
When applying electronically, proof of non-profit status may be submitted as an attachment; however, proof of non-profit status must be submitted prior to award.

Organizational Capacity

  • Organizational charts
  • Board of Directors
  • Financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants/Licensed Public Accountants
  • Contact persons and telephone numbers
  • Names of bond carriers
  • Child care licenses and other documentation of professional accreditation
  • Information on compliance with Federal/State/local government standards
  • Documentation of experience in the program area
  • Any other pertinent information the applicant deems relevant.

Provide a biographical sketch or resume for each key person appointed. Resumes should be no more than two pages in length. Job descriptions for each vacant key position should be included as well. As new key staff are appointed, biographical sketches or resumes will also be required.

Third-Party Agreements

Provide written and signed agreements between grantees and subgrantees, or subcontractors, or other cooperating entities. These agreements must detail the scope of work to be performed, work schedules, remuneration, and other terms and conditions that structure or define the relationship.
Letters Of Support

Provide statements from community, public, and commercial leaders that support the project proposed for funding.   All submissions should be included in the application package or by the application deadline.

 

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is input on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C. The budget justification is a line-item detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance).

Project budget Standard Forms and the budget justification will not count toward page limitations; however, the justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages with fonts of no less than 12-points.

Special Note:
Section 653 of the Act provides that “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be used to pay any part of the compensation of an individual employed by a Head Start agency, if such compensation, including non-Federal funds, exceeds an amount equal to the rate payable for level II of the Executive Schedule under section 5313 of title 5, United States Code.”  The Executive Level II salary of the Federal Executive Pay scale is $179,700 (http://www.opm.gov/oca/12tables/html/ex.asp). The statute also defines the term “compensation” as:

 “(A) includes salary, bonuses, periodic payments, severance pay, the value of any vacation time, the value of a compensatory or paid leave benefit not excluded by subparagraph (B), and the fair market value of any employee perquisite or benefit not excluded by subparagraph (B); and

(B) excludes any Head Start agency expenditure for a health, medical, life insurance, disability, retirement, or any other employee welfare or pension benefit.”

Additional information on the “Statutory Requirement regarding compensation of Head Start staff” is available in the Program Instruction: ACF–PI–HS–08–03.

Provide a narrative budget justification for the first year of the proposed project. The narrative budget justification should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.
General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification.  Both Federal and non-Federal resources (when required) shall be detailed and justified in the budget and budget narrative justification.   "Federal resources" refers only to the ACF grant funds for which you are applying.  "Non-Federal resources" are all other non-ACF Federal and non-Federal resources.  It is suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a columnar format:  first column, object class categories; second column, Federal budget; next column(s), non-Federal budget(s); and last column, total budget.  The budget justification should be in a narrative form.

Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

Justification:  Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known at the time of application.   For each staff person, provide:  the title; time commitment to the project in months; time commitment to the project as a percentage or full-time equivalent; annual salary; grant salary; wage rates; etc.  Do not include the costs of consultants, personnel costs of delegate agencies, or of specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.

Fringe Benefits

Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate.

Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, retirement insurance, taxes, etc.

Travel

Description: Costs of project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization.  (This item does not include costs of consultant travel). 

Justification:  For each trip show:  the total number of traveler(s); travel destination; duration of trip; per diem; mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used to travel out of town; and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances.  If appropriate for this project, travel costs for key staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops should be detailed in the budget.

Equipment

Description:  "Equipment" means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost that equals or exceeds the lesser of:  (a) the capitalization level established by the organization for the financial statement purposes, or (b) $5,000. (Note: Acquisition cost means the net invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit insurance, freight, and installation, shall be included in, or excluded from, acquisition cost in accordance with the organization's regular written accounting practices.)

Justification: For each type of equipment requested provide: a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use on the project; as well as use and/or disposal of the equipment after the project ends. An applicant organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide a copy of its policy, or section of its policy, that includes the equipment definition.

Supplies

Description:  Costs of all tangible personal property other than that included under the Equipment category.

Justification:  Specify general categories of supplies and their costs.  Show computations and provide other information that supports the amount requested.

Contractual

Description:  Costs of all contracts for services and goods except for those that belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc. Include third-party evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contracts with secondary recipient organizations, including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.

Justification:  Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. Recipients and subrecipients, other than States that are required to use 45 C.F.R. Part 92 procedures, must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed at 41 U.S.C. § 403(11), currently set at $100,000.  Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc. available to ACF.

Note: Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each delegate agency, by agency title, along with the same supporting information referred to in these instructions.

Construction

Description:  Costs of construction by applicant or contractor.

Justification:  Provide a detailed budget and narrative in accordance with the instructions for other object class categories.  Identify which construction activities/costs will be contractual and those that the applicant will assume.

Other

Description:  Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to:  local travel; insurance; food; medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs; space and equipment rentals; printing and publication; computer use; training costs, such as tuition and stipends; staff development costs; and administrative costs.

Justification:  Provide computations, a narrative description and a justification for each cost under this category.

Indirect Charges

Description:  Total amount of indirect costs.  This category should be used only when the applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant Federal agency.

Justification:  An applicant that will charge indirect costs to the grant must enclose a copy of the current rate agreement.  If the applicant organization is in the process of initially developing or renegotiating a rate, upon notification that an award will be made, it should immediately develop a tentative indirect cost rate proposal based on its most recently completed fiscal year, in accordance with the cognizant agency's guidelines for establishing indirect cost rates, and submit it to the cognizant agency.  Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposals may also request indirect costs.  When an indirect cost rate is requested, those costs included in the indirect cost pool should not be charged as direct costs to the grant.  Also, if the applicant is requesting a rate that is less than what is allowed under the program, the authorized representative of the applicant organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is accepting a lower rate than allowed.

Program Income

Description:  The estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project.

Justification:  Describe the nature, source and anticipated use of program income in the budget or refer to the pages in the application that contain this information.

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description:  Amounts of non-Federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Justification: If an applicant is relying on match from a third party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter(s) or other documentation) is required to be submitted with the application. Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Item18. "Estimated Funding ($)" on the SF-424.

Note: Applicants are required to fully identify and document in their applications the specific costs or contributions they propose in order to meet a matching or cost-sharing requirement. Applicants are also required to provide documentation in their applications on the sources of funding or contribution(s) and, for in-kind contributions, a justification of how the stated valuation was determined. A grantee's failure to provide the required matching amount will result in the disallowance of Federal funds.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • Electronic applications must be submitted to www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • A DUNS Number and current registration at the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) are required.  DUNS and CCR registration are part of the www.Grants.gov registration process.  See “Get Registered” at http://grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
  • ACF will not accept applications via facsimile or email.
  • The electronic application can be downloaded from www.Grants.gov.
  • It is to an applicant's advantage to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the application due date and time in order to correct any failures found during the application validation check.
  • Electronic submission at www.Grants.gov is two-step process:
    • Submission by the due date and time; and
    • Application validation check.
  • Electronically submitted applications will not pass the validation check at Grants.gov if the AOR does not have a current CCR registration and electronic signature credentials. 
  • Read and observe all application submission requirements provided at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp
  • Observe the formatting requirements and page limitations provided in the Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications section for electronic applications.
  • Carefully read and observe electronic file naming conventions provided in the application submission instructions at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.
  • Use only file formats supported by ACF.  See Section IV.2. Formatting ACF Applications.
  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at http://www.grants.gov/assets/Organization_Steps_Complete_Registration.pdf
  • If applicants encounter any technical difficulties in using www.Grants.gov, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at:1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Applicants should retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Applicants that submit their applications electronically should retain a hard copy of their application package.
  • Contact with the Grants.gov Contact Center prior to the listed due date and time does not ensure acceptance of your application.  If difficulties are encountered, the Grants Management Officer listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts will determine whether the submission issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error.

Application Validation at www.Grants.gov 

After an applicant submits an application; Grants.gov generates a submission receipt via email and also sets the application status to "Received." This receipt verifies the application has been successfully delivered to the Grants.gov system.

Next, Grants.gov verifies the submission is valid by ensuring it does not contain viruses, the funding opportunity announcement is still open, and that the applicant login and applicant DUNS number match. If the submission is valid, Grants.gov generates a submission validation receipt via email and sets the application status to "Validated."

If the application is not validated, the application status is set to "Rejected." The system sends a rejection email notification to the applicant and the applicant must re-submit the application package. See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Each time an application is submitted, or re-submitted, via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time stamp. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps, which result in a validated application and are transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.

Applicants will be provided with an acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time  that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF recognizes that some applicants may have limited or no Internet access, and/or limited computer capacity, which may prohibit them from uploading large files to the Internet at www.Grants.gov. To accommodate such applicants, ACF offers an exemption from required electronic submission. The exemption will allow applicants to submit hard copy, paper applications by hand-delivery, applicant courier, overnight/express mail couriers, or by other representatives of the applicant. 

To receive an exemption from required electronic application submission, applicants must submit a written request to ACF stating that the applicant qualifies for the exemption for one of two reasons:

  • Lack of Internet access or Internet connection, or
  • Limited computer capacity that prevents the uploading of large documents (files) to the Internet at www.Grants.gov.  

Applicants may request and receive the exemption from required electronic application submission by either:

  • Submitting an email request to electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov, or
  • Sending a written request to the Office of Grants Management Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts in this announcement.

An exemption is applicable to all applications submitted by the applicant organization during the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) in which it is received. Applicants need only request an exemption once in a FFY. Applicants will need to request a new exemption from required electronic submission for any succeeding FFY.

Please Note: electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov may be used only to request an exemption from required application submission. All other inquiries must be directed to the appropriate Agency Contact listed in Section VII. of this announcement. Queries submitted to this email address that make requests for any reason other than a request for an exemption will not be acknowledged or answered.

Exemption requests by email to electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov and by postal mail must include:

  • Funding Opportunity Announcement Title,
  • Funding Opportunity Number (FON),
  • The listed Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number,
  • Name of Applicant Organization and DUNS Number,
  • AOR name and contact information,
  • Name and contact information of person to be contacted on matters involving the application, and
  • The reason for which the applicant is requesting an exemption from electronic application submission. The reason must be either the lack of Internet access or connection, or lack of computer capacity that prevents uploading large documents (files) to the Internet. 

Exemption requests must be received by ACF no later than two weeks before the application due date, that is, 14 calendar days prior to the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. If the fourteenth calendar day falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the due date for receipt of an exemption request will move to the next Federal business day that follows the weekend or Federal holiday.

Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

Paper Format Application Submission

An exemption is now required for the submission of paper applications. See "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper format, by mail or delivery, must submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the AOR, and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.6 of this announcement for address information for paper format application submissions.

Applications submitted in paper format must show a DUNS Number. A DUNS Number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.  A DUNS number may be acquired at no cost online at http://www.dnb.com.  To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center: U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711; Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select Option 2, then Option 1).  Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., CST.

As of October 1, 2010, all applicants for Federal grants and cooperative agreements, including those that apply in paper format, are required to have Central Contractor Registration (CCR).  CCR registration is also required for organizations that will receive subawards under Federal grants and cooperative agreements.  CCR registration may be made online at www.ccr.gov or by phone at 1-866-606-8220.

CCR registration must be updated annually from the date of the initial registration. CCR registration is required to be active throughout the period of award.  Lack of CCR registration will prevent ACF from making an award to a recommended applicant.

There is the possibility of heavy traffic at the CCR website on application due dates. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register at the CCR well in advance of the application due date. CCR registration must be active and maintained with current information at all times during which an organization has an active award or an application under consideration.


Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times in this announcement.

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 08/14/2012

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section.  See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications

The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission. 

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.

Please note:

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged. Applications that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be transmitted to ACF though they may have been submitted on time.

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time-stamp. Only those applications with date and time-stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged. 

Mailed Paper Format Applications

The deadline for mailed paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications

Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section. These applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.6.Other Submission Requirements.

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Hand-delivered paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following circumstances: 

  • Applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are considered late when they are dated and time-stamped after the deadline of 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • Paper format applications received by mail or hand-delivery after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
  • Paper format applications received from applicant organizations that were not approved for an exemption from required electronic application submission under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Submission will be disqualified.

Extensions and/or Waiving Due Date and Receipt Time Requirements

ACF may extend an application due date and receipt time when circumstances make it impossible for applicants to submit their applications on time. These events include natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or when there are widespread disruptions of electrical service, or mail service, or in other rare cases. The determination to extend or waive due date and/or receipt time requirements rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. Agency Contacts.


Acknowledgement from
www.Grants.gov of an electronic application's submission:

Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov Tracking Number. Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time stamp, which serves as the official record of the application's submission. The date and time-stamp must reflect a submission time on, or before, 11:59 p.m., ET, on the application due date. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Each time an application is submitted, or resubmitted, via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time-stamp. Only those applications with on-time date and time-stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.

Applicants will be provided with an acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:

Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of a paper format (hard copy) application's submission:

ACF will provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (SPOC)

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." Under the Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 6th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions, are considered unallowable costs under grants or cooperative agreements awarded under this funding opportunity announcement.

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Submission By Mail

Office of Head Start
OHS Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road
Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Hand Delivery

Office of Head Start
OHS Operations Center
c/o Lux Consulting Group
8405 Colesville Road
Suite 600
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2 for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via http://www.Grants.gov.

For all submissions, see Section IV.3 for information on due dates and times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated using the criteria described in this section. The corresponding point values indicate the relative importance placed on each review criterion. Points will be allocated based on the extent to which the application proposal addresses each of the criteria listed. Applicants should address these criteria in their application materials, particularly in the project description and budget justification, as they are the basis upon which competing applications will be judged during the objective review. The required elements of the project description and budget justification may be found in Section IV.2 of this announcement.

In considering how applicants will carry out the responsibilities addressed under this funding opportunity announcement, competing applications for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria.   The review of applications under this funding opportunity announcement is structured in two phases.  Please see Section V.2. Application Review Information, Review and Selection Process for more information on the Phase One and Phase Two reviews.

PHASE ONE

 
Demonstration of Need for Child Development and Health Services: Location, Population, and Service Delivery Options Maximum Points: 20

Overview

In this section, the application must identify the specific geographic location(s) to be served and provide data-based evidence about why that geographic area is in high need of Head Start services, such as the number of eligible children, the extent to which children from low-income families are not meeting school readiness goals, the number of families in extreme poverty, jobless rates, high incidents of community health problems or violence, or other similar factors. If necessary, applications can include other methods to collect data on the need for services such as informal surveys, community meetings, questionnaires, and interviews.

The application must describe proposed program options.  This includes how many children will be served; the types of Head Start services they will provide; as well as the number of hours per day, days per week, weeks per year, and home visits that meet the needs of families, including the role of child care partners.  Applications that propose the home-based option must include the proposed number of home visits and socializations. Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the proposed program options respond to the needs of the community in relation to available or unavailable services in the community. The application should describe how the Head Start program will partner with other programs or services in the community to meet the needs of low-income families to be served.

Head Start is 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 Head Start funds awarded through this funding opportunity announcement do not supplant existing services. Thus, an entity receiving a Head Start grant must: 1) expand the number of children it is serving relative to the number it would serve in the absence of the grant, and/or 2) improve the services provided to children it would serve in the absence of the grant.  In this section, applicants should describe how the number of children served and the type of services received would be affected if the applicant is awarded a grant to implement the proposed set of services.

Criteria

  • Identifies the geographic location the applicant proposes to serve. The application defines the area(s) of greatest need and shows how it will direct Head Start resources to these areas.
  • Provides evidence of presence in the community proposed to be served. (For example, being a provider of services in the community, or indicating support from community agencies, service provider organizations, community agencies serving low-income families, or other relevant sectors.)
  • Demonstrates community engagement.  The applicant discusses its plans or the process for involvement of service providers, public or private entities, and other members of the community in determining the need for services in the geographic locations proposed by the applicant. The applicant must include evidence of plans to collaborate with public or private entities providing early childhood education and development programs, and services for young children in the proposed service area in order to improve the efficiency of service delivery, increase access to needed services, and prevent duplication. Demonstration of community engagement may include memoranda of understanding that provide commitments of exchange of services, resource support, referrals, or other agreements.
  • Provides a detailed description of the plan to meet the need for child development services for Head Start eligible children and families (including the estimated number of eligible children by geographic location, and the estimated number of children needing full-day and full-year care); the needs of children with disabilities including procedures to identify such children; the needs of dual language learners; as well as the needs of homeless children and children in foster care and their transportation needs. Includes data regarding the education, health, nutrition, social, child care, and other service needs of the proposed children and families.
  • Justifies the program option or options as most appropriate for the communities in which the applicant proposes to provide services (e.g., part or full-day center-based, home-based, family child care or combination option, including the number of children to be served by each option). The application specifies how the proposed number of hours per day, days per week, weeks per year, and home visits meets the needs of families, including the role of child care partners.  Applicants proposing the home-based option include the proposed number of home visits and socializations. The applicant's proposed program option(s) support(s) the needs of children and families as described in response to the evaluation criteria listed above. If the identified need in the community includes working families, the applicant describes how its proposed program option will meet this need either through direct services and/or referrals to other services in the community.
  • Describes how children and families will be recruited and selected for the program to ensure that services will be provided to those who have the most serious need for Head Start services. The applicant describes how the program will ensure that not less than 10 percent of the total number of children actually enrolled will be children with disabilities.
  • Describes a plan to increase the number of low-income children the applicant proposes to serve, and/or how it will improve quality for children currently served. The applicant includes the number of children it currently serves in early education and other related programs, how many it would serve in the absence of this grant, and how many it would serve if awarded this grant.
Achieving Early Learning and Development Outcomes to Promote School Readiness for Children Maximum Points: 40

Overview

Head Start is designed to help 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. Head Start is governed by Program Performance Standards that define the scope of services necessary to support children's development and school readiness.  The application must demonstrate the capabilities to implement and sustain a plan for providing comprehensive, high-quality educational, health, mental health, nutritional, oral health, and other social services to children and their families that prepare children to succeed in school. To this end, the applicants must describe how they will implement program components, including the curriculum that will be used, why that curriculum was chosen above other curricula or approaches and the evidence basis that the curriculum effectively improves school readiness.  The application also must include information about how the applicant will meet the health, nutrition, and family engagement goals of children, including how effectiveness and quality will be measured, monitored, and improved upon over time.  The applicant must show how it will use child assessment data to inform and improve program practices overall and how these data will be used to tailor instruction and other supports to the needs of individual children; how they will provide ongoing professional development, including regular observation and feedback; how they will engage parents in their roles as teachers and advocates for their children; and how they will partner with local education agencies to create continuity for children across systems. 

The application must also describe how the applicant will meet the unique needs of special populations, including children with disabilities, dual language learners, homeless children, children in working families, and children in foster care.

The application will be evaluated based on the degree to which the proposed program will meet the developmental and school readiness needs of children in the community, including the special populations described above. The applicant should provide information about why it made various programmatic choices, including, where applicable, how its choices reflect the best practices in the field as well as the unique needs of the community it will serve.

If applicable, the application provides information about proposed delegate agencies, how those delegate agencies were chosen, and how the grantee's oversight will ensure the delegate agencies implement high-quality programs that adhere to the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

Criteria

  • The application provides a plan to implement a high-quality, comprehensive program for the population the applicant proposes to serve, using a curriculum that:

- Is based on scientifically valid research;

- Is developmentally appropriate;

- Promotes the school readiness of participating children in each of the following domains: language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development, and social and emotional development;

- Is aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and, as appropriate, State early learning standards; and

- The application specifies the name of the curriculum or curricula, the process for selecting the curriculum, why the curriculum was chosen over specific other options, and how the curriculum is tied to outcomes for children.  The applicant discusses what tools it will use to support domains that the selected curriculum does not support.

  • The application describes the process for establishing school readiness goals, including the plans to address the domains of: 

- Language and literacy development,

- Cognition and general knowledge,

- Approaches toward learning,

- Physical well being and motor development, and

- Social and emotional development.

School readiness goals reflect the ages of children, three to five, who will be participating in the program and must be culturally and linguistically appropriate, and align with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework, State early learning guidelines, and the requirements and expectations of schools the children will attend after Head Start. The application explains the extent to which school readiness goals were or will be established in consultation with the parents of children who will be participating in the program.

  • The application describes how the applicant will meet the needs of children with disabilities, including procedures to identify such children, plans to provide trained personnel, and plans to provide services to assist the children in making meaningful progress in attaining age-appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities, and development.
  • The application describes how the applicant will meet the unique needs of the targeted population, including children in the child welfare system, dual language learners, and homeless children.  The application describes the procedures to identify such children, plans to provide trained personnel, and plans to provide services to assist these children in making meaningful progress in attaining age-appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities, and development.
  • The application describes how the applicant will meet the health, mental health, nutritional, and oral health needs of children. The application describes the system for health screening and services that will ensure children are accurately referred for necessary follow-up evaluation and treatment within timeframes specified by Head Start regulations.  Screening and services for identified needs should include, at a minimum, health, sensory, developmental, and oral health, and may be provided directly or through community partner providers.
  • The application describes a plan for implementing a system of regular observation of professional development, teacher-child interaction, feedback, and improvement of classroom practices. The application includes the name of instruments to be utilized.
  • The application describes a plan to use child assessment data to individualize the instruction and learning for each child, and as necessary refer for additinoal evaluation and intervention, and to aggregate and analyze child-level assessment data at least three times per year (except for programs operating less than 90 days, which will be required to do so at least twice within their operating program period) and use that analysis in combination with other program data to determine grantees' progress toward meeting its goals, to inform parents and the community of results, and to direct continuous improvement related to curriculum, instruction, professional development, program design, and other program decisions.
  • The application describes a plan to coordinate with public and private entities that are willing to commit resources to assist the applicant in providing high-quality child health and developmental services, and program management services. Such partnerships must include a plan to coordinate the proposed Head Start program with other child care and preschool programs, State pre-Kindergarten programs, programs under Part C and Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with the educational programs that children to be served will enter upon leaving Head Start.
  • The application provides a plan to facilitate the meaningful engagement of parents (including fathers, grandparents, and kinship caregivers, as appropriate) in activities (at home and, if practicable, at the location of the Head Start program) designed to help them become full partners in the education of their children. Such engagement includes participation in the conduct of the program, leadership opportunities, support for the parent-child relationship, opportunities for employment, and other paths to improved financial well being and continuity as children move to kindergarten and beyond. The application identifies and addresses barriers to parent participation, such as lack of transportation access or need for child care.
  • The application explains the plan to implement the Head Start Parent Family and Community Engagement Framework and to offer family literacy and parenting skills training using evidence-based curricula and approaches directly or through referral to local entities, public and school libraries, and entities carrying out family support programs. The application includes a plan to offer (either directly or through referrals) other support for families struggling with mental health challenges, domestic violence, homelessness, or substance abuse, including information on the effect of drug exposure on infants and fetal alcohol syndrome.

 

Past Performance Maximum Points: 20

Overview

This section identifies the qualifications and experience of the applicant.  The applicant provides evidence of organizational experience (including the experience of key leaders in the organization) that supports its ability to implement a comprehensive child development program.  Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the application demonstrates a high-functioning program with a competent management team and effective systems with demonstrated capacity to use data to inform continuous improvement in such areas as professional development, instructional practices, and family engagement.

The application must provide detailed information about how their past experience in early education (or related fields) and in communities similar to the targeted community, will enable them to operate a successful Head Start program.  The application should provide evidence of the quality of the early education programs or related programs they have operated in the past.  Reviewers will evaluate the degree to which the application provides evidence of the quality of services to be provided based on licensing, accreditation, ratings, or independent evaluations of programs, outcome data for children, or other information provided. 

The application provides information about the past experience of organizations with which it proposes to delegate all or part of their services to children and families.  Please note that if the applicant is a current or former Head Start or Early Head Start grantee, ACF will retrieve and review the grantee's last two OHS triennial monitoring reports, plus any other OHS monitoring reports issued in the five years preceding the posting of this funding opportunity announcement.

The application must explain the ways (if any) in which their past experience - or the past experience of any delegate agencies - differs from operating a Head Start program, generally and as compared to the program the applicant is proposing to implement.  The applicant must discuss how it will address these differences and succeed in providing effective, high-quality, comprehensive Head Start services.

Criteria

  • Demonstrates how the applicant's history and experience, based on past performance providing high-quality early education or other related programs, supports its ability to effectively and efficiently administer a project of the size, complexity, and scope of their proposed program.  Reviewers will evaluate evidence of experience, including:

- Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) rating,

- Record of high performance in the early primary grades by children formerly enrolled in the program,

- Evidence from use of teacher-child interaction rating system,

- Evidence of successful staff development system leading to highly qualified staff, and

- Evidence of high level of success improving family self-sufficiency.

Applicants that serve or have served as delegate agencies to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees that met or exceeded the performance standards and measures must provide documentation of their past performance. 

  • Demonstrates how the professional experience of the applicant's proposed management team (executive director, program director, managers), based on past performance providing comprehensive, high-quality early care and education, documents an ability to effectively and efficiently administer a project of this size, complexity, and scope within the service area. 
  • The application explains how the applicant's past performance and experience will inform its administration of the Head Start program it will operate and will help ensure a high-quality Head Start program. To the degree that the applicant is currently operating a program that differs from the Head Start program being proposed - such as differences in the target population, the set of services provided, the structure of the program (the hours, days, or weeks of operation), the mechanisms for quality assurance and improvement, the early learning standards to be used, and the performance measurement system - the applicant identifies these differences and explains how it will successfully adapt to the differences between its current program and the proposed program. 

 

Staffing and Supporting a Strong Early Learning Workforce Maximum Points: 20

Overview

In this section the application must describe the qualifications and experience of the applicant staff in planning, organizing, and providing comprehensive child development services at the community level.  The application must address: (1) how the applicant will facilitate strong educator-child relationships that support children's development; (2) how it will ensure that staff are able to implement evidence-based instructional practices that are individualized based on the ongoing assessment of each child to support positive child outcomes; and (3) how it will ensure that family service workers will be able to successfully partner with families in supporting children's development.  The application also must describe how the applicant will attract and retain qualified staff; how it will support staff, through the regular provision of feedback, coaching, and other mechanisms; and how it will assess staff performance and address under-performing staff.

The application also must describe the management staff's knowledge of Head Start's broad requirements and how it will ensure that all program staff understand how those standards are applicable to them.  

Criteria

  • Documents that the proposed program director and proposed key staff are qualified and knowledgeable about administering complex social service programs or early education services.  The applicant describes its key staff's major functions and responsibilities in the narrative, and includes their resumes in the appendix.
  • Provides a clear plan to attract and retain qualified staff with the ability to implement a research-based curriculum, aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and State early learning standards, effective instructional strategies, and a high-quality comprehensive program.
  • Describes what share of classroom teachers are expected to have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field. Demonstrates how all employees in center-based programs meet the requirements of the Head Start Act for staff qualifications set in Section 648A:

- For classroom teachers - associate degree in early childhood education; (ii) an associate degree in a related field and coursework equivalent to a major relating to early childhood education, with experience teaching preschool-age children; or (iii) a baccalaureate degree and has been admitted into the Teach For America program, passed a rigorous early childhood content exam, such as the Praxis II, participated in a Teach For America summer training institute that includes teaching preschool children, and is receiving ongoing professional development and support from Teach For America's professional staff.

- For assistant teachers - by September 30, 2013, have at least a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential; be enrolled in a program leading to an associate or baccalaureate degree; or be enrolled in a CDA credential program to be completed within 2 years.

  • The application describes the plan to maintain child-to-teacher, home visitor, or family child care provider ratios, and family service worker caseloads that comply with regulations, reflect best practices and are tied to high-quality service delivery in the event of staff absences or vacancies.
  • The application describes the plan to provide opportunities for qualified parents and other community residents to seek employment and how these opportunities will be designed to improve the quality of the proposed program.  The applicant explains how it will provide career development opportunities for professional, paraprofessional, and other staff and how those opportunities will improve the quality of the proposed program.
  • The application describes a clear plan to evaluate job applicants, including existing grantee staff, to determine which applicants are most capable of contributing to the implementation of a high-quality comprehensive program, including research-based curriculum aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and State early learning standards. The application describes how these staff evaluations will be used in the hiring process.
  • The application describes an ongoing strategy for professional development, peer support, supervision, ongoing observations, coaching and mentoring, and evaluation of staff and program managers, oriented to improving the skills, knowledge, effectiveness, and career opportunities of all employees.  The application describes the process for how it will manage underperforming staff.   The applicant also describes how it has used these strategies in the past, their past successes and challenges, and any modifications it would make in the context of implementing the Head Start program it is proposing.
Organizational Capacity and Governance Maximum Points: 25

Overview

This section measures the applicant's ability to effectively implement and oversee operations which comply with applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.  The applicant describes its internal systems for communication, record keeping, reporting, and ongoing monitoring. The application provides evidence of past success in organizational management and successful governance.

The applicant should address how its management system supports its ability to direct change based on the ongoing collection and analysis of relevant data (child assessment, community assessment, assessment of professional development and training, ongoing monitoring, and other sources). 

Applicants must also demonstrate capacity to effectively implement a system of governance, taking into account the ultimate responsibility of the agency Board as well as the crucial role of the Policy Council and parents in decision making.  The applicant provides information about how its current governance structure would change (if at all) to meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

The application describes mechanisms for ensuring fiscal integrity, timely implementation of services, and strong coordination with broader early childhood systems.  

Criteria

  • The application provides a plan identifying the capacity of the applicant's 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) assure 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.
  • The applicant explains how its organizational oversight meets the program governance requirements established in Section 642(c) of the Head Start Act. The applicant provides information about how its current governance structure would change (if at all) to meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards.
  • Demonstrates the existence of management systems for program planning, internal and external communication, recordkeeping, issuance of internal and external reports and program self-assessment and monitoring.
  • Demonstrates the applicant's ability to provide effective financial management in operating a Head Start program, based on experience.
  • If proposing to delegate all or part of its responsibility for operating a Head Start program, the application identifies proposed delegate agencies including the communities in which they will operate, the number of children served, and their proposed program option(s).
  • The application describes plans to meet or exceed State and local requirements concerning licensing for facilities, and to be accessible by State and local authorities for purposes of monitoring and ensuring compliance, unless State or local laws prohibit such access.  Where facilities are not available, the application provides a plan to acquire facilities in accordance with the requirements provided for the purchase, construction, and major renovation of facilities described in 45 CFR Part 1309.
  • Demonstrates the ability to provide timely and efficient implementation of all program components and services, including planning during the transition period, the availability of classroom space and facilities that meets applicable State and local licensing standards, the ability to provide necessary transportation and the ability to recruit eligible children and families. The application includes an implementation timetable that expressly states when children will begin receiving Head Start services.
  • The applicant provides plans to coordinate with other state programs and participates in state systems of early childhood development, including the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) or the state equivalent.  If applicant participates in QRIS, includes rating. If applicable, the applicant explains why it does not participate if there is a QRIS in its geographic area.
Budget and Budget Justification Maximum Points: 15

Overview

Reviewers will evaluate the extent to which the project costs are appropriate and reasonable in view of the activities to be carried out and the anticipated outcomes.  The budget provided in the application should reflect the applicant's commitment to meeting the community's need with regard to the program option(s), recruiting and retaining high performing staff, offering high-quality services, and establishing ongoing professional development and continuous evidence based quality improvement.  Additionally, the application provides evidence of the checks and balances and internal controls necessary to both safeguard and ensure the efficient and most effective use of federal funds. 

Criteria

  • Demonstrates that funds are budgeted to provide all required comprehensive Head Start services to eligible children and families in a cost-effective manner as indicated in the application narrative.
  • Demonstrates that start-up costs are justified, reasonable and applicable based on the applicant's proposed Head Start program. Start-up costs may include ensuring that proposed facilities comply with State and local requirements and are adequately equipped, classroom equipment and supplies, and/or staff background checks.
  • Demonstrates that the applicant will contribute the required non-federal share/match of the total project cost, using allowable sources.

 

Bonus Points Maximum Points: 10

In the interest of ensuring a robust competition for high-quality, comprehensive early care and education service providers, we are awarding bonus points to applicant organizations that do not have agreements that prohibit another entity from applying for a Head Start or Early Head Start grant on its own behalf or imposes a penalty on another entity for making such application.  Applicants that wish to receive the bonus points must include in their applications the following statement, "On behalf of (organization), I, (name), attest that (organization) does not have a non-compete or other agreement with any entity, at the time this application is submitted, which prohibits the entity from applying for a Head Start or Early Head Start grant on its own behalf or imposes a penalty on that entity for making such application." The statement must be signed by the person who is authorized to sign the application on behalf of the applicant. 

 

PHASE TWO Maximum Points: 0

Phase Two is a financial review that will be performed by financial experts contracted by ACF. This review will be used to determine risk and whether an applicant should be considered as Low (low to no risk), Medium (some minor deficiencies are determined), or High (high risk). Points will not be assessed, but the Phase Two review will assist ACF in making award decisions.

The narrative response to this section will be evaluated in the Phase Two financial review that consists of three sections:

  • Section 1: Financial Management Systems - Evaluates the applicant's ability to administer Federal funds properly.
  • Section 2: Financial Capability - Evaluates the applicant's ability to sustain operations and perform the planned program.
  • Section 3: Additional Information - Collects information on the applicants' Single Audit opinions (if applicable) for the past two years, as well as the applicant's cost allocation methodology (if applicable). Applicants that did not have Single Audits conducted for the past two years should submit their two most recent fiscal years' financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as well as the last two years of audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants or Licensed Public Accountants.

Please see Section V.2. Application Review Information, Review and Selection Process for more information on the Phase Two financial review.

Internal Control Compliance and Ethical Values

  • Demonstrates the existence of internal control characteristics described in the context of the Internal Control-Integrated Framework (COSO Report) by describing how the applicant's internal control framework relates to the five components of internal controls explained in the COSO Report.
  • Demonstrates a plan to maintain strong fiscal controls and cost effective fiscal management and to comply with 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

- Describes policies and procedures to achieve compliance with post-award requirements referenced in 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

  • Describes the applicant's commitment to high ethical standards in relation to written policies and programs inherent within the organization.

Accounting Policies and Procedures

  • Details the applicant's accounting policies and procedures, specifically addressing how the applicant segregates and identifies direct and indirect costs within the organization.
  • Describes the applicant's purchasing policies and system(s) for the review of costs that are directly associated with grant objectives.

- Describes how the applicant utilizes a logical and consistent method for the allocation of indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objectives relating to specific grants or contracts.

        • Makes reference to indirect rate agreements, if applicable, or the plan for cost allocation within the organization.
        • Identifies the process of collection of indirect costs, calculation of rate(s), and the application or allocation of costs to specific grants.
        • Describes how Head Start resources will be combined with other early childhood funding sources, if applicable, and describe how the applicant will properly allocate costs. 
        • Identifies whether the current or anticipated accounting system is capable of performing the task of indirect cost collection and allocation to specific grants, and describes the review of indirect cost information entered into the accounting system.
        • Identifies any manual processes for indirect cost allocation used in performing the calculation of rate(s), application to specific grants, and review of indirect cost information entered into the accounting system.
  • Details any exclusion of costs charged to government contracts and grants which represent amounts deemed unallowable under the cost principles appropriate for the applicant.

- Describes the process for identification of unallowable costs under the appropriate set of cost principles for the applicant.

  • Describes applicant's ability to meet the 15 percent limitation on development and administrative costs (45 CFR Part 1301.32).

Accounting System

  • Describes the applicant's current accounting system used and the date of implementation of the system.  Identify any modules currently in use by the applicant, such as billing, indirect rate application, and payroll modules.
  • Details the applicant's accounting system expected to be implemented upon award if the applicant expects to employ a new system.

- Outlines the timeframe for the implementation of the new system.

  • Describes the groupings of accounts associated with the following cost allocation pools:

- Direct costs and expenditures

- Indirect costs including fringe benefits, if not charged to direct costs, overhead costs, and general and administrative costs

- Unallowable costs

  • Describes the applicant's timekeeping system that identifies employees' labor by intermediate or final cost objectives.

- Details how the applicant segregates responsibilities for labor-related activities within the system.

- Identifies whether the timekeeping system is manual or automated.

        • If the applicant's timekeeping system is automated, identifies the name of the system utilized, the review processes in place, and the procedures used to correct timekeeping errors within the system.
  • Describes the applicant's labor distribution system that charges direct and indirect labor to the appropriate cost objectives.

- Identifies the applicant's process for the application of payroll costs from the timekeeping system to the specific charge codes relating to specific grants identified in the system.

- Describes the applicant's review process of payroll costs applied to individual grants.

V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant that does not have an active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).
 
Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets one of the following disqualification criteria as described in Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors

  • Applications that are designated as late according to Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times,
  • Applications that are submitted in paper format without prior approval of an exemption from required electronic submission (Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission), or
  • Applications with requests that exceed the award ceiling stated in Section II. Award Information

For those applications that have been disqualified under the initial ACF screening, notice will be provided by postal mail or by email. See Section IV.3. Explanation of Due Dates for information on Grants.gov's and ACF's acknowledgment of received applications.

Objective Review and Results

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of this announcement. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding. They are one element in the decision-making process.

ACF may elect not to fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. Applications may be funded in whole or in part. Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested.  ACF reserves the right to consider preferences to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty. ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of Federal funds in its award decisions.

ACF may refuse funding for projects with what it regards as unreasonably high start-up costs for facilities or equipment, or for projects with unreasonably high operating costs.

This funding opportunity announcement is structured into two phases.

Phase One

Phase One is organized around six core elements of an effective Head Start program that is focused on school readiness and ongoing academic success.  Phase One will result in a numerical score as evaluated by a panel of non-Federal reviewers. Applications that score highly in the Phase One review will proceed to Phase Two.

Phase Two

Phase Two is a financial review that will be performed by financial experts contracted by ACF. This review will be used to determine risk and whether an applicant should be considered as Low (low to no risk), Medium (some minor deficiencies are determined), or High (high risk).

This review will not change the scores or rankings determined by the objective review panel but will assist ACF in making award decisions.

The financial review of Head Start applicants serves to determine the financial health of an applicant based on information provided in the application package, including, submitted financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and/or audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants/Licensed Public Accountants, grantee monitoring reports, and A-133 compliance audits. 

The financial review consists of three sections:

  • Section 1: Financial Management Systems - Evaluates the applicant's ability to administer Federal funds properly.
  • Section 2: Financial Capability - Evaluates the applicant's ability to sustain operations and perform the planned program.
  • Section 3: Additional Information - Collects information on the applicants' Single Audit opinions (if applicable) for the past two years, as well as the applicant's cost allocation methodology (if applicable). Applicants that did not have Single Audits conducted for the past two years should submit their two most recent fiscal years' financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as well as the last two years of audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants or Licensed Public Accountants.

The following questions will be used in the Phase Two financial review:

Section 1: Financial Management Systems

A.  Internal Control

1. Are standard financial and operating controls in place to ensure assets and information are protected against fraud, waste and abuse, and mismanagement of Federal funds?

B. Accounting System

2. At a minimum, does the organization prepare financial statements annually?

Section 2: Financial Capability

1. Is the applicant's current liquidity ratio of 1:1 or higher?  The current liquidity ratio = current assets/current liabilities.

2. Is the applicant's overall debt-to-asset ratio of 1:1 or less?  The debt-to-asset ratio = total debt/total assets.

Section 3: Additional Information

1. Has the applicant received a Qualified, Disclaimer, or Adverse audit opinion in the past two years for any Federal grant program?

2. Have the materially non-compliant finding(s), which caused the Qualified, Disclaimer, or Adverse audit opinion, been resolved?

3. If indirect costs are requested, does the organization have a current negotiated indirect cost rate agreement that covers some or all of the project period?

4. Is there a methodology to allocate indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objectives relating to specific grants or contracts?  The methodology should:

    • Describe the process of collection of indirect costs, calculation of rate, and the application or allocation of costs to specific grants;
    • Describe how Head Start resources will be combined with other early childhood funding sources, if applicable, and describe how the applicant will properly allocate costs.

Additional Review and Funding Considerations

In keeping with Section 641(d)(3) of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, HHS shall give priority to applicants that have demonstrated capacity in providing effective, comprehensive, and well-coordinated early childhood education and development services and programs to children and their families.

Please note that if the applicant is a current or former Head Start or Early Head Start grantee, ACF will retrieve and review the grantee's last two OHS triennial monitoring reports, plus any other OHS monitoring reports issued in the five years preceding the posting of this funding opportunity announcement.

ACF reserves the right to deny funding to any applicant that is presently designated as "high risk," probationary or not in good standing, or has been debarred or defunded by any Federal agency. ACF reserves the right not to fund applicants with unacceptably high Federal Head Start per-child costs when other highly ranked applications are available. Additionally, ACF may decide not to fund projects that would require unreasonably large initial start-up costs for facilities or equipment or which require unreasonably large ongoing funding levels relative to the number of additional children and families proposed to be served.

Applications that are not from entities "in the community" to be served do not meet the requirements for designation as a Head Start agency in Section 641 of the Head Start Act. ACF will consider all "qualified applicants in such community" as required by Section 641(d) where the application 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. 

As a condition of acceptance of an award under this funding opportunity announcement, 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.

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-Federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval that were not funded under the competition because of the lack of available funds may be held over by ACF and reconsidered in a subsequent review cycle if a future competition under the program area is planned.  These applications will be held over for a period of up to one year and will be re-competed for funding with all other competing applications in the next available review cycle.  For those applications that have been deemed as approved but unfunded, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date.
VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NoA) that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-Federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail or email. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance. 

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the uniform administrative requirements and cost principles of 45 C.F.R. Part 74 (Awards And Subawards To Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Nonprofit Organizations, And Commercial Organizations) or 45 C.F.R. Part 92 (Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State, Local, And Tribal Governments).  The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is available at http://www.gpo.gov.

An application funded with the release of Federal funds through a grant award does not constitute, or imply, compliance with Federal regulations.  Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable Federal regulations.

Prohibition Against Profit

Grantees are subject to the limitations set forth in 45 C.F.R. Part 74, Subpart E-Special Provisions for Awards to Commercial Organizations (45 C.F.R.  Part 74.81_Prohibition against profit), which states that, "... no HHS funds may be paid as profit to any recipient even if the recipient is a commercial organization.  Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs." 

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 C.F.R. Part 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the [Health and Human Services] Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as religious instruction, worship, or proselytization as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department."  Therefore, organizations must take steps to completely separate the presentation of any program with religious content from the presentation of the Federally funded program by time or location in such a way that it is clear that the two programs are separate and distinct. If separating the two programs by time but presenting them in the same location, one program must completely end before the other program begins.

A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from Federal, State, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with Federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a faith-based organization that receives Federal funds retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS funded activities. 

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against Federal funding of inherently religious activities, Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/about/regulations/. Additional information, resources, and tools for faith-based organizations is available through The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships website at http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/index.html and at the Administration for Children & Families: Toolkit for Faith-based and Community Organizations.

Award Term and Condition under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the requirements of Section 106 (g) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (22 U.S.C. § 7104).  For the full text of the award term, go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/award_term.html.  If you are unable to access this link, please contact the Grants Management Contact identified in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement to obtain a copy of the term.

Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. § 8102 et seq.) requires that all organizations receiving grants from any Federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. By signing the application, the Authorizing Official agrees that the grantee will provide a drug-free workplace and will comply with the requirement to notify ACF if an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. Government wide requirements for Drug-Free Workplace for Financial Assistance are found in 2 C.F.R. part 182; HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 2 C.F.R. part 382.400. All recipients of ACF grant funds must comply with the requirements in Subpart B - Requirements for Recipients Other Than Individuals, 2 C.F.R. part 382.225. The rule is available at Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace.

Debarment and Suspension

HHS regulations published in 2 CFR part 376 implement the governmentwide debarment and suspension system guidance (2 CFR part 180) for HHS' non-procurement programs and activities. "Non-procurement transactions" include, among other things, grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, and loans. ACF implements the HHS Debarment and Suspension regulations as a term and condition of award. Grantees may decide the method and frequency by which this determination is made and may check the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) located at https://www.epls.gov/, although checking the EPLS is not required. More information is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Pro-Children Act

The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. §§ 7181 through 7184, imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children's services are provided. HHS grants are subject to these requirements only if they meet the Act's specified coverage.  The Act specifies that smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children under the age of 18.  In addition, smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility or portion of a facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of federally funded health care, day care, or early childhood development, including Head Start services to children under the age of 18.  The statutory prohibition also applies if such facilities are constructed, operated, or maintained with Federal funds.  The statute does not apply to children's services provided in private residences, facilities funded solely by Medicare or Medicaid funds, portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 per violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.  ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements.  Appendices to the HHS GPS include a glossary of terms and a list of standard abbreviations for ease of reference.  The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Notice of Award (NoA). The HHS GPS is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_related.html

 
Other Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The regulations relevant to Head Start (known as the Program Performance Standards) are:

  • 45 CFR Part 1301, Head Start Grant Administration
  • 45 CFR Part 1302, Policies and Procedures for Selection, Initial Funding and Refunding of Head Start Grantees, and for Selection of Replacement Grantees
  • 45 CFR Part 1303, Appeal Procedures for Head Start Grantees and Current or Prospective Delegate Agencies
  • 45 CFR Part 1304, Program Performance Standards for the Operation of Head Start Programs by Grantees and Delegate Agencies
  • 45 CFR Part 1305, Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance in Head Start
  • 45 CFR Part 1306, Head Start Staffing Requirements and Program Options
  • 45 CFR Part 1307, Policies and Procedures for Designation Renewal of Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees
  • 45 CFR Part 1308, Head Start Program Performance Standards on Services for Children with Disabilities
  • 45 CFR Part 1309, Head Start Facilities Purchase, Major Renovation & Construction
  • 45 CFR Part 1310, Head Start Transportation
  • And all applicable grant regulations

Copies of the current applicable Head Start regulations are available at the websites identified at the end of this announcement. In addition, copies of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars that apply to Head Start grantees can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/grants_circulars.html

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this funding opportunity announcement will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. The frequency of required reporting is listed later in this section.  Final reports may be submitted in hard copy to the Grants Management Office Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement.  Instructions on submission of reports electronically will be provided with award documents.

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

ACF grantees are required to submit the SF-PPR Cover Page. ACF Program Offices that utilize reporting forms or formats in addition to, or instead of, the SF-PPR have listed the reporting requirements later in this section.

Grant award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use.  Grantees should consult their award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.  Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period.

Final program performance reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  The SF-PPR may be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

As of February 1, 2011, HHS began the transition from use of the SF-269, Financial Status Report (Short Form or Long Form) to the use of the SF-425 Federal Financial Report for expenditure reporting. SF-269s will no longer be accepted for expenditure reports due after that date. If an SF-269 is submitted, the ACF will return it and require the recipient to complete the SF-425.

The transition strategy is allowing individual HHS Operating Divisions to select--from a limited number of options--the approach that best fits their programs and business process. This transition does not affect completion or submission of the cash reporting to the HHS Division of Payment Management's Payment Management System (PMS). The primary features of this transition for recipients are that OPDIVs that previously required electronic submission of the SF-269 will receive the SF-425 expenditure reports electronically and, until further notice, OPDIVs that have been receiving expenditure reports in hard copy will continue to do so.

All expenditure reports will be due on one of the standard due dates by which cash reporting is required to be submitted to PMS or at the end of a calendar quarter as determined by the Operating Division. As a result, a recipient that receives awards from more than one OPDIV may be subject to more than one approach, but will not be required to change its current means of submission or be subjected to more than eight standard due dates.

Beginning with budget periods which end from January 1 - March 31, 2011, and for all budget periods thereafter, all affected ACF grantees will be required to submit an SF-425 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award using due dates for reports to PMS.
 

For budget periods ending in the months of:

The FFR (SF-425) is due to ACF on:

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


Fillable versions of the SF-425 form in Adobe PDF and MS-Excel formats, along with instructions, are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms, www.forms.gov, and on the ACF Funding Opportunity Website Forms page.

Further instructions will be provided, as necessary, with award terms and conditions that will address specific reporting periods and due dates on an award-by-award basis. Additional information on frequency of reporting is available on the ACF Funding Opportunities website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/msg_sf425.html.

For planning purposes, ACF reporting periods for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

 
Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually
Financial Reports: Semi-Annually

Awards issued as a result of this funding opportunity may be subject to the Transparency Act subaward and executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 C.F.R. Part 170.  See ACF's Award Term for Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirement implementing this requirement and additional award applicability information.

SF-428 Tangible Property Report and SF-429 Real Property Status Report


As of April 1, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families will begin requiring the use of the SF-428 (Tangible Personal Property Form) as well as the SF-429 (Real Property Status Report).


The SF-428 is a standard form to be used by awarding agencies to collect information related to tangible personal property (equipment and supplies) when required by a Federal financial assistance award. The form consists of the cover sheet (SF-428) and three attachments to be used as required: Annual Report; Final (Award Closeout) Report and a Disposition Request/Report. A Supplemental Sheet, SF-428S, may be used to provide detailed individual item information.


The SF-429 is a standard report to be used by recipients of Federal financial assistance to report real property status (Attachment A) or to request agency instructions on real property (Attachments B, C) that was/will be provided as Government Furnished Property (GFP) or acquired (i.e., purchased or constructed) in whole or in part under a Federal financial assistance award (i.e., grant, cooperative agreement, etc.). This includes real property that was improved using Federal funds and real property that was donated to a Federal project in the form of a match or cost share donation. This report is to be used for awards that establish a Federal Interest on real property.


Beginning with budget periods ending September 30, 2012 and for all budget periods thereafter, all ACF grantees will be required to submit (as applicable) an SF-428 and SF-429 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award.


The forms are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

Shawna Pinckney
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Head Start
Portals Building
1250 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (866) 796-1591
Email: OHS@headstartgrants.org
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Administration for Children and Families
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
Aerospace Building - 6th Floor East
Washington, DC 20447
Email: ACFOGMREGE-grants@acf.hhs.gov
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Internet http://www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on the Internet http://www.acf.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families - ACF Funding Opportunities homepage  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (C.F.D.A.) https://www.cfda.gov/.

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)  http://www.gpo.gov.  

United States Code (U.S.C)  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/ .

All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Forms page at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/grants_resources.html.

Grants.gov Forms Repository webpage at http://www.grants.gov/agencies/aforms_repository_information.jsp.

Versions of other Standard Forms (SFs) are available on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Grants Management Forms web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms/.

For information regarding accessibility issues, visit the Grants.gov Accessibility Compliance Page at http://www07.grants.gov/aboutgrants/accessibility_compliance.jsp.

Sign up to receive notification of ACF Funding Opportunities at www.Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp.

Head Start Information on the Internet 

The Head Start Act as amended by The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, (Pub.L. 110-134)  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs.

Head Start Regulations (45 CFR Parts 1301-1311)   http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_07/45cfrv4_07.html#1301.

 

Applicant Support Website

The Office of Head Start (OHS) strongly encourages entities interested in applying for this Head Start grant opportunity to visit http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/grants. This interactive website offers a robust collection of resources intended to support organizations in gaining a deeper understanding of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, the funding opportunity announcement, and evaluation criteria. A profile of current grantee services, equipment and inventory can also be found through this website. Head Start is a Federal program with important regulations that grantees must meet. At the applicant support website, applicants can familiarize themselves with these requirements. Finally, the website includes helpful tips for applying via Grants.gov. All interested applicants are reminded to frequently refer back to this funding opportunity announcement when preparing their application.

Prospective applicants will also have the opportunity to send questions to OHS by email through the website listed above. A summary of the questions and OHS responses will be posted for public view on the applicant support website as soon as they become available.

Interested applicants may also contact the OHS Operations Center at (866) 796-1591 or TTY: 711 if they have additional questions.

Application Checklist

Applicants may use the checklist below as a guide when preparing your application package.
 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

SF-424C - Budget Information - Construction Programs

and

SF-424D - Assurances - Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html..

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs

and

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html

Submission is due with the application package. If it is not submitted with the application package, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

Submission of this form is required if any funds have been paid, or will be paid, to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence, an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan.

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due prior at the time of application.  It may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Referenced in Section IV.2. and found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/grants_resources.html and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at http://www.grants.gov/ agencies/ aforms_repository_information.jsp.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  This is the title for the project narrative that describes the applicant's plan for the project.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Central Contractor Registration (CCR)

Referenced in Section III.3. Go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform and www.ccr.gov to register.

Required for all applicants. Note: CCR registration is required for electronic application submission and must be maintained throughout the project period.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement.  It is an element of the Project Description and will be counted in page limitations that are stated in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification of the announcement.

Submission of the Project Budget is required on the appropriate Standard Form (424A or 424C).  The Budget Justification is a separate document that may be no longer than 10 pages and is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  This is an element of the Project Description and will usually be counted in page limitations listed in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

Submission is due as part of the Project Description by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Third-Party Agreements

Referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement under "Project Description."

If available, submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3.  If not available at the time of application submission, due by the time of award.

Letters of Support

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  This is an element of the Project Description and may count again page limitations set in Section IV.2. Formatting Requirements.

Submission is due by the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description of the announcement under "Legal Status of Applicant Entity."  Proof of non-profit status may be submitted as part of appendices to the application package.  It is not considered as part of the project narrative/plan.

Proof of non-profit status should be submitted with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  If it is not available at the time of application submission, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Resumes of Key Staff in the organization and proposed Head Start program.

Referenced in Section IV.2.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Proof of existing Policy Council approval of application.

Referenced in Section IV.2.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Assurance: Absence of Non-compete Agreement

Referenced in Section IV.2 and template provided in Appendices.

Applicants that wish to receive bonus points for not having non-compete agreements must submit the required statement with the application on the due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Certification of the organization's last audit report or other similar evidence of financial capability.

Referenced in Section IV.2.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," 

and

45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities" 

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http:// www.whitehouse.gov /omb/grants_spoc/ as indicated in Section IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of this announcement.  The Executive Order and CFR require that applicants submit all required application materials to their State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Submission of application materials is due to SPOC by the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification of the announcement. Proof of the commitment of Non-Federal Resources may be included in the appendices to the application package.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications.  Applicants applying electronically, may submit this survey along with the application as part of the appendix or as a separate document. Applicants submitting in paper, please place the completed survey in an envelope labeled "Applicant Survey." Seal the envelope and include it along with the application package.

The survey is referenced in Section IV.2. of the announcement. The survey may be found at http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/grants_resources.html.

The survey will not count in the page limitations.

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application by the application due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  Or, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Appendices
Appendices

Assurance Template: Absence of Non-compete Agreement 

 

Date

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

On behalf of (organization), I, (name), attest that (organization) does not have a non-compete or other agreement with any entity, at the time this application is submitted, which prohibits the entity from applying for a Head Start or Early Head Start grant on its own behalf or imposes a penalty on that entity for making such application.

 

(Signature)

(First and Last Name)

(Title)

To be signed and dated by the authorized representative of the applicant organization.