Note: The recording of the PDG B-5 FOA webinar is now available at: Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Grant Competition, as is a copy of this Q&A document.
Governor-Designated State Lead Entity
Because the peer reviewers can only review what is submitted as part of the application package, the Governor’s letter must be submitted as part of that application package, even if such a letter was sent separately before the application’s submission.
In addition to being a State government agency, a “State entity” can also be a non-profit, nongovernmental entity, as long as the Governor also provides the required description of why the State entity chosen is best suited to successfully oversee and manage the grant, and facilitate collaboration and coordination among the full range of programs, services, and funding streams, thereby leading to the improvement of an early childhood care and education mixed delivery system serving children from birth through age five.
A Governor’s letter referencing the PDG B-5 grant and explaining the rationale behind the designation of the lead agency will be accepted regardless of to whom it is addressed. However, the Governor’s letter is more than a standard “letter of support”. It must not only designate the lead entity, but also explain why that lead entity was deemed most appropriate to carry out your statewide B-5 collaborative effort (see exact language on page 4 and page 15 of the FOA under Program Requirements and Application Disqualification Factor, respectively).
Activities 1-5 and Other Requirements
The State can decide how broad to make its needs assessment and can include any and all elements that make-up or impact the State’s B-5 Early Childhood, as defined in the FOA on page seven (7).
Please revisit pages 3, 5-6, 26-28, and 47-48 of the FOA for a description of what is required regarding the needs assessment and strategic plan, both for the application and during the course of the year.
Each State probably has a different approach to provide an answer to this question, but you might start by reaching out to your State Early Childhood Advisory Council or similar body, or to the state entity selected by the Governor that will have lead responsibility for development of the application and execution of this grant, if awarded.
Because there is no definition of the term “unduplicated count” in the FOA and lack of specificity of what is meant by that term elsewhere in the document, the State is free to define what is meant and how that count is achieved based on what would be most helpful and meaningful to the State.
Please read and re-read the FOA carefully. If it is not specifically stated, States have flexibility to decide how best to proceed.
Please revisit pages 4-5, 29, and 48-49 of the FOA. States have the flexibility to describe both Activities 4 and 5, and determine where these activities best fit. To the degree that there is not specific guidance or requirements, States are given flexibility and latitude to decide.
Revisiting the definition of “evidence-based” on page 7 of the FOA may help States answer this question. Since the FOA does not include a definition for “best practices”, the State may provide its own definition and supporting narrative.
No creation or expansion of early childhood programs/classrooms/slots is allowed as part of this PDG B-5 Initial Grant.
The PDG B-5 Initial Grant does not allow for funding for the renovation or development of physical spaces or facilities.
Please revisit the definition of mixed delivery on page 8 of the FOA. Also revisit “Program Purposes” on page 2, “Program Approach” on pages 4-5, and “State B-5 Mixed-Delivery System Description and Vision Statement” on pages 25-26 and 49-50.
In addition to the definitions referenced above, which are key to the narrative to be developed, please revisit the Executive Summary, the Program Purposes, Program Activities, Program Requirements, and Program Approach pages 1-6, as well as the Project Description pages 23-38. States have the flexibility to identify system priorities as they determine, based on their Needs Assessment findings.
As to the questions related to the description of the State’s mixed delivery system, please re-read the Program Purposes on page 2), Program Approach on pages 4-6), the Definitions on pages 7-8, as well as and the Criteria for the State B-5 Mixed Delivery System Description and Vision Statement on pages 49-50. The State defines the mixed delivery system that exists and the one it hopes to develop, and whether it will include licensed, voluntarily registered, legally exempt. There are no Federal rules about what programs or provider types must get defined or included other than what is explicitly stated in the FOA.
The PDG B-5 Initial Grant funds cannot be used to directly serve new or existing children. Please revisit the description of Activities, 3, 4, and 5 on pages 3-4, 28-29, and 48-49 for an answer to your question. The specific example mentioned of expanding the use of curriculum might fit within Activity 4 or 5, depending on how it is described/envisioned.
As stated above, the language in the FOA states that “The applicant must also indicate the amount of their grant funding that will be used to support related technical assistance activities leading to successful implementation of grant requirements.” The State is free to determine what this means after revisiting the description of each Activity 1 through 5.
Please revisit the full description of the “Program Performance Evaluation Plan” section on pages 30-31 and note that States are required to describe an approach to develop a program performance evaluation plan that shall ultimately address each of the bullets. States will have the opportunity to revisit this program performance evaluation plan as the grant year progresses.
Peer reviewers will be instructed to give credit for content in whatever order it is provided and they are reminded that content need not follow any particular order. The reviewer must answer the question: Did the applicant sufficiently address each of the sub-criteria within each criterion section, regardless of where that content is located in the application document?
The 8 page limit to the appendix is just a suggested limit. States may include other items in the appendix if you believe this will strengthen the application. The essential point to keep in mind is that the application cannot exceed 75 pages total, including the appendices.
Please revisit pages 16-23 of the FOA, Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.
States do not need to specifically address the Post-Award Reporting Requirements in the application. Please revisit page 6, which provides guidance as to when States awarded a grant may hear about what data may be requested for collection for a final report, should OMB approve.
Coordination with Additional Organizations or Individuals
The federal PDG B-5 Initial Grant is awarded to the State entity designated by the Governor. It is the responsibility of the State to identify and implement third party agreements or other partnership establishment protocols that will lead to the implementation of what is described in the State’s application. If the question is also about sub-granting, sub-granting is not an option in this Initial Grant competition.
A 3rd party agreement might be for any or all of the reasons identified and more. The State decides if third-party agreements are necessary, and, if so, with whom, how many, and for what purposes.
While it is true that these three items are not explicitly listed as components to be included in the project description at the top of page 19, they are included in the requirements listed on page 32.
A State that has procurement rules that prevent the identification of consultants by name at the time of the application should state those procurement rules as the reason why such information cannot be provided and describe the process for how those consultants will be identified once the required protocol is followed.
Budgeting and Funding
Please read bottom of page 5 of Funding Opportunity Announcement for info about the timeline for review of the needs assessment and strategic plan.
Please revisit pages 12-13 of the FOA, Section III-2. Cost Sharing or Matching. The match rules for this grant application are no different than any other federal grant match rules: To meet the match requirement, States can use non-federal sources that are not being claimed as matching sources for another Federal award and these matching If they are being used as match for another federal award, they can then not be used for this PDG B-5 award. Please speak with people in your state that deal with match requirements and carefully read the FOA as it relates to match.
This Initial grant is a one-year grant and all activities related to this grant must end at the end of that grant year unless a no-cost extension is requested and granted – which is addressed at the end of a grant period, based on certain conditions Therefore, a no-cost extension cannot yet be determined, is not guaranteed, and should not be expected.
The expectation is for all funds to be obligated by the last date of the grant period, which may be before December 31, 2019, depending on the actual date of award. States will have 90 days to liquidate those funds (pay out all expenses) for work carried out by the last date of the grant.
Do not use the SF 424A to collect information on the 5 activities. Since there is only one CFDA number associated with the FOA, the applicant should only fill out one block on page 1 of the SF424A. All numbers on this front page are totals based on the numbers provided for each object class category on page 1A. Rows 2-4 on both pages do not need to be filled-in. In the budget narrative justification break out and explain the amounts for the 5 main activities for which funds will be spent, along with any other required breakdown of funds for TA, evaluation, etc., as required in the FOA.