Early Head Start Expansion: Resources For Local Programs And State Actions
May 26, 2009
Right now across the country local early childhood programs are thinking about whether to apply for newly available federal funds to expand access to the Early Head Start program. Current grantees may apply to expand their services, and new applicants can apply as well. Any public or private non-profit organizations, including community based faith-based organizations, or for-profit agencies can apply. The following resources can help potential applicants:
- Information to help applicants has been posted by the Administration for Children and Families.
- A free webinar explaining the Early Head Start program components was developed by WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies in partnership with California First Five, the California Head Start Association, and Preschool California. The archived file may be downloaded.
- Groups in other states, including New York and Wisconsin, have also put together webinars to educate potential applicants with funding provided to the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association by the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families.
Applications are due to the Administration for Children and Families by July 9th.
State early care and education leaders can offer grants, technical assistance, and data to help local programs make the best case and applications to serve additional low-income infants/toddlers. For example, states can:
- Train providers on the federal Program Performance Standards and the components of comprehensive services required to be an Early Head Start grantee.
- Provide supply and demand data to help applicants assess community needs.
- Help providers hire additional teachers and increase education levels to meet federal standards for qualifications and teacher : child ratios.
- Encourage and support partnerships between current EHS grantees and existing child care center and family child care providers, who are already serving eligible children, to deliver EHS services in those settings.
States can finance these options by tapping the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which included funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), including $255 million for quality enhancement, of which $93.6 million is targeted to infant/toddler child care. Using these funds to assist local programs in attracting federal EHS dollars will ultimately benefit the state as more low-income infants and toddlers are served in high-quality settings.