Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Dollars Announced
States working to coordinate and increase access to comprehensive services for young children in child care and early education settings have the opportunity to pursue new or renewed Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) funding through a competitive federal grant process announced on March 1. The full announcement details the potential uses for the fiscal year 2013 grants, emphasizing services to infants and toddlers in child care, and highlighting three potential areas of work:
- Addressing the effects of toxic stress and trauma among infants and toddlers;
- Expanding and coordinating developmental screening in child care and early education settings; and
- Strengthening health and safety related quality standards for child care and early education programs serving infants and toddlers.
ECCS is a relatively small, but extremely flexible, source of federal funding that can be used to build and manage partnerships among early childhood stakeholders. A total of 52 grantees currently use the grants, up to $150,000 annually, to support statewide collaborations that increase access to health and development services for young children. Applicants can look to CLASP's Putting it Together: A Guide to Financing Comprehensive Services in Child Care and Early Education for details on how ECCS can support activities, including developmental screening, as well as specific examples of existing partnerships in states. The ECCS grant requires collaboration with administrators of other federal funding streams highlighted in Putting it Together, and specifically lists potential partners including Title V, Medicaid, Project LAUNCH, and IDEA Part C/Early Intervention.
The ECCS application deadline is April 26, and the three-year grants would run from June 2013 through May 2016. Current grantees include a variety of state health, human services, child care, and other child serving agencies.