Head Start grant opportunities focus on community needs

HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has announced 122 funding opportunities totaling nearly $600 million to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services to children and families in communities across the country.

Many of these opportunities are part of an ongoing effort  by ACF and its Office of Head Start to make sure children receive the highest quality services from the most capable organizations. They also support President Obama’s early learning initiative.

“Many communities have experienced significant demographic shifts over the past decade. This competition provides exciting opportunities for agencies within these communities to work together and meet the needs of the most economically disadvantaged children from birth to kindergarten age,” said Ann Linehan, acting director for the Office of Head Start.

Most of the posted announcements offer the opportunity for a “birth-to-five” approach. Applicants are encouraged to develop innovative approaches to providing services for children from birth to kindergarten in a single application. Applicants must consider the needs of the poorest and underserved children and families in their community, including homeless children and families.

“When considering the needs of a community, applicants should work with their state and local pre-K and child care partners,” said Linda Smith, deputy assistant secretary and interdepartmental liaison for early childhood development for children and families. “The most successful Head Start programs include all available community resources in order to serve the most vulnerable children and families.”

Organizations interested in providing Head Start and Early Head Start services in these specific communities may submit a proposal to the appropriate funding opportunity announcement. Applicants have 60 days to submit their grant proposals online through www.grants.gov. An applicant support website is available to help organizations with the application process.

Visit the Head Start website for more information.

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