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Early Childhood Programs

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Office of Child Development and Early Learning

April 13, 2015

Subject: Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Request for Applications Announced-Action Required

Pennsylvania’s fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 proposed budget makes historic investments in education to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, including an additional $120 million more for early childhood education. With new investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts ($100 million) and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program ($20 million), the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten by 75 percent. The proposal in the FY 2015-16 Executive Budget represents the first step in achieving the goal of universal access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs. Please note that funding is contingent upon approval by the Pennsylvania Legislature.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is seeking applicants for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts was enacted into law by Act 45 of 2007 (and amended in 2008 and 2010) amending the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 15- 1511-D—15-1516-D). Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides children with the opportunity to experience a high quality pre-kindergarten program. The program standards will ensure a high return on the investment in the preparation of young children for school and will help to close the achievement gap. Early education through Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life.  

PDE is issuing this Request for Applications now in order to support providers in preparing to serve additional children and to assist in being ready for enrollment by September. We recognize that providers need to conduct outreach to families; recruit, hire and train staff; and do all of the planning necessary to successfully implement the program pending approval of proposed funding. 

This application material is intended to help providers think about what their capacity can be under the proposed $120 million increase in available state funds for high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. Approximately 116,000 3- and 4-year-olds are currently unserved in high-quality programs, and you can see the estimated number of unserved children in the school district(s) you serve in Appendix 1 of the guidelines.

In order to support successful applicants in delivering a high quality preschool program, the state has proposed an increase in the cost per child funding level. Full day slots will be funded at $8,500and part day slots at $4,250, contingent on the availability of funds. 

This competitive opportunity will select eligible grantees for a three-year grant period beginning in FY 2015-16. Pennsylvania continues to be committed to a mixed delivery system. As such, eligible applicants include existing Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees and new applicants from one of these five eligible entity categories:

a.    Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4;

b.    Head Start grantees;

c.    Licensed nursery schools;

d.    School districts; and

e.    Third party entities may apply for Pennsylvania PreK Counts funding and administer the lead agency responsibilities for entities that are eligible to provide the classroom services under the categories listed above. 

PDE encourages all eligible entities to assess their community need and make application for funding to support eligible children in their communities. The Department’s goal is to fund high quality applicants in all counties. There is no limit to the number of slots that may be requested through this application process. 

Age (3 and 4 year old children) and family income (at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) are the primary eligibility criteria for participation in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts. Additional priorities for enrollment should be developed at the local level and may include teen parents, migrant/seasonal students, children of a family experiencing homelessness, children involved in the child welfare system, siblings of children already enrolled in the program, English language learners, children of an incarcerated parent, or children receiving early intervention or behavioral health supports.

Current Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees receiving funds to support part day programming may apply to convert slots from part day to full day.

Applicants must have the following in place in order to complete an application: a REQUIRED Letter of Intent, a vendor number (SAP #), an administrative unit number (AUN), a master provider index number (MPI), and a federal ID number or tax ID number.

Program Requirements

Applicants MUST ensure that program regulations can be met and maintained if funding is awarded. Applicants should thoroughly review the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidelines document posted at http://www.pakeys.org/pages/get.aspx?page=Programs_PreK_Apply for the specific requirements of the program.

Letter of Intent

 

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants MUST complete a REQUIRED Letter of Intent using the template posted below under Quick Links. The Letter of Intent represents an intent to apply for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funding and includes preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. The Letter of Intent is a requirement to gain access to the eGrants system and to be eligible to submit an application for funding. Programs interested in applying must submit a fully completed mandatory Letter of Intent by 3 pm on April 29, 2015 to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov. Programs who do not submit a timely Letter of Intent will not be able to apply in the eGrants system. Late submissions will not be accepted. Those agencies submitting a fully complete Letter of Intent by the due date will be notified when the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts application is open in eGrants.

Information submitted in the Letter of Intent may be modified in the final eGrants application. Agencies also interested in applying for Head State Supplemental Assistance Program funding will complete ONE combined Letter of Intent as reflected in the provided template.

 

Bidder’s Conferences and submission of questions related to the application process

Face-to-face bidder’s conferences will be held regionally, as well as one pre-application webinar. See below for regional bidder’s conference locations, dates and times and pre-application webinar information. The bidder’s conferences and pre-application webinar will provide the necessary information to assist interested applicants in completion of the application process. The bidder’s conferences and pre-application webinar will include the opportunity to ask questions regarding the application process, and program requirements. Any response provided will not become “official” until addressed in writing. In addition to questions submitted during the Bidder’s Conferences and the pre-application webinar, questions may be sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov until 3 pm on April 29, 2015. Official written responses to questions submitted by the due date will be posted to http://www.pakeys.org/pages/get.aspx?page=Programs_PreK_Apply. Applicants should not address questions regarding this application through any other means.

 

Bidder’s Conferences will be held at the following locations:

South Central Region- April 20th, 9:00 am-11:30 am

Harrisburg PaTTAN

6340 Flank Drive

Harrisburg, PA 17112

(Limited to first 220 registrants)

 

Northwest Region- April 21st, 9:00 am-11:30 am

Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5

252 Waterford St.

Edinboro, PA 16142

(Limited to first 160 registrants)

 

Central Region- April 21st, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Blast Intermediate Unit 17

2400 Reach Road

Williamsport, PA 17701

(Limited to first 50 registrants)

 

Southeast Region- April 22nd, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm

King of Prussia PaTTAN

200 Anderson Road

King of Prussia, PA 19406

(Limited to first 160 registrants)

 

Southwest Region- April 27th, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Pittsburgh PaTTAN

3190 William Pitt Way

Pittsburgh, PA 15238

(Limited to first 200 registrants)

 

Northeast Region- April 28th, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Luzerne County Community College (Auditorium)

1333 South Prospect Street

Nanticoke, PA 18634

(Limited to first 240 registrants)

 

Registration is required and is limited to two representatives per organization. To register, email RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov the first and last name of participants, name of agency representing, and location no later than 12 noon on April 17, 2015. Space is limited at all location. Register early and carpooling is encouraged.

Bidders Conference Powerpoint

 

Pre-application Webinar

The pre-application webinar will provide the necessary information to assist interested applicants in the completion of the application. The webinars will include the opportunity to ask questions regarding the application process, and program requirements. Any response provided during the webinars will not become “official” until addressed in writing. In addition to questions submitted during the webinar, questions may be sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov until 3 pm on April 29, 2015. Official written responses to questions submitted by the due date will be posted to http://www.pakeys.org/pages/get.aspx?page=Programs_PreK_Apply. Applicants should not address questions regarding this application through any other means.


Pre-K Counts Pre-application webinar will be held on: April 29th 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

To attend the webinar you must register at www.pdewebinars.org

 

  • Select Current webinars (The title of the session is Pre-K Counts Pre-application Competitive Grant Webinar FY 2015-16
  • Select the Register button (The login box will automatically appear after you select the register button)

*If you do not currently have a userid and login you can click on this button and then select create a new account at the login section

 

To access webinar on the day of the event:

  • Go to http://vclass.cciu.org/
  • Click the hyperlink for the Meeting Name. Pre-K Counts Pre-application Competitive Grant Webinar FY 2015-16
  • Log in as "Guest"
  • Enter your email address
  • Enter Display Name: Please enter your first name, last name, and LEA or organization (e.g., Mary Smith – PDE).
  • Click the "Log In" button. Note there is NO password needed to join the Webinar

Questions related to eGrants process ONLY should be directed to Brian Bell at (717) 346-0038.

 

Vendor Number (SAP Number)

A vendor number can be established by registering at http://www.vendorregistration.state.pa.us/cvmu/paper/DefaultInvoice.aspx

All agencies applying for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts must be pre-registered. If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact Brian Bell in the Office of Child Development and Early Learning at (717) 346-0038.

AUN Number

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need to supply a valid AUN number within the REQUIRED Letter of Intent and application. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, click here. If you are an intermediate unit, select Search for Intermediate Units. If you are not an intermediate unit, select Advanced Search and search for your agency.

Applicants that are not already licensed by PDE, and therefore do not have an AUN number, should contact Brian Bell in PDE’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning at (717) 346-0038.

Master Provider Index Number

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need a Master Provider Index (MPI) number as part of the application process. MPI numbers are used across the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to identify legal entities and service locations that participate in any of their programs. As such, they are used in DHS’s data system as a common identifier for all of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s (which is a joint office between PDE and DHS) programs, including Child Care Licensing, Early Intervention, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program and Keystone STARS.

Legal entities are assigned a unique 9-digit MPI number. In addition, service locations are assigned a unique 13-digit MPI number, which is created by adding a 4-digit extension to the 9-digit MPI of the legal entity. Legal entities and service providers currently participating in any of these programs should have an MPI number.

Applicants that are not currently participating in any of these programs should contact the Early Learning Network (ELN) Help Desk at (877) 491-3818 and provide their Federal Tax ID to determine their MPI numbers. MPI numbers will not be able to be provided without a Federal Tax ID. If an MPI is not identified a request form will need to be completed.

Tax ID Number or Federal ID Number

This is the number that an agency uses on its federal W-9 form. Applicants for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funds should consult with the person who handles tax, legal or accounting matters for the agency to determine the federal ID number when you check on your legal name and address.

For questions contact PDE by sending an email to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov.

 

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