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

  • Letter of Intent deadline: May 5, 2017, 3 pm
  • Application deadline: June 2, 3 pm

 

Pennsylvania’s fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 proposed budget makes historic investments in education to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, including an additional $75 million more for early childhood education. With new investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts ($65 million) and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program ($10 million), the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten by 36 percent. The proposal in the FY 2017-18 Executive Budget represents the further steps toward 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 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 to support providers in preparing to serve additional children and to be ready for September enrollment. 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 determine their capacity under the proposed $75 million increase in available state funds for high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. Approximately 120,000 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.

This competitive opportunity will select eligible grantees for a one-year grant period beginning in FY 2017-18. Please note, a full competition for funding will occur in FY 2018-19.

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.  School districts;
b.  Licensed nursery schools;
c.  Head Start grantees;
d.  Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4; and
e.  A third party entity may apply for Pennsylvania Pre‐K 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 community need and apply for funding to support eligible children in their communities. 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 the PA Key website 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 at the PA Key website.  The Letter of Intent represents 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 May 5, 2017 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 (HSSAP) funding MUST complete a separate Letter of Intent specific to HSSAP.

Pre-application webinar and submission of questions related to the application process

A pre-application webinar will be held to provide the necessary information to assist interested applicants in completion of the application process. See below for pre-application webinar information. The 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 pre-application webinar, questions may be sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov until 3 pm on April 28th, 2017. Official written responses to questions submitted by the due date will be posted to the PA Key website. Applicants should not address questions regarding this application through any other means. The webinar will be recorded.

A Pre-K Counts Pre-application webinar was held on April 3, 2017. To view the webinar, click here. (Please note, the webinar begins at the 3:10 mark.)

Agencies must possess the following: 

Vendor Number (SAP Number)

A vendor number can be established by registering at https://www.myworkplace.state.pa.us:448/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/zm_vendor_reg# 

If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact Brian Bell (bribell@pa.gov 717.346.0038) or Brent Gordon (brgordon@pa.gov 717.346.9330) in the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

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 who are not already licensed by PDE, and therefore do not have an AUN number, should contact Brent Gordon (brgordon@pa.gov, (717) 346-0028) or Brian Bell (bribell@pa.gov, (717) 346-0038) in The Office of Child Development and Early Learning. 

Master Provider Index Number

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need a Master Provider Index (MPI) number during 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  its 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. Use this number where requested in the application. The correct number must be provided where requested in order to process an application. Failure to do so will result in significant delays in funding approved applicants for FY 2017-18. This number is often referred to as the “FEIN number” by OCDEL staff.

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

 

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