REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS ANNOUNCED-ACTION REQUIRED

  • Letter of Intent deadline: February 25, 2022, by 3:00 pm

Only applicants that submit a complete Letter of Intent by the deadline will be permitted to apply for funding.

  • Application deadline: March 28, 2022, by 3:00 pm

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), is announcing a competitive Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) Request for Application (RFA) for fiscal year 2022-23.

HSSAP funding is awarded competitively on a five-year grant cycle. FY 2022-23 begins a new five-year cycle. All current HSSAP grantees, as well as any new, eligible applicants MUST apply during this competitive RFA process. Governor Wolf’s proposed FY 2022-23 state budget expands HSSAP by $10 million, allocating a total of $79 million to be distributed to eligible applicants starting with the new five-year cycle on July 1, 2022.

INTRODUCTION

The intent of HSSAP is to increase the number of low-income, Head Start-eligible children receiving high quality pre-kindergarten services in Pennsylvania. The proven high standards of Head Start programs ensure that young children are prepared for school, helping to close the achievement gap between groups of students in the K-12 educational system while their families receive additional services that enable them to support their children’s successful entry into school.

Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) began in fiscal year (FY) 2004-05 with a $15 million state allocation that provided 2,469 funded slots by 35 grantees across 39 counties. Since then, the program has grown considerably. In FY 2021-22, there were 6,774 funded slots in state-funded Head Start programs being administered by 41 grantees in 49 counties.

This RFA is intended to support providers in preparing to serve and enroll children by September 2022. The RFA is being released in February 2022 to give providers time to conduct outreach to families; recruit, hire and train staff; and plan for implementing the program pending grant approval. Applicants may submit funding proposals aligned with the program models outlined in the Head Start Program Performance Standards 1302 Part B.

RFA PROCESS

In compliance with Commonwealth Management Directive 305.20 section 5e, all existing HSSAP grants will end June 30, 2022. OCDEL is using a competitive application process to disperse all available HSSAP funding to eligible grantees beginning in FY 2022-23.

The ceiling or limit on the potential number of slots that may be awarded to any applicant will depend upon a county’s unmet need percentages and the amount of funding available. Funding is contingent upon the enacted 2022-2023 state budget.

HSSAP grants are funded via state dollars and, therefore, carryover funds are not permitted. All grant dollars identified in this FY 2022-23 application must be encumbered or spent by June 30, 2023.

Eligible entities include:

  • Head Start grantees; and
  • Early Head Start grantees.

Successful applicants MUST demonstrate:

  • Current federal funding for Head Start or Early Head Start as a grantee or delegate; and
  • No uncorrected deficiencies from the most current federal Monitoring Review.

Eligible applicants who apply for HSSAP funding must provide assurance that they operate in full compliance with the federal Head Start Performance Standards as reported on their Integrated Monitoring Report. They also must assure they will provide updates to OCDEL and the Head Start Collaboration Office director when changes in their compliance occur. Failure to report changes may jeopardize current or future grant funding.

Applicants also must have the following to complete an application:

  • REQUIRED Letter of Intent (see below);
  • Vendor number (SAP #);
  • Administrative unit number (AUN);
  • Master provider index number (MPI); and
  • Federal ID number or tax ID number.

All information relevant to the application process is available in the HSSAP Application Guidance (updated 02.22.22)  Applicants should review all information in this document before submitting the required Letter of Intent to apply.

Required Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent

HSSAP applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) using the template posted at How to apply. The LOI represents the applicant’s intent to apply for HSSAP funding and includes preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. Information submitted in the LOI may be modified in the final eGrants application.

Programs interested in applying must submit a fully completed mandatory LOI by 3:00 PM on February 25, 2022, to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov. Programs that do not submit the LOI will not be able to access or submit a funding application in the eGrants system. Late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants submitting a complete LOI by the due date will be notified when the HSSAP application is open in eGrants.

Administrative Unit Number (AUN)

HSSAP applicants will need to supply a valid Administrative Unit Number (AUN) within the LOI. An LOI without a valid AUN that matches the legal name of the applying entity will not be accepted. To verify your AUN or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, visit EDNA. 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 not currently licensed by PDE, do not have an AUN and should contact Brian Bell at bribell@pa.gov or 717-346-0038 or James Redd at jaredd@pa.gov or 717-705-2910 at OCDEL.

Bidder’s Conference 

On Feb. 23, 2022, a Bidder’s Conference was held virtually from 1pm – 2:30 pm, and included information on the application process and program requirements. This session was recorded and is available to watch via Zoom.

In addition to the Bidder’s Conference, applicants are encouraged to view the asynchronous Grant Writing 101 course found in the Professional Development (PD) Registry. This course provides general tips on how to approach grant writing. A PD Registry login is required to access this course.

 

Applicants must obtain the following to be considered for funding:

Vendor Number (SAP Number)

A vendor number can be established by registering with Vendor Registration, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All agencies applying for Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program grants must be pre-registered. If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact James Redd at jaredd@pa.gov or (717) 705-2910 or Brian Bell at bribell@pa.gov or (717) 346-0038 at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Administrative Unit Number (AUN Number)

Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program applicants will need to supply a valid AUN number within the REQUIRED Letter of Intent and application. Verify your AUN number or check to see if you have one assigned to your agency on EDNA’s website. 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 James Redd at jaredd@pa.gov or (717) 705-2910 or Brian Bell at bribell@pa.gov (717) 346-0038 in PDE’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Master Provider Index Number

Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program 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, option #2 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 HSSAP 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.

eGrants Electronic Signature (eSignature)

OCDEL recommends the use of an electronic signature (eSignature) on all grant agreements for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and community agencies with a Board of Directors. The use of an eSignature allows grants to proceed through if approved more quickly and helps expedite payments. School Districts, Intermediate Units, and community agencies with a Board of Directors can use eSignature. If the agency does not fall under one of these categories they may not be eligible for this option and will have to print, sign and return contracting documents.

If you have specific questions related to eSignature please contact Winnie Richards via email winrichard@pa.gov or call (717) 772-4849.

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

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