Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programs REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS ANNOUNCED-ACTION REQUIRED

  • Letter of Intent deadline: June 24, 2021, 3 pm
  • Application deadline: July 15, 2021, 3 pm

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is announcing a competitive Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programs Request for Applications (RFA) Guidance for fiscal year 2021-22. OCDEL encourages all eligible Head Start and Early Head Start providers to apply.

This RFA is intended to support providers in preparing to serve and enroll children by September 2021. The RFA is being released in May 2021 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.

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.

HSSAP began in fiscal year (FY) 2004-05 with a $15 million state allocation that benefited 2,469 children served by 35 grantees across 39 counties. Since then, the program has grown considerably. In FY 2020-2021, there were 6,497 funded slots in state-funded Head Start programs being administered by 41 lead agencies in 52 counties.

Governor Wolf’s proposed 20210-22 state budget expands HSSAP by $5 million. With this expansion funding, the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten.

RFA PROCESS

OCDEL is using a competitive application process to disperse available state expansion funding to eligible grantees beginning in FY 2021-22.

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 approval by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and is guaranteed.

HSSAP grants are funded via state dollars and, therefore, carryover funds are not permitted. All grant dollars identified in this FY 2021-22 application must be encumbered or spent by June 30, 2022.

Eligible Applicants

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 must also have the following in place 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.

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 LOI by 3 PM on June 24, 2021 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. Agencies submitting a fully 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 AUN number within the LOI. A LOI without a valid AUN that matches the legal name of the applying entity will not be accepted. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, visit 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 currently licensed by PDE and therefore do not have an AUN number 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.

Pre-Application Webinar and Submission of Questions Related to the Application Process

A pre-application webinar was held on Zoom on June 4, 2021, and included information on the application process and program requirements. Watch the recording of this webinar on YouTube.

In addition to this pre-application webinar, 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 account is required to access this course.

All questions regarding this competitive RFA process should be directed to the Project Officer only. Inquiries should be sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov. To provide consistent messaging and an equitable application process, ONLY questions sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov, will be addressed. Questions and responses not already covered within the Application Guidance document will be included in an on-going Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).

Applicants must obtain the following in order to be considered:

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.

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

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