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Head Start Supplemental Assistance (HSSAP) How to Apply

Pennsylvania Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program Request for Applications Announced-Action Required

  • Letter of Intent deadline: April 21, 2017
  • ALL applications MUST submit a letter of intent
  • Application deadline: May 5, 2017, 3 pm


The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), is releasing a competitive Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) Request for Application (RFA). This RFA process is a full competitive rebid for HSSAP funding, and will include the Governor’s proposed $10M in expansion funds. OCDEL encourages all eligible Head Start providers to apply. Current HSSAP grantees MUST re-apply as part of this full competitive rebid process.  Failure to reapply for funding will result in the re-appropriation of funds to those who have applied and been selected to receive funds.

HSSAP 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 Head Start can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life. Applicants may submit funding proposals aligned with the program models outlined in the Head Start Performance Standards 1302 Part B.

PDE is issuing this Request for Applications now in order to support providers in preparing to serve 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 competitive opportunity will select eligible grantees for a five-year grant period beginning this year. The following entities are eligible to apply in the competitive process for FY 2017-18:


  • Head Start grantees
  • Early Head Start grantees

Successful applicants MUST demonstrate:

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

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

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 assure they will provide updates to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning and the Head Start Collaboration Office director if any changes in their compliance occur. Failure to do so jeopardizes grant funding.

Letter of Intent

Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program applicants MUST complete a REQUIRED Letter of Intent using the template. The Letter of Intent form represents intent to apply for HSSAP funding and includes preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. The Letter of Intent is a requirement in order 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 21, 2017 to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov. Programs that 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 HSSAP application is open in eGrants.
Information submitted in the Letter of Intent may be modified in the final eGrants application.

Pre-Application Webinar

Registering for a pre-application webinar will provide the necessary information to assist interested applicants in the completion of the application. See below for scheduled dates and times. 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 by PDE. In addition to questions submitted during the webinars, PDE will accept questions sent to RA-PAPreKCounts@pa.gov until 3 PM on April 7, 2017. Official written responses to questions submitted by the due date are now available under the Quick Links section below. Applicants should not address questions regarding this application through any other means. The webinar will be recorded.

Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program webinars was held on March 31st, 2017. Click here to view the recorded webinar.

Applicants must obtain the following in order to be considered:

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#. All agencies applying for Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program grants must be pre-registered. If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact Brent Gordon brgordon@pa.gov (717) 346-0028 or Brian Bell bribell@pa.gov (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. 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 Brent Gordon brgordon@pa.gov (717) 346-0028 or Brian Bell 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 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

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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