The new PDG B-5 grants will assist States to develop, update, or implement a strategic plan that facilitates collaboration and coordination among existing programs of early childhood care and education in a mixed delivery system across the State, designed to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten, and to improve transitions from such system into the local educational agency or elementary school that enrolls such children by:
- more efficiently using existing Federal, State, local, and non-governmental resources to align and strengthen the delivery of existing programs;
- coordinating the delivery models and funding streams existing in the State's mixed delivery system; and
- developing recommendations to better use existing resources in order to improve the overall participation of children in a mixed delivery system of Federal, State, and local early childhood care and education programs, improving program quality while maintaining availability of services, expanding parental choice and knowledge about existing programs, and enhancing school readiness for children from low-income and disadvantaged families, including during such children's transition into elementary school.
A second purpose is to encourage partnerships among Head Start providers, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, private entities (including faith and community-based entities), and local educational agencies to improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services.
A final purpose is to maximize parental choice among a mixed delivery system of early childhood care and education program providers.
In summary, the PDG B-5 grants will support States in their efforts to analyze the current landscape of their ECE mixed delivery system and implement changes to the system that maximize the availability of high-quality early childhood care and education options for low-income and disadvantaged families across providers and partners, improve the quality of care, streamline administrative infrastructure, and improve State-level early childhood care and education funding efficiencies.
In order to achieve the purposes stated under the previous section, all States must apply to use PDG B-5 grant funds for each of the five required activities. Specific to funding for Activity Five, States must seek funding appropriate to the anticipated grant time remaining after the statewide birth through five needs assessment and related strategic plan that meet the descriptions and requirements in this FOA have been completed, submitted, and approved by the Departments. States that already have a statewide birth through five needs assessment and related strategic plan meeting the descriptions and requirements in this FOA at the time of application, or that expect to have completed these activities early in the grant period, must seek funding with a focus on Activity Five, since there would be a longer duration for Activity Five implementation than for a State that needs a much longer portion of the grant period top conduct the needs assessment and prepare the strategic plan.
Conduct or update a periodic, statewide birth through five needs assessment of the availability and quality of existing programs in the State, including such programs serving the most vulnerable or underserved populations and children in rural areas, and, to the extent practicable, the unduplicated number of children being served in existing programs and, to the extent practicable, the unduplicated number of children awaiting service in such programs.
Develop or update a strategic plan that recommends collaboration, coordination, and quality improvement activities (including activities to improve children's transition from early childhood care and education programs into elementary schools) among existing programs in the State and local educational agencies. Such a plan shall include information that identifies opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among existing programs in the State, including among State, local, and tribal (if applicable) agencies responsible for administering such programs. The strategic plan shall recommend partnership opportunities among Head Start providers, local educational agencies, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and private entities (including faith and community-based entities) that would improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services. The strategic plan shall build on existing plans and goals with respect to early childhood care and education programs, including improving coordination and collaboration among such programs, of the State Advisory Council while incorporating new or updated Federal, State, and local statutory requirements including the requirements of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858 et seq.) and, when appropriate, information found in the report required under section 13 of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-186; 128 Stat. 2002). Finally, the strategic plan describes how accomplishing each of these previously mentioned requirements will better serve children and families in existing programs and how such activities will increase the overall participation of children in the State.
Maximize parental choice and knowledge about the State’s mixed delivery system of existing programs and providers by ensuring that parents are provided information about the variety of early childhood care and education programs for children from birth to kindergarten entry in the State's mixed delivery system, and promoting and increasing involvement by parents and family members, including families of low-income and disadvantaged children, in the development of their children and the transition of those children from an early childhood care and education program into an elementary school.
Share best practices among early childhood care and education program providers in the State to increase collaboration and efficiency of services, including to improve transitions from such programs to elementary school.
After activities one and two are completed, improve the overall quality of early childhood care and education programs in the State, including, but not limited to, developing and implementing evidence-based practices (as defined in this notice), improving professional development for early childhood care and education providers, and enhancing learning opportunities for children.
States must leverage these PDG B-5 grant funds to envision and expand parental choice and access to their mixed-delivery system that provides early childhood care and education programs and services to infants, toddlers, and young children, and meets the needs and preferences of their families around whom programs and services are designed and coordinated.
Additionally, the applicant must submit a letter on the Governor's letterhead designating the State entity that will have responsibility for execution of this grant. This letter should include a description of why the State entity chosen is best suited to easily and successfully oversee and manage the grant, and facilitate collaboration and coordination among the full range of programs, services, and funding streams, thereby leading to the improvement of an early childhood care and education mixed delivery system serving children from birth through age five.
All funds made available for the purpose of implementing the PDG B-5 activities must be used to supplement, and not supplant, existing Federal funding investments in the State.
Grantees will be required to include travel costs to send at least 4 individuals to Washington, D.C. to attend a 3-day PDG B-5 grantee meeting.
To fulfill the requirements of this PDG B-5 grant, applicants are expected to describe their current statewide mixed delivery system. States are eligible to apply whether they have not yet begun planning on how they will conduct a B-5 needs assessment and related strategic plan, or are in a more advanced phase of implementation of these requirements and will focus their investments in areas such as improving the overall quality of their early childhood care and education programs. As mentioned previously, all States must seek funding for Activities One through Five, but States that already have a statewide B-5 needs assessment and related strategic plan meeting the requirements in this FOA must seek a larger amount of funding for Activity 5, due to the fact that there is a longer portion of the grant period remaining to carry out these activities.
We invite State innovation in planning, designing, enhancing, implementing, and evaluating an early childhood care and education mixed delivery system that will support the healthy growth and development of all infants, toddlers, and young children, particularly low-income and disadvantaged children. These PDG B-5 grants will assist States in promoting growth and success among children from birth through age five, improving developmental outcomes at kindergarten entry, ensuring families are linked to the full range of services they need, improving the quality of ECE programs, and facilitating stronger partnerships and transitions between early childhood care and education and school systems.
To encourage partnerships among the various providers to improve coordination, program quality, and delivery of services, States are strongly encouraged to meaningfully engage and develop their application jointly with a full range of early childhood care and education stakeholders and partners at the local community and State levels including Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations. Coordination with partners should incorporate parent input that reflects system design and development that best meet the needs of families and their children.
Early childhood care and education stakeholders include custodial and non-custodial parents, and/or parent council or association representatives, as well as representatives of relevant community partners, advocacy organizations, think tanks, philanthropic organizations, and business or public/private partners, and any and all other partners deemed appropriate; State and local early learning councils, if applicable; program directors and staff across child-serving agencies and programs, including preschool and K-12 school districts, Medicaid/CHIP, Head Start, child care, special education and early intervention, health, mental health, and child welfare; and representatives of Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations within the State.
States, in addressing the Program Activities identified earlier in this section, are encouraged to incorporate trauma-informed approaches to early childhood care and education to counter the impact of trauma and adverse childhood experiences, thereby increasing each child’s chances for success in kindergarten and beyond. Additionally, States are encouraged to consider how best to improve the training and experience of B-5 early childhood care and education providers in the State, as well as ongoing practice-based coaching and professional development needs of the early childhood care and education workforce in developing the State’s proposed approaches toward improving outcomes for children and families.
In describing current early childhood care and education systems and considering how to spend funding under all Activities, but particularly Activities Three, Four, and Five, States are encouraged to include related activities required by 2014 CCDBG reauthorization such as designing, improving and/or enhancing Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS); building better consumer information systems to support parents in their decisions with consideration to linking to or taking advantage of the new national CCDBG web site, www.childcare.gov; and incorporating the availability of services, as well as other program characteristics as determined relevant by the State, as a rating component in QRIS or on their State website.
States may not expend funds on Activity Five until the needs assessment and strategic plans are completed, submitted to, and reviewed by the Departments. Review of such documents will not take longer than 10 business days.
For a State that has updated an existing needs assessment and strategic plan, the Departments encourage states to submit a description of these updated items as part of the application. The peer reviewers will score the descriptions of the needs assessment and strategic plans, proposed as completed. Should the State be selected for award, based on the reviewers' assessments that they have met the requirements, the State will be asked upon award to send a copy of the actual documents to the Departments for review and approval. Should the documents receive approval, the State would be given permission to begin spending on Activity Five along with all other spending. If the documents are not approved, the State will be instructed to go back and do more work, as needed, before being allowed to spend funds on Activity Five.
For states that need to develop a new needs assessment or strategic plan, or if the existing documents require significant updates, the State should update these items as part of the grant, and follow the separate submission and review process before beginning to spend funds on Activity Five. (See Program Activities earlier in this section.)
Post-Award State Reporting Requirements
The OCC will be seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for information collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) on the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Initiative data indicators for post-award reporting. Data indicators to be collected from PDG B-5 grantees, as part of a final report to the Secretary not later than 6 months after the end of the grant period, include, but are not limited to:
(A) how, and to what extent, the grant funds were utilized for activities described in subsection (f), and any other activities through which funds were used to meet the purposes of this section, as described in subsection (a);
(B) strategies undertaken at the State level and, if applicable, local or program level, to implement recommendations in the strategic plan developed under subsection (f)(2);
(C)(i) any new partnerships among Head Start providers, State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and private entities (including faith and community-based entities); and (ii) how these partnerships improve coordination and delivery of services;
(D) if applicable, the degree to which the State used information from the report required under section 13 of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 to inform activities under this section, and how this information was useful in coordinating, and collaborating among, programs and funding sources;
(E) the extent to which activities funded by the initial grant led to the blending or braiding of other public and private funding;
(F) how information about available existing programs for children from birth to kindergarten entry was disseminated to parents and families, and how involvement by parents and family was improved; and
(G) other State-determined and voluntarily provided information to share best practices regarding early childhood education programs and the coordination of such programs.
NOTE: Consistent with the PRA of 1995, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, under this FOA, OCC will not conduct or sponsor – and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information covered by such Act, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OCC is seeking approval of its PDG B-5 data indicators through the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. OCC will not request this information if these forms are not approved at the time that reports are due. Please see Section VI.3 Reporting for more information.
The following definitions apply for the purpose of this PDG B-5 FOA and any subsequent year in which awards are made.
B-5 Early Childhood State System. -- The term “B-5 Early Childhood State System” refers to core early childhood care and education programs, including the Child Care and Development Fund and State child care, which may include center-based, family child care, and informal care providers, Early Head Start and Head Start, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, and other State or locally funded home visiting services, Part C and Section 619 of Part B of IDEA, State preschool programs, and programs funded by Title I of the ESEA. In addition, it also includes a wide range of early childhood care and education programs and services that strengthen, engage, and stabilize families and their infants and young children including supports that target health and wellness, such as Medicaid, the Children's' Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Title V Maternal and Child Health Programs, Healthy Start, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the infrastructure components that support these programs and services.
Early childhood care and education programs. -- This term has been updated to incorporate and reflect the definition of the term “early childhood education program,” which is defined in section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003) as (A) a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program carried out under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), including a migrant or seasonal Head Start program, an American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start program, or a Head Start program or an Early Head Start program that also receives State funding; (B) a State licensed or regulated child care program; or (C) a program that— (i) serves children from birth through age six that addresses the children’s cognitive (including language, early literacy, and early mathematics), social, emotional, and physical development; and (ii) is— (I) a State prekindergarten program; (II) a program authorized under section 619 or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; or (III) a program operated by a local educational agency.
Elementary school. -- The term “elementary school,” as defined by section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school that provides elementary education, as determined under State law.
Evidence-based. -- This term is defined by Section 8101(21)(A)(i) in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Pub. L. 114-95. The term “evidence-based” means an activity, strategy, or intervention that demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on— (I) strong evidence from at least 1 well-designed and well-implemented experimental study; (II) moderate evidence from at least 1 well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study; or (III) promising evidence from at least 1 well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias.
Existing program.--The term “existing program,” as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Pub. L. 114-95, Section 9212(b)(4), means a Federal, State, local, or privately funded early childhood care and education program that -
(A) was operating in the State on the day before the date of enactment of this Act; or
(B) began operating in the State at any time on or after the date of enactment of this Act through funds that were not provided by a grant under this section.
Local educational agency. -- The term ‘‘local educational agency,’’ as defined by section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, means (A) a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or of or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools; (B) Administrative Control and Direction.—The term includes any other public institution or agency having administrative control and direction of a public elementary school or secondary school; (C) Bureau of Indian Education Schools.—The term includes an elementary school or secondary school funded by the Bureau of Indian Education but only to the extent that including the school makes the school eligible for programs for which specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision of law and the school does not have a student population that is smaller than the student population of the local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act with the smallest student population, except that the school shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any State educational agency other than the Bureau of Indian Education; (D) Educational Service Agencies.—The term includes educational service agencies and consortia of those agencies; (E) State Educational Agency.—The term includes the State educational agency in a State in which the State educational agency is the sole educational agency for all public schools.
Mixed delivery system. -- The term “mixed delivery system,” as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Pub. L. 114-95, Section 9212(b)(5), means a system of early childhood care and education services that are delivered through a combination of programs, providers, and settings, such as Head Start, licensed family and center-based child care programs, public schools, and other community-based organizations, that is supported by a combination of public and private funds.
Services. --The term "services" refers to children’s developmental supports across a range of domains, including cognitive, social-emotional, physical, language, and literacy, and approaches to learning, as well as nutritional, mental, and behavioral health. “Services” also play a role in providing support for parents including engaging parents as key partners in promoting their children’s learning and healthy development, and promoting parental knowledge and choices about how and where their children receive the early developmental supports they need to be successful in school and later in life. Effective partnerships and coordination strategies across the various programs and networks in a State that provide services in these areas are a key component of a B-5 Early Childhood State System, and can improve the quality of and families’ access to the early childhood care and education supports that are needed to build the foundation for ongoing growth, learning, and services.
State. -- The term ‘‘State’’ means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands.
State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care. – The term "State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care" is taken directly from Section 642 B(b)(1)(A)(i) of The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, 42 USC 9837B(B)(1)(A)(i) requiring the Governor of each “State”, as defined in Section 637.25, to designate or establish a council to serve as the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care for children from birth to school entry (referred to as State Advisory Councils). The overall responsibility of the State Advisory Council is to lead the development or enhancement of a high-quality, system of early childhood care and education that ensures statewide coordination, alignment, and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services in the State, including child care, Head Start, IDEA preschool and infants and families programs, and pre-kindergarten programs and services.
State entity. -- The term "State entity" for this PDG B-5 grant refers to the State agency which will have responsibility for execution of the grant based on designation by the State’s Governor. The State entity can be either a State government agency or a non-profit, nongovernmental entity.
Tribal organizations. -- The term ‘tribal organizations” shall mean both “tribal organizations” and “urban Indian organizations”, as defined by Section 4 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Pub. L. 94-437. Here are the definitions from the legislation:
"Indian tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or group or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.
"Tribal organization" means the elected governing body of any Indian tribe or any legally established organization of Indians which is controlled by one or more such bodies or by a board of directors elected or selected by one or more such bodies (or elected by the Indian population to be served by such organization) and that includes the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its activities.
"Urban Indian organization" means a nonprofit corporate body situated in an urban center, composed of urban Indians, and providing for the maximum participation of all interested Indian groups and individuals, which body is capable of legally cooperating with other public and private entities for the provision of health care and referral services.
The ACF Office of Child Care and ED’s Office of Early Learning will conduct a pre-application webinar/teleconference on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 from 2-3:30 pm, EST. The goal of this webinar/teleconference is to walk interested parties through the FOA to point out the different sections and what is contained in each. Pre-application webinar/teleconference materials and webinar/teleconference link, phone line, and access code may be accessed on the OCC website at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/pdg-b-5-initiative after Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
Joining and participating in the webinar/teleconference is voluntary. Only the information provided in this FOA will be presented. No question and answer portion will be conducted during the session. Participants will remain anonymous. Because only 300 lines will be available, and to begin the collaboration expected throughout this grant process, we encourage interested parties to gather around the same phone line to the degree possible. Please note that opting not to participate in the webinar/teleconference will not affect eligibility, application scoring, or the selection process. Applicants unable to attend can access the recording and transcript at the website referenced in the previous paragraph after the webinar/teleconference has concluded.
Future Eligibility for Renewal Grants
States that are awarded a PDG B-5 Initial Grant, as well as existing PDG Development and Expansion Grantees, will be eligible to apply for PDG B-5 Renewal Grants for years 2-4. Contingent upon the appropriation of funds by Congress in 2019, the Departments will issue a new FOA for PDG B-5 Renewal Grants. States deemed eligible will have the option to apply for Renewal Grants to expand upon activities described in their initial application and to carry out new activities, including awarding subgrants to programs in a mixed delivery system across the State designed to benefit low-income and disadvantaged children, including children living in rural areas, prior to entering kindergarten to:
expand or improve access to existing programs and to the full range of services that support the development, growth and school readiness of infants, toddlers and young children; and
enable programs to implement other activities addressing areas in need of improvement; as determined by the State, and
- develop new programs to address the needs of children and families eligible for, but not served by, such programs, if the state ensures that (1) the distribution of subgrants under this subparagraph supports a mixed delivery system; and (2) the funds will be used to supplement, and not supplant, any other Federal, State, or local funds that would otherwise be available to carry out related activities.
A State will be eligible for a Renewal Grant if the State received a PDG B-5 Grant or a Development or Expansion Grant under the previous Preschool Development Grant program authorization - and the grant project period for such grants has concluded.
A State that did not receive a PDG B-5 Initial Grant, but had a Development or Expansion Grant under the previous Preschool Development Grant program, will be eligible to apply for a PDG B-5 Renewal Grant. If awarded a Renewal Grant, such grantees must first address the requirement for a periodic, statewide B-5 needs assessment and related strategic plan before proceeding to spend funds on improving the quality and availability of early childhood care and education programs in the State.
A State that did not receive 2018 PDG B-5 funds, and did not have a Development or Expansion Grant under the previous Preschool Development Grant program, will not be eligible to apply for a PDG B-5 Renewal Grant and, presently, the Departments do not intend to issue another round of Initial Grants after this competition.
As with funding for the Initial PDG B-5 Grant, there is a requirement for a minimum of a 30 percent match each year of Renewal Grant funding.
In the event that an eligible State receives a PDG B-5 Renewal Grant, the grantee will be required to refine and implement their finalized strategic plan and proposed plan for State data collection and evaluation. It is intended that States or territories will use a percentage of the total amount of their grant award during years 2 through 4 to conduct the proposed process, cost, and outcome evaluations, and to implement a data collection system that will allow them to collect, house, and use data on the populations served, the implementation of services, the cost of providing services, and coordination across service partners. Evaluation plans will be expected to describe activities appropriate for the funding level and timeline of the Renewal Grants.