With the new funding, NHSA is excited to continue to support the Head Start community in forming successful, lasting partnerships with child care providers. In 2014, to plan for and assist with the successful implementation of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, the National Head Start Association, the California Head Start Association, and representatives from numerous other child care and Head Start practitioner organizations formed the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Project. This project aimed to guide the planning and creation of successful partnerships in order to reach a growing number of vulnerable children and families with high-quality services that enable children to learn and grow in nurturing environments while their families achieve greater stability and long-term success. The efforts of that group included listening calls with practitioners, surveys of the Head Start and child care community, a national convening of experts and practitioner organizations, development of a website to organize resources about Early Head Start-Child Care partnerships, webinars and resources to support successful planning and implementation, and a Learning Network to support new and established partnerships.
In December 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a list of Preliminary Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership and Early Head Start Expansion Awards. The list included 234 preliminary grantees, while noting that "HHS will continue to negotiate with these and other applicant agencies to award all grants on a rolling basis beginning January 1, 2015. The full allocation of $500 million will be awarded by the end of March 2015." NHSA did an initial analysis of the organizations that were in negotiations for grants. By the spring of 2015, about 275 grantees had been announced, and together they were projected to enroll about 32,000 children.
The Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus included a funding increase of more than half a billion dollars for Head Start! The bill included a $135 million increase specfically for the expansion of Early Head Start. Of the $135 million, $59 million are dedicated to the Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership model. On June 23rd, ACF announced the availability of the new funds for EHS Expansion and EHS-Child Care Partnership grants. Follow the links on the right to read the funding opportunities.
For more on the state and local implementation of EHS-CC Partnterships to date and the ongoing evaluation, see "Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships: Growing the Supply of Early Learning Opportunities for More Infants and Toddlers Year One Report, January 2015 – January 2016" released by the Administration for Children and Families in March 2016.
The National Head Start Association and our collaborators applaud the Administration’s commitment to increasing investments in high-quality early learning experiences for children and families to build a foundation of success both in school and throughout their lives.