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Securing Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships

We're excited to periodically feature posts by members of our Professional Development Consultant Directory. Did you know that you can find highly-qualified consultants for your program through our directory? Please note that the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect NHSA's own views.


Working with Programs to Secure EHS-CC Partnerships

I’ve been wonderfully busy working with programs to secure Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CC) Partnership monies that will create and strengthen partnerships with local child care programs. This interesting collaboration will extend the best of EHS out to the community, stretching those Federal dollars to serve as many children as possible. Additional funding for EHS and EHS-CC Partnerships is expected this spring so here are some tips for those of you who want to apply.

The first step, of course, is obtaining those dollars. Whether you write the grant in house or hire a grant writing professional, grant writers need to be familiar with the topic at hand, meticulous, and willing to do some research in order to be successful. They also need to be ready to write, edit, re-write, read, and re-write yet again. It is a combination of knowledge, skill, persistence, and patience.

 

Here are key “rules” that I credit for my success:

  1. Know the field. What are best practices? What standards are applicable? What professional associations are associated with the goals of the grant?
  2. Be sure the grant you’re considering fits YOUR program needs. Don’t get caught up in the game and wind up “chasing money,” thinking that you can make your program fit the parameters of the grant. Be sure not to lose sight of the fact that if you win the award, you’ll be expected to implement everything you promised. If it’s not a natural fit, you might win the grant award and wish you hadn’t!
  3. Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)…every word…several times. Know the FOA thoroughly.
  4. Answer EVERY question; follow EVERY instruction. Know that not all questions the funder wants answered are in the points criteria…the narrative of the FOA often contains extra requirements. If there are page limits, stay within them. If a font is specified, use it. Nothing will get your grant application tossed more quickly than to ignore directions.

If you are applying for EHS-CC Partnership money, here are some tips:

  1. KNOW the Performance Standards and Licensing for your state.
  2. Identify your partner(s) first…before you write anything.
  3. Bring your partner(s) into the budget discussion. How is this going to work? What does the partner need to be able to do this successfully? Do the math to ensure that your planned supplements to the partner will be adequate to fund the quality improvements, such as reduced group size.
  4. Discuss how the arrangement will work for you. How many children will you try to place in child care? How will your partner handle the hours that are required for EHS to be full day/full year?

Involving your partner early, before the budget is done, will greatly reduce the stress of the implementation process after the grant is awarded and help ensure your partner stays on-board.

 

Visit NHSA's Professional Development Consultants Directory to learn more about Dr. Jean Foster Paulsel and the other consultants and organizations who are ready to help your program get the results and outcomes you’re striving for.

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