The Children’s Cabinet announces the release of the Early Childhood Block Grant Request for Proposals for state fiscal year 2022. The purpose of this grant opportunity is to provide early childhood services for at-risk children ages birth up to kindergarten entry to meet specific early childhood outcomes. This opportunity also applies to prenatal and family support services.
The Children’s Cabinet is interested in supporting evidence-based, data-driven best practices and program models that provide direct services to at-risk children and families. Proposals need to support activities and services that are community-based, community-informed, community-driven, and grounded in a public-private partnership framework.
ECBG FY22 applications will be submitted through the new Kansas CommonApp platform.
Who is eligible to apply for funding?
Eligible applicants should be experienced in providing service delivery models that yield positive outcomes to children from birth up to kindergarten entry and their families meeting at least one of the at-risk criteria, including prenatal supports with a commitment to evidence-based, data-driven practices. Applicants should include within their proposal a community-informed, community-driven collaborative approach with partners from the private sector. Eligible applicants may include:
- 501©(3) organizations
- County and city governments
- Unified School Districts (USDs)
Applications open January 12, 2020
Support for Families
Children and families who participate in high-quality early childhood care and education programming are more likely to have better educational outcomes, graduate high school, earn a higher lifetime salary, have higher levels of employment, and contribute to the vibrancy of their community.
High-quality early learning opportunities are particularly beneficial for children whose early experiences otherwise put them at risk. Applicants are encouraged to keep the needs assessment themes and All In For Kansas Kids goals in mind to design a local system that holistically meets the needs of young children and families.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the At-Risk criteria be how we are providing scholarships? Previously all CDBG funds I have worked with have been household/income based on HUD guidelines. This seems to extend past that. Also, will these questions be on the application?
CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) is a Federal program with funds distributed by the Kansas Department of Commerce, and different than the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) funding from the Children’s Initiative Fund and administered by the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund. Services delivered to children and families with the Early Childhood Block Grant funds should be for individuals who meet one or more of the at-risk criteria outlined in the RFP. Programs determine, and should explain, how they plan to recruit, enroll, and administer funds to meet this requirement. Each program determines their enrollment process including any application used internally for program administration.
Regarding Additional Program Requirements: if parent communication and involvement has been limited to newsletters and emails due to COVID-19, will that suffice?
We understand that many parent engagement activities cannot be held in-person and alternative ways of engaging families can be proposed.
Regarding the At-Risk Criteria, will we need families to provide proof that English isn’t their first language, and if so, how should we do that?
It is up to applicants to develop a process for determining At-Risk eligibility.
I understand that application requests are capped at $2.2 million. Will organizations that are applying for continued funding be limited to their previous year's amount? This is extremely important for organizations trying to plan budgets will multiple grant funders.
Current grantees are not restricted beyond what is outlined in the RFP. This grant is open to any eligible applicant and not considered a renewal.
My team hadn't submitted letters of support in previous years, but this is something I frequently submit when applying for grants on behalf of nonprofit organizations. Could you please give me an example of what entities would provide letters of support? For example, our project partners include United Way and Family Conservancy. Would letters of support from leaders of those organizations be appropriate? I just want to make sure I understand the role of letters of support in the context of the K-12/education grant environment.
Letters of support are optional. Letters of support could reflect any cash match or in-kind given to the project. Letters of support could also indicate the level of collaboration among partners. Applicants should determine whether or not to include letters of support.
Could you please provide a bit more information about what you are looking for in the "Additional Budget Documentation" part of the budget for the cost areas identified? How it is different from the information submitted in the budget justification portion of the budget narrative?
This is optional. If there are details about budget items that need to be further described or explained, an applicant could upload appropriate documentation. For most applicants this will not be necessary.
What is a “promising practice?”
The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse is a good reference. Per their definition, Promising Practices refer to programs that include measurable results and report successful outcomes, however, there is not yet enough research evidence to prove that this program or process will be effective across a wide range of settings and people. For a link to the scientific rating scale used to evaluate each practice based on available research- https://www.cebc4cw.org/ratings/scientific-rating-scale/ .
We are working on our ECBG renewal. We have a position that we propose funding 75% through the ECBG, and 25% through our PDG Connecting Families grant. Can we list the PDG as cash match on the ECBG application?
State or Federal funds may not be used for match (see RFP page 13).
Regarding the Common Measures: are all of the listed evaluations necessary, or can we use one to evaluate our programs?
Common Measures are to be collected as they align with each applicant’s program components and services. Pages 9-10 of the RFP outline each Common Measures, and an explanation of what types of programs will be required to collect the measure. For example, on page 10 – “Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory: Used with home visitation and case management programs…”
Do we need to buy each of the Common Measures programs? Or are they provided to us? If we need to purchase them, can we include the costs in our budgeting?
The cost of the materials for the measures should be included in your budgets. The Children’s Cabinet covers training costs for everything except The Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS) since that is self-directed. Home Observation for the Measurement of the Home (HOME) Inventory, Ages and Stages Questionnaire’s (ASQs) and Deveraux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) do not require training, but you may include that optional training in your budget.
Regarding the reporting requirements, is there a specific way information needs to be relayed? It says the information will come in the Award Letter, but I wanted to see how things are preferred.
Awarded applicants will be provided with reporting forms and templates after the award is finalized, which will include a monthly transaction report for financial reimbursements, a quarterly progress report that will gather data collection and service delivery information, and data reporting for the common measures (demographic information on children and caregivers/parents, measures, etc).
May we apply for funds to support our early intervention (part C) provider?
Per page 11 of the RFP, applicants should provide and coordinate services and resources with strategies that build on, not duplicate, services for families with age-eligible children (that also meet the at-risk criteria).
Is there a word limit on any portion of the application?
The project abstract is the only section with a word limit.
During this current ECBG year, home visitation programs were transitioned to using the Parenting Stress Index assessment due to the inability to use the HOME assessment with virtual visits. It was noted in the RFP that the HOME is listed as one of the Common Measures to be used in the new grant year. Due to the feasibility of using the Parenting Stress Index with virtual visits, is there an option to use the Parenting Stress Index assessment in the new grant year?
A final decision about continuing the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) in FY22 has not been made. Applicants can indicate the PSI as a preference in the logic model or where appropriate in the application.
What is meant by “outreach strategies?”
Outreach strategies are the ways you communicate or connect with target audiences or populations to inform them about your programs, services, eligibility, enrollment opportunities, etc.
It appears that much of this information requested in one proposal section is repeatedly requested in other sections—such as the Partner Funding Allocation—this information would also be listed in the budget worksheet. Is it okay to repeat the information?
Applicants may choose to repeat information as appropriate.
For the Timeline, is it acceptable to attach a chart or what do you suggest as the best format for this?
The portal is not set up to except an attachment for this section. Applicants can provide the Timeline however they deem best in the section provided, but a bulleted list or paragraph is acceptable.