Early Childhood Block Grant and Kansas Preschool Pilot FY23

Grant Opportunity

Note: This grant funding opportunity has closed. The information to follow is for archival purposes only.

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund (KCCTF) announce the release of funding opportunities to provide high-quality education for children birth up to kindergarten entry to meet specific early childhood outcomes for state fiscal year 2023 (school year 2022-2023). The purpose of this grant opportunity is to provide early childhood services for Kansas children and families ages birth to kindergarten entry, as well as services for prenatal and family supports.

Both KPP and the ECBG are intended to provide supplemental funding to fill gaps. Programs applying for this grant must demonstrate that they are investing other available financial resources and community support into their programs before requesting this funding. School districts applying for funds to support preschool programming will use the Preschool Revenue Calculator and Budget Template to demonstrate that they are reinvesting other available sources of funding (state enrollment aid and accompanying weightings, special education funds, Head Start funds) into their preschool programs before requesting these grant funds to supplement gaps.

KSDE and KCCTF have aligned Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) requirements with Kansas Preschool Pilot (KPP) requirements for grantees seeking funding to provide preschool services. Applicants will submit a single grant proposal as outlined in this Request for Proposals. KSDE and KCCTF will collaboratively review grant proposals and determine the most suitable funding source when making grant awards. This cross-agency common application process is intended to streamline the grant-writing and reporting process for local grantees.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Eligible applicants should be prepared to provide service delivery models that yield positive outcomes to Kansas children and families, including 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 in Kansas
  • County and city governments in Kansas
  • Unified School Districts (USDs) in Kansas

    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.

    Strong proposals will include:

    1. Plans based on community needs and data
    2. A focus on outcomes
    3. Public-private partnerships
    4. Improving quality and/or access to services
    5. A commitment to evidence-based, data-driven practices

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Both the program administrator and the organization head (superintendent) will be leaving the district at the end of this school year. Do I need to put a person’s name for who will be responsible for the grant or can I put in a position title?

    You should list the personnel who will be responsible for the grant project in April 2022; these will be the people who would confirm that your district/organization would accept a grant, who would sign assurances that the district/organization will fulfill grant requirements during the grant project period, and who would prepare their district/organization to successfully fulfill grant requirements once new personnel assume new roles.

    In reviewing the RFP I just need clarification that School districts can provide their own KPP application while a 501c3 can provide a ECBG application and at the state level you will decide how each grant will be funded? Or are you wanting one application for the entire county for both the KPP and ECBG? In Reno County each of the 6 school districts write their own KPP grant and the United Way oversees the Block grant. I just want to make sure we are all on the same page since I had a district reach out today about this.

    There is only one application and KSDE and KCCTF will collaboratively review grant proposals and determine the most suitable funding source when making grant awards. Each school district can submit an application and United Way can also submit an application. Please follow instructions in the RFP and Budget Template User Guide if United Way is applying to provide preschool slots in multiple school districts. The guidance on page 12 of the Budget Template User Guide under “Additional instructions for applicants that include multiple school districts” might be helpful as well.

    We are a school district and wanting to include our local preschool as a community partner to provide preschool services to 3 year old students. This is needed in order to expand our 4 year old program in the school but still provide services to 3 year olds. This community preschool is a high quality program, but the teacher does not have a teaching certificate and license through KSDE (close, but did not finish). I was reading about the CLASS observation tool and, the way I am reading it, we could include her program back under our grant (funded through KPP) as long as we complete the CLASS observation tool with her. Am I reading this correctly?

    You are correct –PreK classrooms (ages 3 to 5 years) that do not have a lead teacher holding a teaching license issued by KSDE will be required to use CLASS.

    Do you have any examples of the logic model? I am starting to look through everything and am needing help with it.

    Please refer to this Using a Logic Model resource for additional help.

    Is the Blueprint Common Measures the same document as Blueprint for Early Childhood?

    The Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund uses the Common Measures, a system of shared measurement that fosters a culture of continuous quality improvement by monitoring performance, tracking progress toward goals, and learning what is and is not working. You can find the tools used on Pages 12-16.

    This Blueprint document outlines the state’s three impact areas which align with the outcomes for this grant.

    We have listed the community partnerships and descriptions in the "Project Description/Strategies & Services Provided" area. However, the Community Partnerships on the rubric is listed AFTER the "Project Description/Equitable Services " on the rubric. So, my question is - since we have not listed the community partnerships in the same order as it falls on the rubric, will this be an issue? Do we need to move this description to keep it in the same order as the rubric? (It seems to fit better under the Strategies & Services" area.)

    Applications will be scored according to the rubric and points in particular sections.

    When we enter our school district number into the budget template a message appears that we did not meet the State Performance Plan targets for one or both of the Indicators 6A and 6B Preschool Environments for FFY2020. Does this mean we are not eligible to apply for the grant?

    Indicator 6: Preschool Environments (Early Childhood Least Restrictive Environment) is an important indicator of program quality, and this message is included in the Revenue Calculator and Budget Template to increase awareness of districts’ current data. Districts that are not currently meeting the State Targets are encouraged to develop plans to improve in this area. These districts are still eligible to apply for this grant funding opportunity; reviewers will not award points based on a district’s performance in this area while reviewing grant applications.

    KSDE announced on Nov. 19 that beginning in 2021-22, eligible 3-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students will generate Preschool-Aged At-Risk school finance formula funding. How should we include this revenue from 3-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students in our Revenue Calculator and Budget Template for the ECBG/KPP grant?

    Districts should include this new state aid for 3-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students when estimating revenue for 2021-22 and 2022-23. Include these students when estimating enrollment on the Revenue Calculator tab (rows 7, 8, 47, and 48). KSDE updated the Budget Template on Nov. 29 to change the title of these rows from “How many 4-year-old Preschool-Aged At-Risk students are enrolled?” to “How many 3- and 4-year-old Preschool-Aged At-Risk students are enrolled?”.

    If you have already begun working using the version of the Budget Template that reads “Updated 11-01-2021 at 3PM” on the “Instructions and Summary” tab, you do not need to download the updated version of the Budget Template. On the Revenue Calculator tab on row 61, “Budget Justification – Enrollment”, please note that your estimate includes 3-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students.

    Remember that the Kansas Preschool Pilot/Early Childhood Block Grant supplements gaps; if your district previously used this grant funding to serve 3-year-olds, it may be wise to evaluate whether supplemental grant funding is necessary moving forward in light of this school finance formula funding for 3-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students.

    To confirm, does the combined application have anything to do with PDG funds? In the future, we will be writing a renewal for PDG funds, and wanted to confirm it wasn't a part of the ECBG/KPP application. I'm assuming they are two separate things.

    The PDG subgrant is separate from the ECBG/KPP grant.

    Since our application is regional in scope, we have historically provided a needs table. Is there somewhere within the application you would like us to provide? It provides a regional snapshot, while breaking counties down individually.

    You could include this type of information in the Description of Need questions as applicable.

    We currently receive Early Childhood Block Grant funding. When we enter that revenue in the Revenue Calculator (cell B38) for 2021-22 the revenue populates to the "All Other Gifts & Grants" category on the Instructions and Summary tab. When we enter those expenses under "Early Childhood Block Grant/Kansas Preschool Pilot" in the Budget Template, those expenses appear in the "Kansas Preschool Pilot" column on the Instructions and Summary tab. Do we need to change where we report those expenses for 2021-22 so that they appear in the same column as the revenue?

    Having these 2021-22 revenue and expenses show up in two different columns on the Instructions and Summary tab will not negatively impact the review of your proposal. However, the summary information will be most useful to you if you record these 2021-22 Early Childhood Block Grant expenses in Column J, “All Other Gifts & Grants”, of the Budget Template for 2021-22. It is important that for 2022-23, you list the requested grant expenses in the Budget Template in Column I, “Kansas Preschool Pilot / Early Childhood Block Grant Request,” and include the total amount of grant funding requested on the Revenue Calculator in cell B83.

    Can we include 3-and 4-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students in our Kansas Preschool Pilot Roster?

    Yes. Districts should claim all eligible 3- and 4-year-old preschool-aged at-risk students for Preschool-Aged At-Risk funding. Grantees can also include these students as part of their Kansas Preschool Pilot roster. It will be essential for programs to maintain clear records identifying how separate funding sources were utilized.

    Is this grant based off of at-risk children? If so, what percent of the children must be at-risk? What are your qualifications for a child to considered as at-risk?

    Applicants should prioritize services for the most at-risk children and families. At minimum, 50% of children served in PreK or 0-3 classrooms should meet one or more of the criteria (page 9-10 of the RFP) for students at risk of entering kindergarten socially, emotionally or academically unprepared for success. 

    We were looking at pdf downloads from our draft applications and noticed when you do "preview" it is different than when you do a download from the my applications page. It appears some of the questions don't appear on preview.

    The application will look different in Good Grants vs. the template because in the Project Description Section when you choose which services you will be funding, in the actual application it will trigger further questions depending on which services you will be offering and hide the questions related to services you won’t. In the application pdf, it lists out all of those questions starting out with “if applicable”.

    Our program operates for 3 and 1/2 hours per session but the application won't allow me to enter text or 1/2 numbers. How do I enter this?

    Use a decimal number instead (3.5).