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Deciding the state role in Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grants: What are the different levels of potential state involvement?
Capizzano, Jeffrey, 20 June, 2014
Boston: Build Initiative.

The recently released $500 million Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnership grants provides an opportunity to increase the supply of high-quality infant and toddler care within states. Through this initiative, eligible organizations are strongly encouraged to partner with center-based and family child care providers who agree to meet Early Head Start Program Performance Standards and provide comprehensive, full-day, full-year services for eligible infants and toddlers and their families. The initiative creates an opportunity for applicants to think creatively about bringing federal Early Head Start standards and funding together with state child care subsidy regulations and funding to improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers in child care settings. The Partnership concept, and the implementation challenges that come with it, are not new. The $1.1 billion expansion of EHS through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created similar partnerships, and more generally, Head Start programs have placed contracted Head Start slots within child care programs for many years. Although the concept is not new, this specific opportunity provides the various administrators working within a state's early childhood system with the opportunity to think differently about how the state's early childhood efforts to support infant and toddler health, development and care relate to the federal EHS program. Although the federal to local funding structure of Head Start has historically caused significant state-level coordination issues, state participation in this Partnership opportunity can build upon the work started by Head Start State Collaboration Directors to create stronger connections and alignment between EHS and state child care systems and can facilitate more streamlined implementation of the Partnership model on the ground. This brief outlines different ways in which states can participate in EHS-CC Partnership grants. While states cannot be grantees in the Head Start program (which serves children three- to five-years old), states are eligible to become Early Head Start grantees. (author abstract)

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