Just When Recompetition Applications Were Due, the Deadline Changed. Why?
Typically, grant deadlines are set in stone. By set in stone, I mean they rarely change and if you miss the deadline, you are not able to submit. It is that simple and boy have we at Heartland seen Head Start grantees lose their funding over this issue. However, the recompetition applications due in March are now due in May. Why, could this be? A few possible reasons that grants are delayed for submission as well as those that may apply in this instance are listed below.
Grants.gov, the submission system for recompetition grants (and all new federal grants submitted to the Office of Head Start) has recently been updated and applicants must now apply using a login.gov account that is linked to the grants.gov account. This could have created issues for programs that required an extension of the deadline.
Expansion is on the Horizon
Many of the recompetition reviewers are also reviewers on other Head Start grants such as the Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships. These reviewers are paid a stipend for each grant they review. Also, the Office of Head Start must provide training to all of them, which costs money. Often when an expansion is also planned, the Office of Head Start will combine the reviewer pool to save money. This could be the case.
Changes to the Application
When there are changes to the grant application, the Office of Head Start must provide additional time for applicants to respond and change their applications.
Emergencies and Natural Disasters
In the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or fire the application date may change for selected states. This occurred in the 2021 Early Head Start Child Care Partnership competition.
Flexibility in the Application Process
Did you know, the Office of Head Start just published an comment opportunity to weigh-in on the recompetition grant application? These comments indicate that respondents need more time to respond because the grant applications are exhaustive and lengthy. In fact, during the first few rounds of recompetition applicants had 90 working days to respond, which was changed to 60 days. Perhaps, the Office of Head Start is going back to this model.