• Andrea Molarius

When Is Early Head Start Expansion Going to Happen?

Many programs are wondering with all the focus on early childhood, will there be a grant for the expansion of Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership programs released this year? From what we have heard, the focus on the Biden American Families Plan is on preschool and child care, which includes infants and toddlers. There is also real discussion of a badly needed cost of living increase for Head Start staff that is likely to roll out. While many aspects of the American Families Plan appear to be diminished, the focus on child care has not changed. Currently, the plan includes funds to support high-quality affordable childcare. Historically, there has not been an expansion of child care or large scale changes to the early childhood system without the involvement of Head Start. We hope this will be the case this time. The expansion of child care access is just simply not possible without Head Start because the program is not only the largest and most evaluated and effective program serving children under-five, but it also has the systems in place for supporting staff training, quality improvement and facilities development, three monumental challenges that must be addressed for any improvement in child care cost and affordability to be resolved. Over the past several years, Early Head Start expansion grants are released every two years. Based on prior trends, this would mean a competition would be released in Fall of 2022. However, in light of budget changes at the federal level and new investments this could occur earlier. If you need help preparing for an Early Head Start expansion, please reach out and we are here to help. Heartland has written Early Head Start Expansion and Child Care Partnership grants since the inception of the program and can assist with the full proposal development process.

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If history serves as a guide, the next round of Early Head Start expansion and Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) funding opportunities will be released in October or November. Not only