Category: Grant Reviews

Early Head Start – Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships: Why Do We Need Them?

EHS Child Care Partnerships

It’s Summer…Let’s Get Working!

Business is getting busier…which is always a good thing!  If anyone needs a program assessment or grant work, let me know.  Even in this economy, there are grants waiting to be applied for and awarded to a variety of organizations.  Writing and reviewing grant applications is just one way we can help make your business better!  Love my work!

New Round of Head Start Grants Announced

Grants.gov has posted its new set of Funding Opportunity Announcements.  Check out this link to search for your grant.  Just enter in your keywords and hit search!

Contact A Tomas Consulting for assistance with understanding the grant opportunity, writing your grant application or for a review and feedback on your proposal.  Our firm works with agencies from all background looking for a grant.  Let us help you win your grant.

 

Grant Opportunities!

Head Start and Early Head Start

For many Head Start programs around the country, the sequester is forcing tough decisions regarding staff, children and services offered to those in need.  A mandatory 5% cut in funding is required by all Head Start and Early Head Start programs with the results including laying off employees, combining positions so that one employee is now doing the work of two or more and terminating enrollment for children.  The sequester may be what some people felt was needed but it does affect more than just a small number of needy children and families.  And with all of this to handle, Head Start and Early Head Start programs may also be looking at applying for additional funding.  Even with the sequester, grants are up for bid in areas all over the United States.

Based on the reformed Head Start requirements, programs with deficiencies during a Federal Review are required to re-bid for their grants.  This means that the grants are open to bids from other agencies for the same or split service areas.  Organizations that think they can provide higher quality of services are encouraged to apply for the funding and to present their case to the Office of Head Start in the form of a grant application.   To prepare for this, the Office of Head Start recruited Grant Reviewers.  Over 1,300 applicants were selected to participate in a training in Washington, DC, and of those applicants, 20% were chosen to be reviewers for the applications.  I was in the 20% that was chosen, trained, vetted, and consistently used to review applications in the first round of re-competition.

After working in the fields of early childhood education, non-profits and social services for over 20 years, I have often heard agency staff talk about another agency’s program and how they could do it better.  The refunding provides opportunities for those staff to show how they would do it…differently, better, more efficient.  As someone who has been trained, interviewed, and employed by the Office of Head Start to review grant applications, I understand what they are looking for when those applications are submitted.  As someone who has worked in early childhood in a variety of roles, including as a Teacher, Center Director, Coordinator, and Department Director, I understand Head Start and Early Head Start services and goals.  With my combined experience, I am able to offer my support in applying for a Head Start grant and in evaluating current services being offered.  I can tell you what your program’s strengths are as well as identify areas that need improvement.  I can review your grant application and provide feedback as to what works and what needs editing.

The Head Start and Early Head Start populations are among the neediest in the country.  The funds for these services come from the people of the United States.  These services are required to be high quality and make an impact and they should meet those requirements.  This program not only provides early childhood education, it also provides services to help family members gain employment, further education, and become self-sufficient.  Children who receive early childhood education are more successful in school which also affects society and everyone involved.  This program fills a need and makes a difference and it should be required to meet the highest standards.  I can help you program be one of the best and showcase that in your grant application.

FOA:Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health Through Integration

Re-Competing for Head Start/Early Head Start Grant

Are you a Head Start and/or Early Head Start Director who has to re-compete for your Head Start and/or Early Head Start grant?  Are you trying to navigate the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) process and coming away frustrated and unsure?

I can help.  I am an approved Federal Reviewer for Head Start and Early Head Start grant applications.  I participated in the Office of Head Start’s training and screening process and I am a qualified, experienced reviewer available to help your program re-apply for your grant.  I also have previous practical knowledge of Head Start and Early Head Start as well as early childhood education, social services and health services with over 20 years experience in those fields.

Based on the revised guidelines, your Head Start/Early Head Start grant is available for other organizations to apply and receive.  You are now competing against other agencies who strive to provide Head Start/Early Head Start services to your area(s).  The Office of Head Start does not provide direct support for your grant application process, but I do.   I am available to review your grant application before you submit it as well as provide feedback that will assist your program in strengthening your application.

Contact me for additional information regarding your application process.  www.atomasconsulting.com,  atomasconsulting@gmail.com and 904-451-5470.

Grant Reviews

I just finished another session of grant reviews. These weren’t as detailed as my previous jobs, but still interesting and as always, a new learning opportunity. Each time I review a grant just reinforces how much I enjoy this part of my business. It’s like solving a large puzzle, making sure all of the pieces fit together in just the right way.

Reviewing Grants

I have been working with the Office of Head Start, reviewing grant applications for the past 4 months. I never thought that I would enjoy reading grants, writing comments and attaching scores as much as I do. I see each grant as a puzzle. It is my job to solve the puzzle and ensure that the applicant has a plan to meet the requirements of the Funding Announcement Opportunity. I like the structure of the review process with the diversity of each application. I find joy in completing the work and I find fulfillment of being able to work from home.

Life is funny. I enjoy reading grants. I enjoy stretching my brain by increasing my knowledge of different interpretations of the Head Start Performance Standards and the Head Start Act. I know that I am helping to make a difference by participating in the review process. It is about identifying agencies that are able to provide high quality services. These agencies make the direct impact on people’s lives, but I get to be part of that by not only scoring applications, but also by providing feedback that can help the agency strengthen its weaknesses and enhance its strengths. I am also helping local communities that receive these Head Start grants based on my and the other reviewers’ evaluations. New Head Start and Early Head Start grants not only provide education and family services for the community but also provide opportunities for employment and economic growth. I am part of the job creation process as well as the community development process.

Life is good when you can do a job that you love and know that you are helping make the world be a better place.

 

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