This bipartisan investment is a significant step forward for Head Start and represents Congress’ and the President’s commitment to the success of our nation’s most vulnerable children and families.
We don't know quite yet what this will look like here at NCCDI, and we won't until we get closer to the end of the fiscal year. We do know, however, what is involved in the actual bill. Here is a brief summary, from National Head Start Association:
Head Start - Head Start and Early Head Start received a $570 million increase bringing the total funding level for the program to an historic level of $9.168 billion. That breaks down into the following areas:
- Cost of Living Adjustment - The bill included a $141 million increase for cost of living adjustment or between a 1.7 - 1.8 % increase. Grantees should expect to hear from the Office of Head Start about the increase in the coming months when their new grant year begins.
- Quality Improvement Funding for Increasing Service Hours - The bill included a $294 million increase in funds to support grantees who are ready and interested in increasing the duration of their services. While the funding is allocated through the Quality Improvement Fund, per NHSA's recommendation, it is dedicated specifically for grantees who would like to expand the hours of service they provide. Expect the Office of Head Start to release guidance for how to access the funding - and keep in mind that OHS has until December 31, 2016 to distribute the funds.
- Expansion of Early Head Start - The bill included a $135 million increase specifically for expansion of Early Head Start. Per NHSA's recommendation, the majority of these funds ($76 million) are targeted toward direct expansion of EHS while the rest ($59 million) are dedicated toward the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership model. We expect the Office of Head Start to run a new competition for these expansion funds sometime in the spring/summer of 2016 and will keep you informed as more details emerge.
Pre-K Development and Expansion Grants - The Pre-K Development and Expansion Grants received flat funding, $250 million, in order to continue funding the 18 states who were awarded grants last year. Of particular note, the bill funds the Pre-K Development and Expansion grants under the previous authority NOT the new authority for Preschool Development Grants that recently was created in the Every Student Succeeds Act. This means that these grants are not expected to change until 2017.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part b and Part c - IDEA Part b and Part c both received a funding increase in FY16 - $15 million and $20 million respectively.
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) - CSBG received a funding increase of $41 million, bringing its total funding to $714.9 million.
This is great news for our Head Start community!