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Building and Sustaining Quality Early Care and Education Grant

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Request for Application (RFA) Release Date: July 10, 2019 12 p.m. [view RFA]

As authorized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and CCDF through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, effective Nov. 19, 2014 ((P.L. 113-186; 42 U.S.C. 9858 et seq.), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) – Division of Early Learning, is soliciting grant applications for the Building and Sustaining Quality Early Care and Education Grant. The goal of this grant is to build the capacity of DC’s early care and education system to expand and enhance quality services for young children and their families. This grant is supported through local funds and federal funds.  

OSSE/DEL is combining three previous grants (Capital Quality – Quality Facilitators / Quality Rating and Improvement System; DC Child Care Connections – Child Care Resource and Referral; and Shared Services Business Alliance grants) into one grant with three program areas to align the strategies and enhance collaboration coordination among interested organizations.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria: OSSE will make these grants available through a competitive process. Eligible applications include: not-for-profit, for-profit and faith-based community organizations and agencies. Eligible applicants must have experience in business and financial management, system design, early childhood and a working knowledge of the District’s early childhood landscape. Additionally, eligible applicants must demonstrate knowledge of child development facility licensing regulations and knowledge of child development and developmentally-appropriate practice in early childhood education.

Applications will be scored on the following selection criteria: (1) information about the organization; (2) organizational knowledge, including but not limited to, experience in each program area to which your organization is applying, organizational networks, and collaboration with government stakeholders; (3) process to provide and monitor services, including but not limited to, implementation of the program, communications strategy, process for continuous learning, and development of work plan and data collection and evaluation plans; and (4) detailed planned expenditures: financial management and proposed budget.  

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend an EGMS training on Wednesday, June 26 as well as a pre-application meeting: online session Tuesday, July 23 or in-person meeting Wednesday, July 31.

Technical training on OSSE’s grant management system (Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.): Applicants are encouraged to attend the EGMS to prepare applicants to submit grant applications. Attendees will gain understanding on how to access and log into EGMS and who should have access at their organization. This event is available as a webinar and in-person meeting.

Pre-application meeting (online: Tuesday, July 23, 1-4 p.m. [Register] or in-person: Wednesday, July 31, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. [Register]: Applicants are encouraged to attend the online session on in-person session to:

  1. Understand the major components of the RFA and gain proficiency in EGMS to apply for the grant; and
  2. Network with other applicants and potentially develop partnerships.

Length of Award: The period for this grant will be four years, ending on Sept. 30, 2023, contingent upon availability of funds. Each budget period will be one year, with the first period ending Sept. 30, 2020.

Available Funding for Award: The total funding available for developing and implementing the Building and Sustaining Quality Early Care and Education Grant is $3,150,000 for the first year for implementation of all three program areas. The amount in subsequent years may vary based on the scaling up of the District’s QRIS. The maximum grant amount is broken down by program area. Eligible applicants may apply for any amount up to the full amount for which they are eligible but may be awarded amounts less than requested. Grant funds shall only be used to support activities authorized by the relevant statutes and included in the applicant’s submission.

Year 1 funding amounts:

  1. Program Area One: QRIS: $1,530,000 in Year 1: The award amount will increase each year as OSSE continues to add new child development facilities to the QRIS system, which will in turn require additional quality facilitators.
  2. Program Area Two: CCR&R: $1,120,000 each year.
  3. Program Area Three: Shared Services Business Alliance: $500,000 in Year 1. The award amount will decrease in subsequent years as fees for services are phased in.  

Applicants may submit an application for one, two or all three program areas. Applicants applying for more than one program area must apply as a consortium, meaning that one primary applicant will manage the grant and will contract directly with other organizations/partners. OSSE expects to award one primary applicant or single, non-consortium applicant to cover each of the three Program Areas or one to two consortium(s) to cover 2-3 program areas. Ultimately, OSSE will award grants to applicants so that all three program areas will be implemented.  Entities may apply as part of more than one consortium.  

Application Process: An external review panel or panels will be convened to review, score and rank each application. The review panel(s) will be composed of neutral, qualified, professional individuals selected for their expertise, knowledge or related experiences. The application will be scored against a rubric and each application will have multiple reviewers to ensure accurate scoring. Upon completion of its review, the panel(s) shall make recommendations for awards based on the scoring rubric(s). The State Superintendent or her designee will make all final award decisions. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 at 3 p.m. OSSE estimates that it will award grants by Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019; however this date may change.

The RFA will be available on the District of Columbia Office of Partnerships and Grant Services website. Applications will be submitted through the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS).


For additional information regarding this grant competition, please contact:
Tara Dewan-Czarnecki
Program Manager
Division of Early Learning
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Phone: (202) 741-7637
Email: [email protected]

Rebecca Shaw
Director of Operations and Management
Division of Early Learning
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Phone: (202) 741-7637
Email: [email protected]