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OSSE Releases Notice of Funding Availability for High-Quality Pre-K Programs

Friday, March 8, 2019

Application Release Date: Monday, March 18, 2019

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Division of Early Learning, is soliciting applications for the allocation of Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion funding. OSSE will distribute funding to community-based organizations (CBOs)1 pursuant to the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Amendment Act of 2008, (the “Act”), effective July 18, 2008 (DC Law 17-202; DC Official Code § 38-271.01 et seq.) and its’ implementing regulations (5-A DCMR Chapter 35).

The purpose of this allocation is to distribute funding, per student, as appropriate, in an amount not to exceed the uniform per student funding formula (“UPSFF”)2 pursuant to section 2401 of the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995, approved April 26, 1996 (110 Stat. 1321- 107; DC Official Code § 38-1804.01), to CBOs providing pre-K education services3 that meet the eligibility requirements and the high-quality standards set forth in section 201 of the Act (DC Code § 38-272.01) and its implementing regulations (5A DCMR 3500.3 and 3501). A supplemental allocation equivalent to the at-risk weight may be distributed for pre-K age students in foster care, who are homeless or receive TANF or SNAP funds pursuant to the Early Learning Equity in Funding Amendment Act of 2017, effective Aug 1, 2017 (DC Law 22-9; DC Official Code § 38-271.06)).

The allocation of the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion funding is currently not a competitive grant process. However, if the amount appropriated to OSSE is insufficient to fund all high-quality pre-K programs that meet the eligibility requirements and the high-quality standards, OSSE may distribute the funds through a competitive grant process (see “Competitive Grant, If Applicable” below).

Eligibility: In order to apply for an allocation of Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion funding, a CBO providing pre-K education services shall:

  1. Be currently licensed and maintain compliance pursuant to Chapter 1 of Title 5A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR 5-A, Chapter 1);
  2. Be currently accredited by a national accrediting body approved by OSSE;
  3. Complete and submit a high-quality designation application on a form furnished by OSSE, which demonstrates that the CBO meets each of the following:
    1. Eligibility criteria pursuant to 5A DCMR 3500.3; and
    2. High-quality standards pursuant to 5A DCMR 3501; and
  4. Attend the entire pre-application conference.

OSSE will host the aforementioned mandatory Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion pre-application conference on the date, time, and location listed below. Given the importance of the information that will be presented throughout the entire conference, no one will be allowed to join the session after the pre-application conference begins. Attendance will be taken at the beginning and end of the pre-application conference. Failure to attend the entire pre-application conference will result in a disqualification of the high-quality designation application. Register for the pre-application conference.

  • Monday, March 25, 2019, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at OSSE, 1050 First St. NE – First Floor – Eleanor Holmes Norton I (Room 109)

The Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion high-quality designation application will be posted on Monday, March 18, 2019 on OSSE’s website.

Competitive Grant Process, if Applicable

If OSSE does not receive an appropriation amount sufficient to fund all high-quality pre-K programs that meet the eligibility requirements and the high-quality standards, OSSE will allocate the funds through a competitive grant process. In that case, a Request for Application (RFA) will be released on Monday, April 29, 2019 on OSSE’s website.

For additional information regarding this NOFA, please contact:

Christina Crayton
Early Childhood Education Policy Officer
Policy, Planning, and Research Unit
Division of Early Learning
Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
Government of the District of Columbia
1050 First St. NE, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC  20002
Office: (202) 442-4716
[email protected]


1“Community-based organization” or “CBO” means a Head Start or early childhood education program operated by a non-profit, for-profit or faith-based organization, or organization that participates in local or federally-funded early childhood programs, including the Child Care Subsidy Program.
2Rates will be final upon the legislative enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Act of 2019.
3“Pre-K education service” means the purposeful, well planned and developmentally appropriate practice and instruction provided by community-based organizations to pre-K age children.