Grant Description & Purpose

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) was awarded a federal Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) from the U. S. Department of Education to expand high-quality early childhood education to four-year-old children whose families earn under 200 percent (200%) of the federal poverty line. Five high-need communities in Massachusetts -- Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield -- are currently being funded through this federal grant to implement full-day, full-year preschool for four-year-olds through public-private partnerships between the local public school district as the lead education agency (LEA) and two or three local licensed early learning providers (ELPs). As currently designed, the public school districts have been granted the funds and subcontract with the ELPs for the direct services to children and families in the community.   LEA and their ELP partners work jointly on the program design including the selection and implementation of curriculum, coaching, coordination and provision of comprehensive services, family engagement supports, inclusive services for special populations, and joint professional development.

The FY2016 Commonwealth Partnership Planning Grant enabled EEC to support 13 communities in the development of a strategic plan for expanded preschool based on the PEG model. Through the FY16 procurement, LEAs and local community partners jointly developed plans to address the communities’ capacity to expand access to high quality preschool. While these plans were comprehensive, their broad nature limited grantees’ capacity to dive deeply into potential funding models. Most grantees identified additional State dollars as the sole resource available to support their expansion plans. On a state and national basis, funding for preschool services often consist of a matrix of public and private sources. The purpose of this FY17 procurement, therefore, is to support preschool expansion sustainability planning with a particular focus on the identification of leadership, infrastructure and funding mechanisms necessary to:

  • Enhance and/or sustain the PEG program, or particular components, after the federal grant period;
  • Fund expansion plans developed via the FY16 Commonwealth Preschool Partnerships Initiative Grant;
  • Fund the expansion of high quality preschool in communities that have not received a PEG or FY16 Commonwealth Preschool Partnerships Grant but that have robust community partnerships in place that could benefit from the development of a plan for expansion and sustainability;
  • Identify the leadership and governance structure required to sustain or enhance particular program components to support high quality preschool, and ascertain the size and scope of the program design;
  • Identify the source(s) and mechanisms of funding required to for sustaining implementation (including existing, local, municipal, philanthropic funding sources. Examples include Chapter 70, grants, school district funds, local tax dollars, Head Start or other innovative fund use at the local level) toward the goal of providing a 1:1 match of state dollars; and
  • Identify key stakeholders to support sustainability, including those who could support all aspects of sustainability, representing programmatic, fiscal and strategic priorities for preschool expansion.

This planning process will require that grantees identify funding priorities: the elements deemed most critical to achieving quality. Grantees will be required to consider how they might approach planning programmatic components, how they would determine priority areas if the current model cannot be level funded, and how they might implement a program if funding was available in stages over time.

Grantees will be expected to identify leadership, governance, infrastructure and sources of funding to enhance and/or sustain preschool programming, into the foreseeable future.

Responses to this Grant Application (RFR) are due to EEC by 3:00 PM on April 7, 2017.

Application Information

Before completing your FY 2017 Preschool Expansion Sustainability Planning Grant Online Application (Fund Code 519), please read the Grant Application posted on COMMBUYS.

COMMBUYS Grant Information

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Eligible Applicants

In order to be eligible for the FY 2017 Preschool Expansion Sustainability Planning Grant, grantees must meet all of the criteria outlined below (for complete details on eligibility, please read the Grant Application):

In order to be considered for a grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Cities, towns, regional school districts or educational collaboratives currently providing pre-kindergarten or preschool opportunities through a public-private partnership are eligible to apply. The application, however, must represent a partnership between a public school district (LEA) and at least two EEC licensed early learning providers (ELPs). This partnership must be able to demonstrate a history of prior collaboration. ELPs may include not for profit or for profit early education providers, independent family child care educators and/or family child care systems. The partnering LEA must have staff dedicated to early learning programming. A community is defined as a geographic area where LEA and ELP partners serve children who will attend kindergarten within the LEA's school district. A documented demand for increased preschool services in the community, particularly for children facing multiple risk factors to success in educational outcomes such as poverty, high numbers of recent immigrants, high percentage of homeless families, high crime rates, etc.
  • Identified individual with the capacity to conduct the data collection and analysis necessary to complete the work required in the short timeframe available.

Preference will be given to applicants:

  • Communities currently receiving a PEG grant.
  • Prior recipients of the Commonwealth Preschool Partnerships Initiative.
  • Communities that demonstrate local commitment to sustaining and/or expanding public-private partnerships currently in place to provide high quality preschool.
  • That the applicant community serves high percentages of high-needs students.

Timeline

Procurement Activity

Date

Time

Grant Application Release/Posting

March 23, 2017

 

Submission of Written Inquiries

 

Applicants must submit written inquiries to:

EECSubmission@massmail.state.ma.us           

March 29, 2017

3:00 PM

Post Response to Written Inquiries (Estimated)

March 31, 2017

 

Submission Deadline for Quotes/Bid Responses

Applicants must submit proposals to:

EECSubmission@massmail.state.ma.us

April 7, 2017

3:00 PM

Notification of Awards (Estimated)

April 11, 2017

 

Estimated Grant Start Date

April 17, 2017

 

Application Submission Information

In accordance with the submission requirements detailed below, all required documents, including the online application, budget workbook, narrative questions, attachments, and fiscal forms must be received at EEC’s Central Office by 3:00 PM on April 7, 2017. Grant applications will NOT be accepted after 3:00 p.m. on April 7, 2017.  

Online Application

To complete and submit the online portion of the grant application, please register with COMMBUYS and view the Grant Application where the link to the Online Application is located. 

Grant Applications will be considered incomplete if all the sections of the hard copies and online copies are not received by the submission deadline.

EEC will disqualify any incomplete or late grant applications from consideration/review.