Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, Congress appropriated $135 million for new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) and Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion grants. EHS-CCPs support states and communities in expanding high quality early learning and development opportunities for infants and toddlers. After only two years EHS-CCP programs have shown positive and comprehensive impacts on the lives of young children across the country. The new law will increase the number of EHS-CCP programs, allowing more children access to high quality care in the United States.

Early Head Start, which was added to the Head Start Act in 1995, provides health, educational, nutritional, social and family support services for children birth up to age three from low-income backgrounds. Block grants administered by the Office of Child Care through the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) provide federal support to states, which is then transferred to low-income, working families in order to assist with the cost of child care. The EHS-CCP is a competitive grant opportunity to support collaboration between EHS grantees and child care programs. According to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), grantees are partnering with more than 1,200 local child care centers and 600 family child care programs. By the time full enrollment is reached, grantees will be serving 32,000 infants and toddlers.

Through the EHS-CCPs, child care providers are able to improve all aspects of their programs from equipment and curriculum, to investments in the early childhood workforce to support teachers attaining their Child Development Associate (CDA), Associate in Arts (AA), or Bachelor in Arts (BA).  As states continue their efforts to align early learning policies, regulations and resources with quality improvement supports at the national, state and local levels, the EHS-CCPs is a model that works across programs and has demonstrated success. The Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) implemented in EHS-CCPs improve access to high-quality, full time child care that follows a relationship-based model and prepares children for the transition into preschool, in addition to ensuring low child to teacher ratios. With the increased investment, a new pool of programs are invited to apply for the competitive grant opportunity.

Public entities, nonprofits, or for profit private entities, including community-based and faith-based organizations, are eligible to apply, as well all existing grantees. Eligible applicants may apply for an EHS-CCP grant, a non-partnership EHS expansion grant, or a mix of both. Additional resources on the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships are available on the Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC)

The Funding Opportunity Announcement is available here.