As you likely know, the federal government responded to the financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a variety of relief assistance packages and opportunities. This funding is also available to Head Start agencies and organizations.
What federal relief funding for Head Starts is available?
Funding for Head Starts is available through three avenues. The first is the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. Of the $1.9 trillion made available, $1 billion of it is specifically for Head Start organizations. In addition to these funds, $750 million in funding for head starts is also available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and $250 million through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. These funds are distributed by the federal government to areas in need, so they can provide children and families with safe and high-quality early education through various head starts.
How do I access the funding?
Federal relief funding is made available at that grantee-office level to ensure that the spending of these funds is prioritized for programs in need of in-person services that they may not have had access to due to COVID-19.
From there, the grantee offices have the flexibility to use the funds to support both the short-term and long-term needs of the centers they oversee and support in their community. If you are a center director or teacher looking for funding, please reach out to your grantee office to start the conversation around your center’s needs.
If you are unsure how to contact your grantee office, use the ECLKC Head Start Locator. Enter your zip code and find your center. Your grantee office location and contact information will be shown below.
How can I use the funding for my Head Start?
The federal funding for head starts can be used in a variety of ways but will ultimately be determined by your grantee office. The goal is to look for ways to support your program both through the short-term and long-term needs. Some of these areas include:
- Reaching more families through offering more days, longer hours, support for families, and transportation
- Getting ready for in-person services by enhancing outdoor equipment and products to allow for additional learning spaces, cleaning supplies and PPE equipment, and additional classroom equipment to services more children
- Providing employee support services such as additional staff members to ease current burdens, along with wellness and mental health support, professional learning, and development for staff
Overall, there are a variety of ways to utilize the funding to set your children and staff up for success.
How Can Play with a Purpose Help?
Play with a Purpose offers high-quality products that can be used to enhance outdoor learning spaces, provide additional furniture or play items to help serve more children, and equip your classroom(s) with essential PPE and sanitation products.
Our helpful team will work with you to understand your needs and create a quote that you are able to share that with your grantee office to get funding approved for your center.
Wondering where to start? Other programs have purchased these products with their federal funding:
- Outdoor Learning: Bring nature back into the classroom and promote learning through exploration and discovery in a natural outdoor learning environment.
- Classroom Furniture: Reinvent your space with a classroom divider that serves more than one purpose or switch up the layout to allow for additional centers or spaces for your children.
Do you still have questions about federal relief funding for head starts? Do you need a quote to share with your grantee office? Call us at 1-855-858-5501 and a friendly and knowledgeable member of our team will be happy to answer your questions!