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Thrive to Five Head Start Competitive Five-Year Grant – Request for Proposals (RFP)

 Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County 

Thrive to Five Head Start Competitive Five-Year Grant 

Request for Proposals 

Release Date: June 29, 2022 

Proposal Submission Date: July 11, 2022 

Click here to download.pdf of RFP


Lancaster County Thrive to Five: Head Start 

Brief descriptions of the effort or need 

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County (CAP) is seeking an experienced individual who will work with and guide the CAP Thrive to Five program to navigate, and write a proposal for the Notice of Funding Opportunity, navigate the DRS system and support with writing the proposal for the five-year federal Head Start and Early Head Start grant. The proposal will guide the direction and priorities of the Thrive to Five program over the next five years. It will align with Head Start Program Performance Standards and will blend national, state, community, and program data to address community needs for early learning throughout Lancaster County, PA. 

The successful respondent will use a variety of techniques to work with the Thrive to Five administration and others over a period of time, deemed appropriate by the team, to write the Federal Head Start and Early Head Start proposal (DRS), while also offering some tactical steps to address critical needs and identify innovative strategies for addressing program and community complexities. The Head Start and Early Head Start program is a nationally recognized model for early childhood excellence. They are known for their rigorous performance standards that set the foundational expectations for all programs. Strong emphasis within the performance standards is placed on understanding the unique needs of the community and ensuring proper stewardship of funds towards meeting those needs. Office of Head Start places emphasis on utilizing community and program data to lead decision-making and institute a continuous quality improvement process (CQI). Applicants are encouraged to bring new and innovative ideas that are evidence-based or evidence-informed and align with community needs and program data. 

The Administration for Children and Families states that “applicants are funded if they demonstrate an organization’s commitment and capacity to operate a Head Start/Early Head start program that raises the quality of early care and education in the community and helps children start school ready to succeed.” All proposals must show the use of evidence-based early childhood practices that support a high level of classroom instruction, home visiting services, family engagement, and health services. Parent engagement, support towards self-sufficiency, and empowerment as their child’s teacher and advocate is a foundational pillars of the Head Start and Early Head Start model. The expectations are that respondents will provide TTA support to the Thrive to Five team that facilitates strategic planning for the agency’s proposal. Additionally, an applicant would support writing a proposal in response to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and the facilitation of any other necessary action items that are required for DRS. A successful individual would support the team with navigating a proposal that is built upon the history of Head Start and Early Head Start, community and program data, evidence-based or evidence-informed approaches, and have the capabilities to identify gaps or shifts to build successful innovative approaches for Lancaster County Thrive to Five programing in the next five-year grant cycle. 

Collaborative Partners (brief description of each partner org) 

The primary partners involved in the project include: 

  • The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization and boasts a service profile that interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that assist families at every age and place in life. 
  • Lancaster-Lebanon IU13, is an education service agency that includes Early Head Start and Lebanon County Head Start. They are dedicated to delivering irresistible services to schools and communities across the state and beyond. 

Additional partner organizations are anticipated as the project progresses. 

Project Description 

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County has been the grantee (recipient) of the Head Start grant for decades. CAP has been fortunate to have implemented successful programming for thousands of children and families over that time. We have completed monitoring reviews with high quality and received praise for the quality of our services from a variety of stakeholders. 

Over the course of the past five (5) years the Community Action Partnership Head Start program has shifted from only offering PreK Head Start programming to offering a variety of options to meet the unique needs of our community. In early 2019 Lancaster County Head Start merged with CAP Child Care to become Community Action Partnership Thrive to Five. Currently CAP Thrive to Five offers a unique blend of programming options to ensure differentiated options for our community.

In addition to Head Start programming, we also directly offer and partner to offer: Early Head Start Home-Based, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership, Private Pay child care, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programming, PreK Counts, Parents as Teachers, and Head Start Home-Based services. Our services have been built on the framework that Head Start and Early Head Start programs must provide, directly or through referral, early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that will enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of participating children in the key domains of physical development and health; social and emotional development; approaches to learning, language, and literacy; cognition; and general knowledge. Our child development services are undergirded by our family supports founded in the Head Start Parent, Family, Community, Engagement (PFCE) framework that works to empower parents as their child’s teacher and advocate, help with movement towards self-sufficiency, and strengthen their leadership skills. Additionally, we have been successful with creating a strong interconnected web of support from all over Lancaster County. These community partnerships have fueled our ability to implement innovative programming and support for our students, families, and team members. 

The 2022-2023 school year marks year five (5) in our five (5) year grant cycle for the Head Start grant. At the close of the five (5) year grant cycle programs may enter DRS and need to put in a proposal for the next five (5) years of funding. Completing the Head Start and Early Head Start funding proposal is a rigorous process the involves multiple stakeholders, data, and regulatory expectations. 

The project envisions securing a individual (or team of individuals) who can support our team through the DRS process which would include writing our formal Head Start and Early Head Start proposal in collaboration with the Thrive to Five and IU13 team. That will ultimately result in Community Action Partnership of Lancaster being the recipient of an additional five (5) years of funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programming. 

Goals and Objectives 

  • • Provide TTA support to the Thrive to Five Admin team that facilitates strategic planning of the program’s next five (5) year grant proposal. 
  • • The facilitation and development of the Community Action Partnership Thrive to Five program five (5) year Head Start and Early Head Start proposal. 
  • • The facilitation and guidance of additional documents and resources needed for completing the grant packet. 

Consultant Qualifications 

The consultant should have: 

  • • Relevant and recent experience in writing Head Start and Early Head Start grants 
  • • Knowledge of the Head Start Program Performance Standards 
  • • Demonstrate high quality facilitation and organization skills 

Preferred qualifications: 

  • • Resume that includes successful awards of Head Start and Early Head Start grants 

Request for Proposal Submission Requirements 

CAP requests proposals of no more than five (5) pages in length that describe your team, including its qualifications; your experience and approach providing and planning services to similar agencies and/or communities, your proposed process, including methods, procedures and number of meetings, for providing these services; a work schedule that identifies meeting dates, time frames for major work elements, target dates for key milestones, and dates for completion of a draft and final plan; and a proposed detailed budget for these services. 

Please provide a budget that includes the following: 

  • Number of estimated hours for each activity 
  • Billing rate 
  • Estimated out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Method of billing 

On a separate sheet (which will not count toward the five (5) page limit), please provide the names and contact information for up to three (3) references, preferably agencies or organizations for which you have recently provided similar services. 

Interested applicants should submit their completed proposal and a letter of interest PDF format to: 

Community Action Partnership 

Attention: Lili Dippner, Director of Federal and State Grants 

601 S. Queen St. 

Lancaster, PA 17603 

Proposals must be received by CAP no later than July 11th, 2022 COB. Proposals received after this time will not be considered. 

CAP reserves the right to reject all proposals, to request additional information concerning any proposals for purposes of clarification, to accept or negotiate any modifications to any proposal, following the deadline for receipt of all proposals, and to waive any irregularities, if such would serve the best interest of CAP. 

RFP Timeline (all dates are tentative) 

  • Release date: June 29th, 2022 
  • RFP return date: July 11th, 2022 
  • Selection date: July 18th, 2022 
  • Engagement start date: July 25st, 2022 

RFP Evaluation 

If an award is made as a result of this RFP, it shall be awarded to the respondent whose proposal is most advantageous to CAP with price and other factors considered. These include responses to the RFP questions; demonstrated technical ability and expertise; financial stability; reference calls and/or recommendations; prior experience and knowledge; presentations to the evaluation team (if applicable); product samples which CAP may, at its discretion, request as part of the RFP process; any additional criteria deemed appropriate by CAP which would lend itself to establishing the consultant’s viability to perform the work as outlined in this RFP. 

Deliverables/Evaluation Criteria 

Proposals must include the following information. 

1. Detailed Plan to Create a Comprehensive, Complete, Achievable and Sustainable Head Start Grant. 

The individual or agency must provide in writing a detailed plan indicating exactly how they will address each of the goals and objectives. 

2. Qualifications of Agency or Individual 

Applicant strength and stability: The individual or agency must review their strengths, stability, experience and technical competence. The individual or agency must list the logic of their project organization and alignment with the project goals and objectives. 

3. Qualifications of Personnel 

Individual or agency must list their qualifications, education and experience for all project staff and list key personnel’s level of involvement in performing related work. 

4. Related Experience 

The individual or agency must list their experience in providing services similar to those requested. Recent experience with Head Start and Early Head Start grants preferred. 

5. Completeness of Response 

All responses must be complete and in accordance with RFP instructions. There will be no exceptions to or deviation from the RFP requirements. 

6. Reasonableness of Cost and Price 

  1. o Based on similar recent engagement, a project cost of $8,500-$20,000 is anticipated, however respondents are not limited by this range and should justify the budget necessary to complete the goals and objectives 
  2. o Project completion date: No later than November 30th, 2022 (date subject to change) 

The individual or agency firm-fixed prices and/or hourly rate must be reasonable and competitive with quoted firm-fixed prices with other proposals received. Proposals must include a project payment schedule. 

Both hard copies and electronic copies of the Final Plan must be provided to CAP in PDF format within two-four weeks of project completion. 10% of the contracted costs will be retained until all services under the contract have been completed and approved by CAP. 

Any questions regarding this RFP should be submitted in writing to Lili Dippner at 

False or Misleading Statements: Grant writers must take great care to ensure that sufficient information has been provided to allow CAP to evaluate the solution being offered, any options proposed, pricing of all offerings, and all supporting information, technical documentation, references and points of contact, etc. 

The grant writer understands that if, in the opinion of CAP, a proposal contains false or misleading information of any kind or does not contain sufficient detail to fully evaluate the proposed plan or proposed price, CAP reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject the proposal. Agencies/Individuals also understand that if the information provided does not support a function, attribute, capability or condition as proposed by the grant writer, CAP may reject the proposal. The grant writer further understands that any modifications to the questions in this RFP by the responder may result in immediate rejection of that proposal. 

Acceptance of Proposal Content: The grant writer understands that CAP reserves the right to award a contract without further discussions or clarifications with the grant writer. Thus, the contents of the RFP response and all pricing, terms and statements contained therein will be binding upon Individual/agency. Upon acceptance of the Proposal by CAP, the successful Proposal, including all terms, conditions and pricing contained therein, will be incorporated into the awarded contract. The grant writer understands that failure of the potentially successful offer to accept this obligation may result in the selection of another offer or rejection of the submitted Proposal. 

The grant writer must take great care to respond to all requirements of this RFP to the maximum extent possible. The grant writer must clearly identify any limitations and/or exceptions to the requirements inherent in the proposed system. 

No Obligation to Buy: CAP reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any grant writer. The release of this RFP does not compel CAP to purchase services. 

Cost of Preparing Proposals: CAP is not liable for any costs incurred by the grant writer in the preparation and presentation of proposals and demonstrations submitted in response to this RFP.