(A)(5) Developing a budget to implement and sustain the work of this grant

The extent to which the budget included in the State Plan--

  1. Demonstrates how resources will be repurposed or reallocated, from other Federal, State, private, and local sources (e.g., CCDF, Title I, IDEA, State preschool, Head Start Collaboration and State Advisory Council funding, Home Visiting, Title V MCH, TANF, Medicaid, Child Welfare, Statewide Longitudinal Data System, and foundation and other private funding sources) to align those resources with, and support and sustain, the State Plan, including-
    1. How funds from this grant will be supplemented by repurposing or reallocating funds from other existing early learning and education sources, including how the quality set-asides in CCDF will be used to support and sustain activities described in the State Plan;
    2. How funding levels will be sustained after the period of the grant is over to ensure that the number and percentage of High Need Children served by Early Learning and Development Programs will be sustained or expanded.
  2. Describes, in both the budget narratives and budget tables, how the State will effectively and efficiently use funding from this grant to achieve the outcomes in the State Plan, in a manner that--
    1. Is adequate to support the activities described in the State Plan;
    2. Includes costs that are reasonable and necessary in relation to the objectives, design, and significance of the activities described in the State Plan and the number of children to be served; and
    3. Details the amount of funds budgeted for Participating State Agencies, localities, Participating Programs, or other partners, and the specific activities to be implemented with these funds consistent with the State Plan, including a significant amount of funding going to the local implementation of the State Plan.

Comments

On behalf of the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Human Services: We request that the Administration consider removing this language. The focus of this grant is to include all Early Learning and Development Programs but this languages places great emphasis on child care funding and not the federal share of other early childhood programs.

We request a clarification on “sustainability” that encourages states to show how they will leverage and build on current activities and commitments already made, and takes into account state imposed fiscal constraints when calculating maintenance of effort.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is appreciative of the hard work reflected in the development of the criteria for this competitive grant process. Given the opportunity to review the document, CDF is submitting the following comments on the award criteria.

The Department’s recognition of the challenges facing rural areas is a welcomed component of the RTT-ELC. The budget requirement section would be strengthened by including a definition of “rural,” from either the Rural-Urban Commuting Area Codes (RUCAs) or other U.S. Department of Agriculture definitions.

Cathy Grace
Children’s Defense Fund
Director of Early Childhood Development

Those of us long in the tooth in public service has long been told that a state or agency's budget is its most important policy document. Thus, this section of the grant application rightfully calls forth this issue as fundamental to reform and the leveraging (and most efficient and effective) use of increasingly scare state and federal dollars.

There is a vast literature with ideas about states can do affect this leveraging across funding streams. It used to be called blending and braiding, and it has had other names over time.

While states can do much on their own and with state dollars, restrictive federal requirements that promote rather than modify rigid categorical funding streams have to be full partners in any state work.

Dr. J.M. Gruendel, CT

Please ensure that states are committed to identifying children for early intervention and providing appropriate resources and services to children who require early intervention and preschool special education services. No state should reduce this funding or loose site of these programs in the midst of building or enhancing early learning data systems or any other development of activities for the grant.