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​Questions and Responses, Request for Applications

Strengthening and Aligning Higher Education Systems for Early Care and Education Professionals Strategic Approaches to Using Higher Education to Build High Quality Practices in Child Care Settings

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​Page 14 of the RFA “In many cases, the work may continue beyond this timeline and additionally, on page 14 the RFA states:

“Contractors will be required to assume responsibility for all goals, objectives, and activities outlined in their application. Additionally, each contractor must have all funds committed and obligated by December 30, 2019. The sole point of contact for each contract or MOU will be the project director for the lead IHE, also known as the contractor.”

​It is the expectation of the Department that all deliverables associated with this RFA be completed within the timelines established in the grant agreement.

​Can services be licensed, or do they have to purchased?

​All services purchased and licensed must be part of the approved budget submitted with the grant request. Approved services may be purchased or licensed.

​Do funds need to be spent by December 30, 2019 or just encumbered?

​All funds must be spent by December 20, 2019 per the grant agreement.

​If an extension is provided, what is the length of time for that extension?

​If a no-cost grant extension is an option, any available grant extensions will be communicated in writing by the Department.

​The budget asks for two years of planning. If all money must be spent at the end of this calendar year, we are not understanding the need for a two-year budget. For example, should we be projecting our total amount to spend (and associated work) over two years or over three months?

​No, this is an error. The budget should follow the terms of the grant agreements (end date of Dec 30, 2019).

​Is it only via hard copy/regular mail?

​Submit an electronic copy via email to Susan L Polojac at spolojac@pa.gov by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 12, 2019.

​Are there other pertinent perimeters (i.e. number of copies, electronic version?)

​There are no additional requirements other than submission of an electronic copy via an email attachment.

​Where can we find all the necessary forms?

​All necessary forms can be found on the PDE Website - Preschool Development Grant Request for Applications page.

​Should we include two budgets and timelines? One from October 2019 to December 2019 and then another that covers up to two years?

​The submitted budget follows the terms of the grant agreements (end date of Dec 30, 2019). Reference to the 2-year timeframe was an error. Please see the revised budget template.

​Are IHE applicants required to enter into a partnership agreement?

​Funded partnerships may be regional or state-wide and must include at least one two-year or four-year IHE partner. Partners could be any IHE impacted by your grant application. If an applicant were updating articulation agreements or adjusting curriculum that may affect articulation agreements, the applicant’s partners would be the IHE’s with whom they have agreements.

​Do we need to have the actual NAEYC self-study completed to apply?

​If applying for support to become NAEYC Accredited, self- study does not need to be completed. However, enrollment in self-study within the grant agreement timeframe is a deliverable.

​Grant says must “participate in the PA Trac System.” (see pg. 4 of application) Within what time frame is it necessary to secure this participation?

​Two and four-year IHE partners must be willing to develop and mutually agree upon a program to program articulation agreement and participate in the PA TracSystem. Applicant and partners must be able to demonstrate a commitment to working towards and funding membership costs in PA TRAC before Dec 20, 2019.

​Could you please explain the time frame for the work and spending of the grant money? Does all spending and work need to be completed by 12/30/19?

​See response for questions 1, 3, and 4.

​Would OCDEL be interested in a grant project that is aimed at students enrolled across the Commonwealth already enrolled in our PreK-grade 4 program?

​Funded partnerships may be regional or state-wide and must include at least one two-year or four-year IHE partner.

​Can you confirm the due date: Aug. 9 or Aug. 12?

​The due date is 5:00 p.m., Monday, August 12, 2019.

​Are we required to have community partnerships with local schools or community providers?

​Please see section 1.3 Eligible Applicants on p. 4 of the RFA

​All programs must be face-to-face? No online?

​There was an error in the slide deck from the webinar held on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 and there is no limitation on the delivery methods, so an applicant can use a variety of delivery methods.

​Are individuals currently employed in ECE the only audience to be targeted for enrollment in credential programs - meaning not "traditional" students or high school students working toward a CDA?

​As per the RFA, the skills, knowledge, competencies, and needs of the ECE workforce must drive the curriculum and structure of programs that increase the attainment of industry-recognized credentials or competency-based equivalents. A credit-bearing Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate is one of these credentials.

​Does the Strengthening and Aligning Higher Education grant support master level candidates.

​Eligible Applicants under these application guidelines are IHEs offering ECE programs that culminate in an associate's or bachelor’s degree.