Who's at Risk? Funding Forecast Now Out for DRS Round IV

- Katherine Molina-Powell, VP, Shine Assist

HHS recently updated the funding forecast to reflect anticipated posting dates for 90 new Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant/Seasonal HS/EHS grants, largely related to DRS Round IV. The forecast list now shows a handful of holdovers from 2014 rounds of competition and, at present, only two grants currently operated by CDI. Funding Opportunity Announcements are expected to be released on July 15th and are due approximately two months later on September 14th.

At Shine Early Learning, we've spent several years cultivating an understanding of the true competitive hurdles that existing grantees and potential challengers might face. Last year, we developed a ranking system to gauge how “at risk” any given grantee might be in a round of competition. We have worked with incumbent and challenger programs alike through the DRS program and have learned that each competition is different from the next—and each competition brings a fresh set of competitive criteria and trends. With that in mind, we have updated our tiered ranking system, the DRS Risk Assessment, to analyze this year’s group of competitive Head Start / Early Head Start grants.

Our DRS Risk Assessment rankings are calculated based on the number (and severity) of immediate deficiencies and the number of CLASS indicators scored in the bottom 10% of programs reviewed, and are then weighted by amount of funding available, since many of the grants that have been lost or divided in the previous two rounds of competitions have skewed larger than average.

What do these “Risk Assessment” rankings mean?

The DRS Risk Assessment allows us to understand where grantee transition and potentially active competition is likely to crop up. More specifically, a combination of the public records presently available on grantee performance and our lessons from the previous three rounds of DRS results allows us to focus in on where the most competitive action is likely to happen in 2015.

Below are the top five states that had the most programs “at risk” based on our analysis:

*Estimated Number of Children Affected and DRS Risk Assessment do not count programs currently operating under CDI.


Is your organization affected by DRS or considering applying for a grant? Do you want to know your risk assessment score, or talk more about the competitive landscape in your service area?

Call or email us to set up a free strategy review session to best understand your agency’s strengths and weaknesses heading into DRS Round IV.