Designation Renewal System

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What is the DRS?

The DRS (Designation Renewal System) is a unique grant to Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. It is an interesting opportunity that comes at great cost, yet often yields great benefits. It is a chance to re-examine your program and make changes for the maximizing the potential of Head Start/Early Head Start.​

Fill out the form below for a free booklet with specific tips and techniques for your DRS grant!

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Start Early!

Don't wait until the last minute to start planning your DRS grant application.

Unlike other grants, the DRS has specific conditions that must be met in each of its seven sections - some of which may be challenging to achieve. In fact, you may need to make changes and improvements to your program to meet these requirements.

That's why starting early is crucial. Don't be afraid to invest time, money, and resources into improving your program and meeting the DRS conditions. Give your application the best chance of success by beginning the planning process as soon as possible.


Statement of Need

To begin, the community assessment is the foundation for evidence-based proposals. Utilizing pie charts and bar graphs to showcase community data will enhance the DRS proposal's success. By connecting your proposed services to community needs, you strengthen the foundation of your grant application.


Head Start Services

Your proposal should also include extensive details about your research-based curriculum, teacher-to-child relationships, transparent child growth and outcomes, and your approach to dual-language learners. It is crucial to examine child and family health outcomes and connect families to health care providers, including dentists and mental health specialists. Family relationships and rapport are vital components of early childhood education, so include discussions of family needs and outcomes.

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Safe and Nurturing Environment

Creating a safe and nurturing physical and social environment is essential, including inclusive classrooms and practices that include diverse, books, and learning materials.

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Continuous Head Start Improvement

Though honest evaluation of past performance can be challenging, it is necessary when applying for the DRS grant. The DRS is primarily concerned with improving Head Start programs. By addressing challenges and providing potential solutions, you showcase a willingness to reflect, learn and improve.

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Head Start Employees

Your proposal will include a comprehensive staff description, including education, experience, and competencies. It's essential to emphasize a "living wage" and engagement strategies to retain staff. To attract and keep high-quality educators, frequent breaks and high-quality professional development opportunities are essential.

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Head Start Budget Proposal

Concluding your proposal with a detailed budget will ensure alignment with community needs, goals, and program services. Once again, emphasizing how competitive wages, high-quality professional development, and appropriately funded initiatives lead to a successful DRS application.

Sunshine Non-Profit Solutions is here to help you with your DRS Grant.

We update your community assessment, highlight your program strengths, and help document your plans for improvement.

Streamline your planning and implementation, organize your timeline, and train your staff with our assistance. If you're interested, don't hesitate to reach out and schedule a no-cost, no-commitment consultation. We look forward to working with you and helping you re-compete for your program.