The Iowa Department of Education in partnership with the Iowa Head Start State Collaboration Office today announced up to $575,000 in competitive grants that will help expand child development programs serving families with children from birth to 3 who meet federal poverty guidelines. The Early Head Start State Grant is funded through a state appropriation aimed at expanding comprehensive child development and family support services across the state.

Head Start is a federally funded and locally operated early learning program that promotes the school readiness of children from low-income backgrounds. Head Start services are available at no cost to eligible children ages birth to 5. Head Start preschool services work with children ages 3 to 5 and their families. Early Head Start services work with families that have children ages birth to 3. Programs deliver child development services in center-based, home-based, or family child care settings.

This grant opportunity is open to Iowa’s current 18 Head Start recipients whose early learning programs and services are provided in 95 of Iowa’s 99 counties. The Iowa Early Head Start State Grant aims to build the capacity of Iowa’s Head Start recipients by expanding services to infants and toddlers until age 3 when they are ready to transition into Head Start or another preschool program.

Grant applications must include a five-year plan of projects to strengthen the early learning and development of infants and toddlers, including family support and engagement. Priority consideration will be given to Head Start recipients that have previously qualified for and received prior state funding to administer an Early Head Start program.

Applications for the Early Head Start State Grant will be accepted in beginning March 28. The application deadline is April 26, 2024.

More information about the Early Head Start State Grant on the Head Start State Collaboration Office webpage.