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Preschool Promise

The Preschool Promise Request for Applications (RFA) is closed.

The Preschool Promise Request for Applications (RFA) window is now closed. We are grateful to all applicants for their interest in Preschool Promise, and their service to children and families in Oregon. The review process has now begun.

The ELD will publish a notice of “Intent to Award” on the ELD website by (approximately) 08/24/2022. All applicants will be notified by the email used to submit their application when the notice is available for view. Please subscribe to the Child Care Update newsletter to ensure you receive notice of all RFA updates.

Any selected applicant can anticipate receiving a grant agreement in the upcoming weeks. You will receive additional mailings from ELD to help you get on-boarded and ready to be a Preschool Promise grantee. 

Preschool Promise is a publicly funded program serving children ages 3 to 4 years old from families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Approximately 3,756 children are currently enrolled in Preschool Promise programs in Oregon, and the state is adding more than 2,500 new preschool slots for eligible families in 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Application Process

Q: How can I access the application?

The application is available online at https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise. Click the “Apply Now” button (purple, under the list of attachments) to start your application. A complete copy of the application (Attachment B) is included for convenience, but the actual application is completed online.

Q: Where can I find the link to the Pre-Application Conference (webinar)?

You can view a recording of the webinar online at https://oregonearlylearning.com/preschool-promise under the heading “Webinar and Resources.”

Q: Must I complete the application online?

All applicants must complete the application online. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the RFA may be made available in alternate formats if needed. To request an alternate format, call the Oregon Department of Education at (503) 947-5600.

Q: I applied in a previous RFA. Can I access my application?

Yes. You may be able to access your previous application through Survey Monkey Apply if using the same account used to apply in an earlier RFA. If not, please email PSP@ode.oregon.gov to request a copy of your prior application.

Q: Will we be able to watch (via livestream) the award process this year?

No. This is not part of the planned evaluation and selection process in this RFA.

Q: Should we submit one application for our entire organization, or separate applications for each site?

Applicants should submit one application for their entire organization. An applicant may include all sites where Preschool Promise slots are desired in their application.

Application Questions Clarification

Q: What does it mean to “contract for teaching services”?

Contracting takes place when a provider contracts with another entity to perform work outlined in the grant award on behalf of the provider’s organization.

Q: In Section 2.4.4 Contracting Requirements, will the state require ONLY teaching contracts to be written and pre-approved or is it any contract?. For example, if we contract transportation services with a local school district, does it need to be in writing and does it need to pre-approved by the state?

Per section 2.4.4, Preschool Promise Grantees may enter into contracts (e.g., teaching services), but may not contract for the totality of a Preschool Promise program.

In the event a grantee chooses to subcontract for teaching services, the contracts must be written and must be pre-approved by Agency. When teaching services are contracted out, the services must be provided by an entity identified as a Provider type in section 1.3 of RFA.

Q: Can you explain the square footage requirements?

Indoor, open and accessible space: 35 square feet per preschooler

Outdoor, open and accessible space: 75 square feet per preschooler

Q: When the RFA references transportation, is it referencing transportation to and from a child’s home or to planned field trips/outings?

Transportation as it applies to the RFA is defined as transporting a child to and from the program site to receive Preschool Promise services.

Award

Q: How do I know what my start-up award will be if awarded?

For programs that are new or applying for additional slots, a one-time start up award of $2,000 per slot for slots allocated to new classrooms or a $1,000 per slot for slots allocated to existing classrooms. For purposes of this allocation, a new classroom is a space the Early Learning Division (ELD) determines is appropriate and was not previously used to provide preschool services.

Q: If the annual tuition of my center is more than $13,650, will the fund be adjusted to cover the full cost of enrolment of a child?

For most programs, the Preschool Promise cost per child is more than tuition for 900 program hours. For those programs that charge more than $13,650 for 900 or more program hours, there will not be an adjustment to the award to match the program’s tuition.

Q: Can the start-up funds for new and existing classrooms be used to pay staff wages if programs need to add staff to meet the requirements of the grant contract?

Staff wages are an allowable use of grant funds, but not an allowable use of start-up funds. See the table included on pages 10-11 of the RFA for examples of allowable uses of start-up funds.

Q: Does the transportation enhancement only apply to children who are transported on a given month?

The transportation enhancement applies to all children who are offered transportation by the progra

Q: If awarded, when can programs rely on funding?

New Preschool Promise grantees who have met the insurance thresholds, have an executed grant agreement, and have an approved budget can anticipate funding to be available in EGMS (the Electronic Grants Management System) approximately three weeks from the date of execution. The ability for new grantees to access funding is also contingent on completing a series of steps to become a vendor within the larger state system.

Q: How can a grantee use Preschool Promise funding?

Preschool Promise funds should be used to operate a Preschool Promise program as described in the grant agreement and corresponding grant manual. Applicants can find a full list of allowable costs on pages 10-11 of the Preschool Promise RFA.

Eligibility

Q: Which entity should Registered Family (RF) providers list themselves as in Section 2 of the application?

Registered Family (RF) providers should identify themselves as “Other Child Care Provider as defined in OAR 414-470-0005″ and write in “Registered Family child care” as the description

Q: Can I still apply if I don’t have the slots currently available? Is it possible to start with a few open slots?

Any applicant, if awarded, must be prepared to begin serving as many Preschool Promise children as they were awarded to serve by their planned start date.

Q: Do I need to have a property and a license before applying?

All applicants must have a location currently available and suitable to provide preschool services. All sites must be ready to provide Preschool Promise services, including being licensed by the Office of Child Care as applicable.

Q: If I am not participating in SPARK yet, am I still eligible? What does SPARK participation mean?

“Spark” is the system established through ORS 329A.261, which is a set of progressively higher standards used to evaluate the quality of an early learning and development program and to support program improvement. Applicants can learn more about Spark a oregonspark.org. Participation in Spark includes engaging in the steps listed on the website https://oregonspark.org/interested-participants. This includes enrolling in the Spark system and committing to continuous quality improvement. While Spark participation is required, the RFA does not disqualify an applicant who is not yet participating in Spark but asks the applicant to identify the date they will complete Spark enrollment.

Q: Are religious organizations eligible to apply? If so, can a religious program practice activities such as prayer before a meal or providing religious instruction?

Religiously affiliated early learning programs are welcome to apply but should take note that grantees may not advance any religion or religious beliefs during the instructional hours designated as Preschool Promise Program. Any religious symbols located in or around the classroom do not need to be removed; however, they may not be incorporated or used in the curriculum or teaching program.

Enrollment

Q: What does the actual enrollment process look like?

Grantees collaborate with their local Early Learning Hubs for outreach and enrollment coordination. Each Early Learning Hub is assigned a Coordinated Enrollment Specialist responsible for connecting families to community resources and assisting Grantees with child and family referrals.

Programs may refer families to their local Early Learning Hub for eligibility determination. Children who are currently enrolled in the program can be converted to Preschool Promise slots if eligible. Child eligibility and enrollment is managed by the Early Learning Hub and grantees can only enroll families selected through the local Coordinated Enrollment Process administered by Early Learning Hubs. Oregon Tribes and Oregon Pre-Kindergarten (OPK) programs are able to utilize their own eligibility and enrollment processes. You can learn more about the enrollment process on page 21 of the Preschool Promise Grant Manual.

Q: Do programs need to be at full enrollment before applying or prior to the program start date?

No. Current enrollment is not a condition of eligibility.

Q: Are currently enrolled families able to be enrolled in Preschool Promise slots?

Yes. Families currently enrolled in your program who meet age and income eligibility requirements as described on page 8 of the RFA can be referred to your Early Learning Hub to be converted to Preschool Promise enrollments.

Q: Prior to receiving the grant, how would a center know how many slots to hold for Preschool Promise students if approval isn’t finalized until late summer?

Programs may make individual business decisions on the best manner of ensuring that they are prepared to serve children based on the number of slots awarded by their program start date (no later than October 30, 2022).

Q: Is there any consideration toward age/gender balance in the classroom when making placements (especially in the case of 3 and 4 year old mixed classes)?

No. Early Learning Hubs do not consider age and gender balance when enrolling eligible children into Preschool Promise programs.

Q: How do ERDC (Employment Related Day Care) and Preschool Promise funding interact? How does a program know which funding stream to use toward which child?

Programs are allowed to accept ERDC payment for care hours outside of planned Preschool Promise hours. For example, a program that operates Preschool Promise from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday may accept ERDC payments for care given after 2 p.m. and on Fridays, if desired.

Children enrolled by the Early Learning Hub will fill Preschool Promise slots. Some children who are eligible for Preschool Promise are not eligible for ERDC. Families who currently use ERDC funding to pay for care may be referred to the Early Learning Hub to complete eligibility determination for a Preschool Promise slot. A program should determine the appropriate business decision regarding the braiding and blending of different funding streams (e.g., Preschool Promise, ERDC, private pay, etc.) to grow their business and ensure program quality.

Q: Do families experience a reduction in benefits (e.g. SNAP) if they enroll their child in a Preschool Promise program?

Families should speak with a representative at ODHS or other public benefit representative to determine if enrollment in Preschool Promise will have any detrimental impact on other public benefits.

Q: Are programs guaranteed to have all spots that are requested filled?

No. A program should work with the Early Learning Hub to enroll all requested slots. Programs that are chronically under-enrolled will follow the process outlined in pages 16-17 of the Preschool Promise Grant Manual.

Evaluation / Scoring

Q: Why are some provider types or languages of instruction prioritized over others? Am I ineligible if I am not the provider type or don’t offer the languages listed as priority in my region in Appendix D?

Applicants are eligible and encouraged to apply even if their region, provider type or language(s) of instruction is not listed in the Estimated Slot Distribution (Appendix D). The slot distribution plan was created in collaboration with Early Learning Hubs. Hubs engaged with families and community partners to determine areas of highest need, populations with limited access to care in their preferred language, and family preference for provider type. The slot distribution plan is a mechanism for incorporating family voice in the Preschool Promise expansion.

Q: Is there a maximum slot cap for applicants?

There is no maximum slot cap for applicants, beyond those established by Office of Child Care rules.

Q: Are the slots distributed evenly by population?

The distribution plan slot ranges vary based on total eligible children in the region and current numbers of Preschool Promise slots, to raise all regions up to or above 10% access for those eligible. Additional slots were then allocated to regions where less than half of eligible children (0-100%FPL) were currently being served by Oregon PreKindergarten.

Q: I don’t provide instruction in any other language than English, but some staff speak other languages. Does this qualify me as a bilingual program?

While we applaud staff diversity, the language(s) of instruction is used to determine whether the program aligns with the community need. A program with two languages of instruction would be considered a bilingual program.

Q: Are you only going to grant spaces to providers who live in the zip codes that are on the list?

No. The zip codes/areas listed in Attachment D are used to help prioritize programs that are awarded, per the community needs evaluation process listed in section 4.5.2 in the RFA.

Q: Why are Oregon federally recognized Tribes not given a community needs score?

The nine federally recognized Tribal Nations within Oregon’s borders are sovereign governments. Tribal sovereignty encompasses legal, cultural, political, and historical traditions, and these traditions are connected to both European and indigenous concepts of governance. Tribal Nations are not considered as part of the general community in the way a county would be in a Hub region, for example.

A tribal government derives its sovereign power from the peoples, lands, and resources which include a tribe’s data. Due to a tribe’s inherent right to self-govern, Tribal Nations reserve the right to identify and set their own needs and are not bound to the needs outlined by a non-Tribal agency.

Indigenous data sovereignty is the right of a nation to govern the collection, ownership, and application of its own data, and it is the intention of the ELD to honor this in our government-to-government relationship with Oregon’s nine Tribal Nations.

*NEW* Q: In Attachment D where the Primary language of instruction is listed as “English” and “Spanish,” do you get the point awarded for teaching primarily in EITHER language or only if you teach in BOTH languages?

Any language listed under the “Primary language(s) of Instruction” in Attachment D will be given a point.

*NEW* Q: If there are slots that are not filled by a community need due to a lack of applications from providers in that geographic location, would a site not listed in a geographic location of need have a chance  equal to a site listed as a geographic location of need whose allocated number of slots has already been surpassed?

Please refer to section 4.5.2 of the RFA for the PSP Slot Allocation process. 

Expansion (Current grantees applying for additional slots)

Q: Do current providers who are not looking to expand need to apply again?

No. Providers who want to continue with their same number of slots do not need to apply.

Q: Should current providers apply for their current slots and the slots they would like to add or just the slots they would like to add?

Current providers should apply for any slots they would like to add. For example, a program with 18 slots looking to expand to 36 slots should apply for 18 additional slots.

Q: Are existing classroom start-up funds for each PSP slot (existing), or only per new slot allocations?

The start-up funds will be calculated based on additional slots. For example, a program who had 5 slots but is applying to add 5 more should anticipate only receiving startup funds for those additional five slots. Current programs received one-time start-up funds for their current slots in 2020.

Q: If a program is adding slots but not adding an additional classroom, do they still receive start-up funding?

Yes, programs receive $1,000 per slot for slots allocated to existing classrooms. Please refer to page 3 of the RFA for more information on start-up funds

Q: I applied in a previous RFA and was awarded. Do I have to apply to request more slots?

Yes. Any program interested in more slots must apply.

Q: Is there a difference between “expanding” and “applying for additional slots”?

No. Applying for additional slots is expanding your program. The two are used interchangeably.

Q: Does the ELD anticipate that Preschool Promise will have another RFA or another way for programs to apply for more slots in 2023-2024?

The need for early learning and care services in Oregon is great, and ELD will continue to look for opportunities to provide more children safe, high-quality, equitable care. That said, Preschool Promise is a state funded program that is dependent on state allocated funding. At this time, we do not know whether the program will continue to expand beyond the 2022-2023 program year.

Q: Can I apply only for the transportation enhancement for my current slots?

The current RFA is for the expansion of slots or to become a new Preschool Promise grantee.

*NEW* Q: Are current providers required to apply before the July 21, 2022 deadline? 

Current grantees applying to expand are required to apply if they are planning to increase their current number of slots. Current grantees and new applicants have the same due date for their application—July 21 at 11:59 pm. 

Grant Requirements

Q: Is there any flexibility on the requirement to serve children six hours per day, four days per week?

No. Grantees are required to serve children at minimum six hours per day, four days per week.

Q: Is there any flexibility on the requirement to start a new program by October 30?

No. Grantees are required to Be ready to provide Preschool Promise program services no earlier than August 1, 2022, and no later than October 30, 2022.

Q: Is there any flexibility on the ORO step 8 requirement? Is there flexibility on other staff requirements?

A Grantee that is maintaining progress towards quality may request a waiver for staff qualifications.

Q: Is there flexibility on the requirement that programs have at least two staff members per classroom?

Grantees are required to stay within licensing ratios.

Q: Is there flexibility on the requirement that a center-based/school-based classroom have no more than 18 children?

Maximum class size of 18 with an adult to child ratio of 1:9 some exceptions may available.

Q: Is there flexibility on staff salary requirements?

Grantees are required to develop a plan to achieve salary requirements.

Q: If awarded, can my own child enroll in my Preschool Promise program?

No. Preschool Promise providers cannot use their awarded slots to provide care for any child related to them by blood, marriage or legal adoption. However, if a child in your family is eligible for Preschool Promise, they may attend another Preschool Promise program.

Q: Can I apply now to plan for a program launch in fall 2023?

No. This grant is only for the 2022-2023 program year.

Q: Can a school-based program offer a combination of Preschool Promise 10 slots and five non-Preschool Promise slots?

Yes. Programs may combine children from enrolled through a variety of funding sources ERDC, private pay, and other.

Q: What are the curriculum and assessment requirements for Preschool Promise programs?

What are the curriculum and assessment requirements for Preschool Promise programs?

Programs must also implement a curriculum that meets the following requirements. The Grantee must be implementing the chosen curriculum to fidelity, as defined by the developer of the curriculum. Grantees are expected to select and implement a curriculum that is:

  • Aligned with Oregon’s Early Learning and Kindergarten Guidelines,
  • Based on the science of child development and how young children learn,
  • Culturally and linguistic responsive,
  • Balanced with adult-directed and child-initiated activities,
  • Specifies outcomes for key areas of development,
  • Allows for adaptability to build on children’s’ interests,
  • Explores topics that are relevant to the school community,
  • Designed to provide specialized and individualized instruction for child with a disability, and
  • Supports positive adult-child interactions.

Grantees must conduct ongoing formative assessments of each child at least three times during the program year. Programs must choose a formative developmental assessment tool that aligns with all developmental domains and indicators in Oregon’s Early Learning and Kindergarten Guidelines. Assessment data must be used to create individual, small group and large group activity plans. Individual child outcomes should be shared with parent/guardian at Parent and Teacher conferences.

Please refer to pages 8-9 of the Grant Manual for more information.

Q: Is there an adult to child ratio requirement?

Maximum class size of 18 with an adult to child ratio of 1:9. Grantees must comply with specified ratios during all direct service hours of the Preschool Promise Program.

Q: Does the four days per week requirement allow for breaks/vacations?

Yes, as long as the regularly planned schedule adheres to the four day/week schedule and there are still 900 program hours offered to all families

Q: I noticed a note about attendance and maintaining at least an 85% attendance rate for children placed via grant. How can providers control this, especially during COVID spikes?

We understand that programs do not have full control over child attendance. The intention with the 85% attendance expectation is that programs create a plan to help engage and support families to improve child attendance if attendance falls below 85%.

Q: Can a program offer Preschool for All (Multnomah County universal preschool program) and Preschool Promise?

Yes. Many Preschool Promise programs are funded by multiple funding sources.

Q: If I sell my business during the program year, can the award be transferred to the new owner?

The program must obtain prior consent of ELD in order for a grant to be assigned or transferred to a new party. See page 11, Section 19 of the Sample Grant Agreement for details.

*NEW* Q: What is counted toward “direct service hours?” Is transportation included? Napping? Eating? 

Instructional hours, naps, snacks, and lunch are counted toward the number of direct service hours required. However, parent/teacher conferences, in-service or training days, teacher planning time and transportation time may not be included in the 900 hours of direct services.  

Technical Assistance

Q: Who can help me with the application?

All questions must be directed to the single point of contact listed on the RFA at PSPRFA@ode.oregon.gov.

Q: Did Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) have training on how to support providers with the Preschool Promise RFA?

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies are eligible applicants, and thus did not receive additional training on how to support providers. However, CCR&Rs are the agency contracted to support Preschool Promise grantees and are poised to offer general assistance and support as determined to be appropriate by their own agency.

Preschool Promise

What is Preschool Promise?

Preschool Promise (PSP) offers free, high-quality preschool to Oregon families who are living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in Oregon. Serving children ages three and four, PSP is a publicly funded program and complements other early learning programs such as Oregon Pre-Kindergarten.

With a mixed delivery approach, PSP recognizes that high-quality care and education happens in a variety of settings. These settings include culturally specific programs, licensed center-based and home-based child care, school districts, Head Start programs, Relief Nurseries, education service districts and community-based organizations. Families may choose the PSP setting that best fits their needs.

PSP expands access to culturally responsive early learning programs. “Culturally responsive” means the ability to respect and understand the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of children and families. By establishing an inclusive, welcoming environment for all families, PSP may engage parents as partners in their child’s learning and development.

Preschool Promise

Thank you for participating in the Preschool Promise survey. The survey is now closed. The report results will be posted when available.

In the 2022-2023 program year (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023), the Early Learning Division (ELD) will expand the Preschool Promise (PSP) program. PSP currently serves approximately 3,795 children across Oregon, and the state is planning to serve up to 2,500 more.

To help determine the level of expansion, Oregon early learning and child care providers are invited to take the “Preschool Promise Provider Interest Survey.” This survey will ask questions about your program’s capacity and interest in Preschool Promise. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Thank you, your input makes a difference by supporting access to high-quality preschool opportunities for Oregon’s families.

Any content previously available on this page can be found under the Archive tab.

Preschool Promise

State Contacts

Dayna Jung

Preschool Promise Coordinator
O:
SURVEY ARCHIVE

Click here for a PDF of survey text (for viewing purposes only).
Preschool Promise Interest Survey YouTube Tutorial: English | Spanish

Survey Accessibility
For individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak a language other than English or Spanish, or individuals who need technical assistance in completing this survey, ELD can provide assistance. Please contact ode.pspsurvey@ode.oregon.gov.

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Survey Promotional Materials and FAQs

2022 RFA Documents

Webinar and Resources