Summer 2019 Improvement Grant Funding
Request for Proposals
Applications are closed for the first round of ECHO grants. Please check back later this summer for the announcement about the second round of funding. We've left the information below about the first application process for your reference.
Overview of the ECHO Fund
The ECHO Fund is the Early Childhood Opportunity Fund, a new grant program funded by the New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN), Agenda for Children, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The ECHO Fund seeks to increase access to high-quality early care and education for New Orleans children, birth through age four.
The Echo Fund Improvement Grant program intends to help build the capacity of early care and education programs to address Orleans Parish’s challenges in access to and quality of early childhood programming. This new grant program will help fill critical gaps in capacity, access and quality that prevent every child from having a strong foundation for their future success.
How to Apply
- READ: Thoroughly read the Overview of the ECHO Fund.
- REVIEW: Review the sample application for your project type (early learning centers or non-profits that work with early learning centers) so that you can plan your application and project.
- PREPARE: Prepare your budget and answers to the application questions.
- SUBMIT: Submit your application online no later than 5 pm on June 4, 2019.
About the Grants
The ECHO Fund will provide grants of between $5,000 and $25,000 to assist early learning centers and early childhood nonprofits in filling gaps that, if funded, could allow them to address challenges of child care access and/or quality in Orleans Parish for children ages 0-4.
Funds may be used for:
- Facility upgrades and modifications (indoor and outdoor)
- Curriculum, supplies, materials and/or training
- Media, public relations and communications
- Student/Family recruitment and retention
- Transportation (busing, vans, car seats, etc.)
- Special education modifications and services not covered by Early Steps or Child Search
- General operations, back office, accounting supports etc.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation or equivalent
- Training, coaching and professional development (local and national)
- Teacher recruitment and retention support
- Planning to scale or develop new programming or develop new community partnerships
Grant Eligibility and Priorities
Applicants and proposed grant projects must meet the following criteria:
- Your program is: a Type III Early Learning Center OR a non-profit organization that provides (or is seeking to pilot) direct early childhood education to children at a facility OR a non-profit organization who provides or will provide direct services to early learning centers or early learning teachers that will aid the centers' ability to improve access and/or quality
- Your program is located in Orleans Parish and/or the project that will be funded specifically intends to serve children and families in Orleans Parish.
- The grant funding will increase your capacity to either (1) improve the quality of a current or planned program OR (2) increase access to a high-quality program.
- You currently serve economically disadvantaged populations or are able to demonstrate a commitment to serving an economically disadvantaged population.
- The grant can be reasonably accomplished or put forth in action with the grant term.
Note: There is NO CLASS score or star rating requirement to be eligible to apply.
Funding priority will be given to:
- Type III early learning centers with: demonstrated demand from parents and families as evidenced by waitlists, EnrollNOLA data, and/or stakeholder support; demonstrated track record of improving performance on CLASS and/or seeking opportunities to improve CLASS scores; demonstrated history of fully participating in all required NOEEN network activities, including CLASS observations, child count, GOLD checkpoints, EnrollNOLA, Making the Most of CLASS Interactions (MMCI), where applicable, et cetera.
- Organizations with a demonstrated history of serving economically disadvantaged families.
- Organizations collaborating with other organizations.
Award Notification and Term
The New Orleans Early Education Network will announce our SUMMER 2019 grant awards by July 10, 2019 via email to the contact named in the grant application. Some applicants MAY be contacted between their submission date and the grant announcement to clarify application components.
The term of the grant is August 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019 (60 days). Funds need to be fully encumbered by this date as evidenced by proof of payment, receipts, invoices from vendors, and/or signed contracts with payment terms clearly stated.
Progress reports from all awardees will be due on September 23, 2019, including documentation of proof of payment/fund use (receipts, invoices, contracts, photos). Grantees that fail to provide appropriate documentation of expenses will be prohibited from participating in future grant opportunities.
Overview of the Funding Partners
The New Orleans Early Education Network’s mission is to ensure an excellent start for every child in New Orleans by strengthening the early education sector. NOEEN was created by over 150 local early childhood practitioners to increase access to early childhood education, improve the quality of early learning experiences for young children, and connect organizations who work with and on behalf of young children to resources.
Agenda for Children is a thirty-five year-old nonprofit advocacy and service organization that focuses on the well-being of children, from birth through eighteen years of age. Agenda’s mission is to make Louisiana a state in which all children can thrive and works to educate and train early childhood teachers, connect parents to quality child care, and inform public discussions on the well-being of children.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. We envision a nation that marshals its resources to assure that all children have an equitable and promising future - a nation in which all children thrive.