2023 Funding Opportunities

First Steps Kent is pleased to offer five funding opportunities this summer for the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage. Additional specifications for each funding opportunity will be included within the Request for Proposal (RFP) documents released on July 13, 2022. The proposal deadline will be August 26 at 1 p.m. First Steps Kent reserves the right to modify these funding areas prior to the RFP release. 

Funding Opportunity 1: Healthy Development

Healthy Development programming will follow an evidence-based or evidence-informed approach. Programming should demonstrate success in supporting positive health behaviors that drive better outcomes for children from birth through five years, as well as expectant parents. Programming in this area will focus on improving outcomes related to healthy births, child health, and well-being as well as ensuring children are developmentally on track. Programs that work with specialized populations to provide support with accessing resources and information also fall into this service type. Programs under this service type will work in tandem or complement home visiting programming.

Program types include: Healthy Expectant and New Parents, Developmental Screenings and Connection, Healthy and Safe Home Environment, and (NEW!) Niche Family Supports.

Funding Opportunity 2: Parent Education and Support

This category funds programs that ensure parents have the knowledge and skills to support their children’s health, development, and learning. Services provide in-home and/or community-based support and education. This RFP is a specific request for agencies that offer translation and interpretation services (in-person, telephone, and written). Services will be offered to families enrolled in Ready by Five. Languages needed include, but are not limited to Spanish, Nepali, Kinyarwanda, Serbo-Croatian, and Swahili.

Funding Opportunity 3: Healthy Development – Fetal Infant Mortality Review Network Lead

To ensure early childhood services are addressing the social, equity, economic, and health factors that contribute to healthy births in Kent County, Ready by Five requests proposals to select one (1) organization to lead the implementation and ongoing management of the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Network for Kent County.

Funding Opportunity 4: Healthy Development – Ready by Five Network Education Leader

This funding will increase knowledge in the network through the support of training opportunities for all direct service professionals funded by Ready by Five and their direct supervisors. First Steps Kent requests the delivery of training by professionals with expertise in each topic. Training topics will address the following areas:

  • Responding to family needs with a trauma-informed approach
  • Secondary trauma – resources for professionals
  • Domestic violence and family safety – how to respond and support families with young children
  • Increased education on safe sleep for caregivers and family members to improve training and education
  • Quality program practices to improve services to families with young children

Up to three (3) proposals will be selected for this area. Agencies demonstrating experience and expertise in multiple areas may present training and may apply for one or more training areas.

Funding Opportunity 5: Technology Equipment Request (Currently funded programs only)

This is a one-time funding request for technology necessary to support staff positions funded by the Ready by Five Millage with current or upcoming contracts that continue through December 31, 2023. Examples of technology equipment include computers and complementary hardware (e.g., monitor, keyboard) that total exceeds the threshold defined in the Ready by Five Service Provider Manual -- property costing more than $1,000 per unit. This area covers technology costs only. Requests for funds to cover additional program expenses, staffing costs or indirect costs will not be considered under this funding opportunity.

Please Note: First Steps Kent reserves the right to modify these funding areas. All updates regarding funding opportunities and information regarding the funding process and the Requests for Proposal process, including additional specifications for each service and program type, will be posted to the First Steps Kent website.

For More Information

First Steps Kent will hold two Pre-Proposal Conferences to provide information about the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage funding process. Both sessions will contain the same information. There is no need to attend both. Register for one today! 

All Requests for Proposals will include additional specifications. They will be issued on Wednesday, July 13, and posted here.

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