Prioritizing Parents Fund

Notice of Funding Opportunity - Ready by Five Millage 
Prioritizing Parents Fund
Effective: November 8, 2022 (Download this as a PDF)

1. About the Prioritizing Parents Fund

In September 2022, the Ready by Five Resident Proposal Review Board (RPRB) recommended the allocation of $464,878 into a fund that allows agencies to request additional funding for parent-focused initiatives. The intent of these funds is to support various initiatives that ensure parent voice is prioritized and to help further agency responsiveness to the need of families with young children in Kent County in the coming year.

Any agency with a current or upcoming Ready by Five Service Provider Agreement that will be effective as of January 2023 may apply. Applications must be submitted through the e-CImpact system. 

To apply for funding:

If an application is missing elements, First Steps Kent may disqualify the application from further consideration.

        2. Objectives of Funding

        As a result of a program receiving funding, they will realize at least one of the following objectives:

        • A. Have a better understanding of parents' needs
        • B. Offer opportunity to support parents as their child’s first teacher
        • C. Strengthen strategies or systems to support parent leadership
        • D. Improve processes to serve parents
        • E. Equip staff with professional development to achieve any of the initiatives listed above

        3. Funding Specifications

        Applicants must include the objective under which they are applying (see Section 2 above).

        Examples of activities that could be funded include (more than one initiative may be included in the application):

        • Paid facilitation to lead parent focus groups for the purpose of improving program quality (Objective A)
        • Develop and/or host parent workshops or groups that are strength-based as they are designed to enhance parenting skills and decrease feelings of parental stress isolation (Objective B)
        • Supplies that support parents with fostering early learning at home (this would include supplies that are not included in the current program budget) (Objective B)
        • Parent stipends for participation in program-related meetings (Objective C)
        • Supplementation of staff time to initiate parent empowerment initiatives within programming (e.g., development of a parent group to advise on programming) (Objective C)
        • Development and implementation of parent-facing technical assistance that would enhance current programming (e.g., develop a distinct process to support with the completion of complex forms for a particular resource -or- develop a process to ensure parents are referred to a specific set of resources not available currently) (Objective D)
        • Program-specific training to build staff capacity by empowering parent voice in programming (Objective E)

        Funding may be used to enhance the described scope of work of currently funded programs. Please note: the intent of these funds is not to start new programs or services.

        Initiatives will not begin or expand services beyond the level that can be realistically maintained for the following fiscal year.

        Funds will cover the actual cost of the described initiative only. Requests for funds to cover unrelated program expenses, staffing costs, or indirect costs will not be considered under this funding opportunity.

        Agencies may request funds to supplement only staff costs if staffing is directly related to the initiative as described and can be sustained after September 30 through current allocation or other confirmed sources of funding.

        To receive funds, awardees will be required to amend the related Service Provider Agreement in place with First Steps Kent.

        Funds must be expended by September 30, 2023.

        First Steps Kent cannot guarantee that continued funding will be available for initiatives.

        Ready by Five funds may not be used for the following expenses:

        • Supplies or gift cards to be used as incentives to attend a program or engage in a service
        • The purchase of any supplies or materials that are not directly related to the program delivery or are currently provided by other agencies in the community. Examples include but are not limited to emergency car repairs, diapers, and formula
        • Equipment or real property
        • May not be used to supplant current sources of funding

        See the Ready by Five Service Provider Manual for additional policies and procedures on funding requirements.

        4. Awards

          The application review process will close once all funding has been awarded. Information about what funding has been allocated will be posted on the Ready by Five Millage Portal.

          First Steps Kent has set three initial application cycles to review and award funding.

          • Deadline 1: December 6, 2022 – 3 p.m. Award will begin on January 1, 2023.
          • Deadline 2: January 9, 2023 – 3 p.m. Award will begin on February 1, 2023. (Note: this is pending if funds are still available)
          • Deadline 3: February 6, 2023 – 3 p.m. Award will begin on March 1, 2023. (Note: this is pending if funds are still available)

          Upon submission of the application, First Steps Kent will review the request. Applications that will be considered for funding will meet all the following requirements:

          • Meet one or more of the objectives listed above in Section 2.
          • Agency describes how the proposed initiative will prioritize parent voice and how success will be measured.
          • Agency describes how the proposed initiative aligns with the current scope of work in the Ready by Five Service Provider Agreement.
          • Application details provide a clear plan for what the agency seeks to achieve and how the initiative will be implemented including expected outcomes, the vision of success, clear goals on who will be reached, and a timeline for how the initiative will happen.
          • The budget includes reasonable, allowable costs. Any included staff costs are sustainable. Any outsourced services included in the budget are described. (See Funding Specifications above in Section 3).
          • The application is complete.
          • The service partner’s contract is in good standing with First Steps Kent.

          First Steps Kent may request a follow-up meeting to clarify application details prior to awarding funds.

          5. Method of Payment

            Service Partners will be required to submit reports detailing expenses. Forms, instructions, and reports will be provided at the beginning of the award.

            Reimbursement will be made for actual documented expenses approved in the budget.

            6. Questions

              In the situation your agency has a question or any technical issues, please contact First Steps Kent at Please allow two business days for First Steps Kent to respond. All questions and answers submitted will be recorded and posted on the Ready by Five Millage Portal.

              7. Additional Information

                First Steps Kent reserves the right to change the application timeline in which funds will be allocated.

                First Steps Kent also reserves the right to cancel, reissue, or make corrections or amendments to the application due to errors or changes identified by First Steps Kent, and to otherwise modify the terms of the application at any time.

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