ECHO Fund Grants
The Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) Fund is an innovative grant program that seeks to increase access to high-quality early care and education for Louisiana children, birth through age four, by directly funding child care programs and the nonprofits that serve them.
Current ECHO Fund Grant Opportunities
Agenda for Children is excited to announce the launch of our Spring 2023 Orleans Parish Operations Grant! See below grant parameters, timeline, and more.
Spring 2023 Orleans Parish ECHO Fund Operations Grant
The Spring 2023 Orleans Parish ECHO Fund Operations Grant, made possible through Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) Believe! funding, intends to support Type III early care and education (ECE) programs and Family Child Care Providers (FCCs) with Academic Approval through direct, one-time financial grants. Grants will support New Orleans ECE programs in meeting their center’s operating costs.
The ECHO Fund Spring 2023 Operations Grant will provide grants of between $2,500 to $5,000 for up to 30 providers in Orleans Parish (currently operating FCCs with Academic Approval and certain Type III ECE programs). Additional eligibility requirements and exceptions apply; please read the requirements below prior to application.
Funding for this grant is limited, and not all applications may receive funding.
Quality grant applications must align with the grant’s intended purpose, outline a plan of implementation for the use of funds, address how funds will be used if the provider is awarded less than the requested amount, and provide supporting documentation on the intended use of funds (e.g., Amazon Wish Lists, invoices, etc.).
Further grant information, such as additional eligibility requirements, application materials, grant priorities, and more are outlined below.
|Eligibility - Location:||Orleans Parish|
|Eligibility - Provider Type:||FCCS with Academic Approval and certain Type III ECEs.
Due to the funding source, funding cannot be used to support school-based pre-k sites without a Type III license or sites that have a Early Head Start or Head Start partnership.
|Additional Eligibility Requirements:||Applicants must be in good standing with the New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN) and LDOE licensing requirements and have a 2022 Performance Profile Overall Score of 3.75 or higher to be considered for this grant.
Awardees of the January 2023 Facilities Fund ECHO Grant (Seed OR Grow) are not eligible for funding, with potential exceptions for providers experiencing extreme extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to: fire, theft, violent crime, natural disaster, etc.
Programs must be currently open with students enrolled. Providers who are temporarily closed due to an emergency, such as a fire or natural disaster, and/or providers who are currently in the process of opening and have received City Seats allocations for the 2023-2024 school year may be eligible to receive this round of grant funding.
|Priority Applicants:||The following applicants will receive priority for funding:
Proposals with clear, actionable goals and a concrete vision for how ECHO funding will help achieve said goals;
Applicants who have not received an ECHO Grant since July 2022;
Applicants whose concentration of publicly-funded children is 40% or more;
Applicants who have fewer than 30 children enrolled;
Applicants with 2022 Performance Profile Overall Scores of 3.75 - 4.5 will receive priority for this grant to support quality improvement
|Eligible Expenses:||Programs can apply for grants toward expenses related to their general operating costs, including, but not limited to:
Developmentally-appropriate books and materials;
Facilities (rent or mortgage payments, electricity bills, water bills, etc.);
Physical improvements (furniture, paint, etc.);
Other operating costs unrelated to staffing
|Ineligible Expenses:||Applicants should note that this grant may not be used toward the following expense categories:
Stipends or salaries;
|Total Grant Amount:||$2.5k - $5k|
|Application Launch Date:||Wednesday, March 15th, 2023|
|Application Close Date:||Applications are due no later than 11:59 PM, Friday, March 31st, 2023.|
|Grant Award Notification:||Agenda for Children will announce grant awards Friday, April 21st via email to the contact named in the grant application. Some applicants may be contacted sooner to clarify information in their application.|
|End of Grant Term:||Friday, June 30th, 2023. All funds must be expensed, documented, and reported to Agenda for Children by or before this date. Please contact our team promptly for guidance on allowable use of funds throughout the grant term.
Failure to spend awarded funds by the deadline, spending on unapproved or inappropriate items, or inconsistency in expense reporting may impact your eligibility for future ECHO grant awards and may result in request to return award funds.
|Application Link:||Operations Grant Application Link|
|Application PDF:||Click here for a PDF version of the application to prepare your application response. Applications will not be accepted via email.|
|Rubric:||Please review the grant rubric to understand how grant determinations will be made.|
|Application Webinar:||12:30 PM, March 23rd, 2023. Register here.|
Contact the ECHO Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support is available during our regularly scheduled hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM).
Where can I find the application?
The Operations Grant Application can be found here.
When is the application due?
Our application portal will close at 12:00 AM, Saturday, April 1st.
Can I see the questions in advance before I start the application?
Yes. The application PDF can be found here.
Can I save my application and resume it later?
Yes. If you encounter any issues, please contact email@example.com for assistance.
I am in the process of opening a Type III Center in Orleans Parish. Am I eligible for this grant?
If your center is set to receive City Seats for the 2023-2024 programmatic year, you may apply for this grant.
I receive funding from Early Head Start and/or Head Start. Am I eligible to apply for this grant?
No. Sites that receive any type of EHS or HS funding (including Private Type III Centers who receive EHS/HS seats) are not eligible due to the funding source.
I operate a school-based Pre-K. Is my program eligible for this grant?
If your program is a school-based pre-k without a Type III license, you are not eligible for this grant. If your school-based pre-k program is a Licensed Type III center, you are eligible for this grant. Please reach out to ECHOfund@agendaforchildren.org if you are uncertain which of these applies to you.
I operate multiple centers. Can I fill out one application to apply for grants for multiple centers at once?
No. Providers may not submit one application to apply for funds for multiple centers.
Can I fill out the application as a PDF and email it to your team?
No. Applications are only accepted via the application portal.
Can I edit my application after submission?
Applicants may edit their submission at any time before the respective application due date. Once the application closes, edits will no longer be accepted.
Where can I get additional support?
Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support is available during our regularly scheduled hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM).
Agenda for Children will be hosting an application webinar at 12:30 PM on Thursday, March 23rd. Register here. This webinar will be recorded and shared to eligible applicants.