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 Workforce Grant! See below grant parameters, timeline, and more.
Spring 2023 Orleans Parish ECHO Fund Workforce Grant
The Spring 2023 Orleans Parish ECHO Fund Workforce Grant will provide Orleans Parish publicly-funded early learning providers with direct, one-time grants to offer innovative workforce incentives to their classroom educators. Eligible providers include Family Child Care (FCC) Providers with Academic Approval, Type III early care and education (ECE) programs with a valid license, and school-based pre-k programs that receive LA4 and/or NSECD funding. Programs must be located in New Orleans and have been open with children enrolled as of April 1, 2023.
The Workforce Grant will provide grants of approximately $800 per eligible classroom that is open in the EC Portal as of April 15, 2023. Applicants must be in good standing with ECHO grant reporting requirements.
All eligible providers in Orleans Parish are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants should note that this grant may not be used for anything that does not directly and solely benefit educators. Grant applications should align with the grant’s intended purpose, outline a plan of implementation for the use of funds, and provide supporting documentation on the intended use of funds.
These grants are made possible by Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) Community Supply Building and Access Expansion (CSBAE), Transform, and Believe! funding.
Further grant information, such as application materials, appropriate use of funds, and more are outlined below.
|Eligibility - Location:||Orleans Parish|
|Eligibility - Provider Type:||FCCS with Academic Approval,
Type III ECEs (including HS/EHS) with a valid license,
School-based Pre-K Providers with LA4 and/or NSECD.
|Additional Eligibility Requirements:||Applicants must be in good standing with ECHO Grant reporting requirements to be considered for this grant.
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. Sites that were temporarily closed on April 1 for a holiday closure are eligible for this grant.
|Eligible Expenses:||Programs can apply for grants that will support expenses that will directly and solely benefit and incentivize early learning program educators, including, but not limited to:
Start-up costs for expanding or offering new benefits to educators, such as 401k accounts, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, etc.;
Employer match contributions to educator 401k accounts;
Transportation vouchers for educator travel to and from work;
Child care vouchers or scholarships for the educator’s children;
Grant funds may be used to offer one-time bonuses, stipends, and/or other forms of supplemental pay, though we encourage programs to prioritize innovative ideas that will yield long-term benefits.
|Ineligible Expenses:||Applicants should note that this grant may not be used for anything that does not directly and solely benefit educators.|
|Approximate Grant Amount:||$800 per eligible classroom open in the EC Portal for as of April 15th, 2023.
Please note that for school-based pre-K providers, only classrooms that receive LA4 and/or NSECD funding are eligible.
|Application Launch Date:||Friday, April 28, 2023|
|Application Close Date:||Applications are due no later than 11:59 PM, Friday, May 12, 2023.|
|Grant Award Notification:||Agenda for Children will announce grant awards Friday, June 2nd, 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, September 1st, 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:||Workforce 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:||Agenda for Children hosted an application webinar on May 4th, 2023. See meeting recording here. See slides here.|
Contact the ECHO Team at email@example.com. Support is available during our regularly scheduled hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM).
Can these grant funds be used to support other program staff who are not educators?
No. Applicants should note that this grant may not be used for anything that does not directly benefit only classroom educators.
Are grant amounts determined by number of teachers or number of classrooms?
Grant amounts are determined by the number of eligible rooms open in the Early Childhood Portal on April 15th, 2023.
I have a classroom that was open before April 15th, 2023 that is not reflected in the Portal. Can I receive funding for this classroom?
Please reach out to ECHOfund@agendaforchildren.org with additional details to see if the classroom can be considered eligible.
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 Head Start/Early Head Start funding. Am I eligible to apply for this grant?
Head Start and Early Head Start funding recipients are eligible to apply for workforce grant funds.
I operate a school-based Pre-K. Is my program eligible for this grant?
If your school-based Pre-K receives either LA4 or NSECD funding, you are eligible to apply for these funds. Please note that for school-based pre-K providers, only classrooms that receive LA4 and/or NSECD funding are eligible.
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.
Where can I find the application?
The Workforce Grant Application can be found here.
When is the application due?
Our application portal will close at 12:00 AM, Saturday, May 13th.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
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.
How will my application be evaluated?
You can see our evaluation rubric here.
Where can I get additional support?
Contact our team at email@example.com. Support is available during our regularly scheduled hours of operation (M-F, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM).
Agenda for Children hosted on Thursday, May 4th. See meeting recording here. See slides here.