February 14, 2022

Request for Applications: 2022-23 PA Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) will use a competitive Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) Request for Application (RFA) process for fiscal year 2022-23.

The intent of HSSAP is to increase the number of low-income, Head Start-eligible children receiving high quality pre-kindergarten services in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf’s proposed 2022-23 state budget expands HSSAP by $10 million. With this expansion funding, the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten.


HSSAP funding is awarded competitively on a five-year grant cycle. Fiscal year 2022-23 begins a new five-year cycle. All current HSSAP grantees, as well as any new, eligible applicants must apply during this competitive RFA process.

This RFA is intended to support providers in preparing to serve and enroll children by September 2022. The RFA is being released February 2022 to give providers time to conduct outreach to families; recruit, hire and train staff; and plan for implementing the program, pending grant approval. Applicants may submit funding proposals aligned with the program models outlined in the Head Start Program Performance Standards 1302 Part B.

The ceiling or limit on the potential number of slots that may be awarded to any applicant will depend upon a county’s unmet need percentages and the amount of funding available. Funding is contingent upon approval by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

HSSAP grants are funded via state dollars and, therefore, carryover funds are not permitted. All grant dollars identified in this FY 2021-22 application must be encumbered or spent by June 30, 2022.


Eligible entities include:

  • Head Start grantees; and

  • Early Head Start grantees.

  • Successful applicants MUST demonstrate:

  • Current federal funding for Head Start or Early Head Start as a grantee or delegate; and

  • No uncorrected deficiencies from the most current federal Monitoring Review.

Applicants must also have the following in place to complete an application:

  • REQUIRED Letter of Intent (information below);

  • Vendor number (SAP #);

  • Administrative unit number (AUN);

  • Master provider index number (MPI); and

  • Federal ID number or tax ID number.

How to Apply

All information relevant to the application process is available in the HSSAP Application Guidance. HSSAP applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) using the template posted online. The LOI represents the applicant’s intent to apply for HSSAP funding and includes preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. Information submitted in the LOI may be modified in the final eGrants application.

Eligible applicants who apply for HSSAP funding must provide assurance that they operate in full compliance with the federal Head Start Performance Standards as reported on their Integrated Monitoring Report. They also must assure they will provide updates to OCDEL and the Head Start Collaboration Office director when changes in their compliance occur. Failure to report changes may jeopardize current or future grant funding.

Programs interested in applying must submit a fully completed LOI by 3 p.m. on February 25, 2022 to Programs that do not submit the LOI will not be able to access or submit a funding application in the eGrants system. Late submissions will not be accepted. Agencies submitting a fully complete LOI by the due date will be notified when the HSSAP application is open in eGrants.

More Information

A pre-application webinar will be held virtually on February 23, 2022 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. To register for the webinar, visit the HSSAP Virtual Bidders Conference registration page. The recording will be posted at HSSAP How to Apply shortly after to assist interested applicants in the completion of the application. The Bidder’s Conference will include information on the application process and program requirements and participation is highly encouraged.

In addition to the Bidder’s Conference, applicants are encouraged to view the asynchronous Grant Writing 101 course found in the Professional Development (PD) Registry. This course provides general tips on how to approach grant writing. A PD Registry login is required to access this course.

 For questions, contact PDE by sending an email to