DoEd Considers $24M Preschool Pay-for-Success Grant Competition

The Education Dept. (DoEd) is looking to roll out another version of its Preschool Pay for Success grant competition to help state, local and tribal governments explore using PFS funding to expand and improve early learning.

Deadline: TBA; the Preschool Pay for Success grants (CFDA Number: 84.419C) would offer up to $24 million for eight awards (no match required). In the past, the awards ranged from $200,000 to $400,000 each.  

Like other discretionary DoEd competitions, this one has supported initiatives which are based on evidence and focused on outcomes. The projects improve early, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, while generating savings for taxpayers. The studies identify a broad range of measures designed to demonstrate improved student outcomes; potential cost savings to school districts, local governments and states; and general benefits to society.


Interest continues to grow in the PFS model for preschool financing. The model leverages philanthropic and private dollars — through innovative contracting and financing – that seek to test and advance promising and proven interventions, while paying only for successful impacts and outcomes for families, children, and communities.

Under PFS, a government or other entity enters into a contract to pay a service provider for the achievement of concrete, measurable outcomes for specific people or communities. Service providers deliver interventions to achieve these outcomes and payments are made only if the interventions achieve those outcomes agreed upon in advance.

Communities where it is difficult or impossible to secure new or additional government resources may choose to pursue a PFS preschool project as a short-term strategy to finance the immediate costs of providing preschool services, or as one strategy to promote more effective investments of public dollars. A feasibility study is an important first step to establish whether PFS is a viable opportunity that will provide benefits to the community.

However, while these innovative strategies are important, they are not a substitute for local, state and federal support for large-scale expansion of early education.

Info: (most recent NOFA); Tammy Proctor or telephone (202) 260-7803.

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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