One of the primary outcomes of The Career Pathway (CP) initiative is to engage institutions, organizations and community partners to address the challenges of recruitment for and retention of the early childhood care and education (ECCE) workforce and to build awareness of and support for Kansas’ workforce. The CP team is pleased to announce mini-grant awards of up to $10,000 for institutions, organizations and community partners that propose innovative strategies for recruitment, retention of ECCE professionals and promotion of the Career Pathway. All successfully funded projects will be designed for replication by others. This mini-grant is made possible by Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).
Proposals may be submitted by institutions of higher education, school districts including Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, as well as municipalities, extension, employers, and community organizations across Kansas. The CP team will offer support and guidance throughout the application process including approved funding allocations. Funding may not be used to purchase food. Projects must be implemented in Kansas.
Proposal submissions should be submitted electronically including a budget (with budget justification) up to $10,000 addressing each required component. Most mini-grant funds will be paid at the time of the award for all eligible expenses clearly identified and justified in proposed budget. The project/activity must be completed by May 31, 2024. Recipients are required to submit 1) an impact summary report of the project with documentation of outcomes; and 2) all receipts for expenditures by May 31, 2024. All project materials will be featured on the Career Pathway website, through social media, and/or in print or other appropriate means to share.
Successful proposals will include:
Name, address, email and phone of applicant(s) and name and description of organization, institution (please include relevant website if applicable)
Clearly articulated project rationale related to recruitment and retention of the workforce and/or promotion of the Career Pathway. Each proposal will demonstrate how the project may be replicated by similar entities.
Clear description of the project/activity timelines, participants, facilities and outcomes.
All resources needed to implement the project/activity.
An annotated budget with justification (how the funds would be used) up to $10,000.
Assurance that a demonstrated impact report with all vendor receipts will be submitted to the CP project by May 31, 2024
While we include some examples, we encourage proposers to tailor projects to their needs and opportunities.
Description of Project/Activity
Develop professional learning course/tool kit (e.g., course/PD to recruit and train supervisors for field experiences, course for program directors to recruit and retain staff)
Events to recruit and/or retain ECCE workforce (e.g., Host recruitment day, Seminar on Well-being, etc.)
Marketing project to promote early childhood careers (e.g., video production team to create video interviews)
Funding for materials/speaker/travel for professional learning (e.g., materials for book study, updated curriculum, and assessments tools for higher education coursework, etc.)
All projects have a potential to be used by others to meet similar goals.
Who is eligible to apply? Proposals may be submitted by higher education faculty, school district Career and Technical Education (CTE) program staff, early childhood program directors/staff, community organizations, municipalities, extension agents in Kansas
What is the purpose of the mini-grants? To address the challenges of recruitment for and retention of the early childhood care and education (ECCE) workforce and to build awareness of and support for Kansas’ workforce.
How much will be awarded? Up to $10,000 per proposal. However, if two entities are collaborating it is possible that both could receive $10,000. Each entity would need to apply separately but reference their collaboration in their applications.
Can funds be used to pay to faculty directly? No. We cannot use funds to supplant other funds that are available for the same purposes, therefore if you are compensating a full time employee, you may not use the funds for salary or benefits. If, however, you are not supplanting funds (i.e., paying for part-time staff and reimbursing them for their time), a stipend could be added into the total amount of expenditures you have requested as part of the budget. Also, if you are considering summer pay for faculty, the project and receipts/expenditures must be submitted for work between March 1 and May 31st.
If awarded, when would we receive the funds? Funds will be awarded upfront for most accepted proposals and distributed the first week of March.
What happens if I don’t use all money I had in my budget and requested? The Career Pathway project may request that Grantee return any unexpended grant funds remaining at the end of the Project Period. Grantee will provide an accounting of how the funds were used by the end of the grant period with detailed, itemized receipts and documentation.
For higher education institutions, are indirect costs allowed on the budget? No. Because these are mini-grants, in-direct costs are not allowed. Indirect costs are not to be charged against this state grant program. Awards over $600 stipend to an individual may be subject to taxes.
Can we purchase technology (laptops, I-pads, etc.,) for classrooms? It depends on the justification and purpose/use of the technology. If you are using them for classroom teachers, that would not be awarded because it is not for recruiting and retaining ECCE professionals in the field. However, if your intent and justification is to support students who are going back to school and need access to laptops for their schooling, that would be acceptable.
If we are creating a video as a recruitment product, do we need “proposed publicity” approved? No. But you must attest that the recruitment materials are not intended for a specific entity (i.e., recruit to KU, ABC preschool, etc.). The recruitment video/materials should be for a wide audience and usable by multiple parties. You can say at the end who created the video and give credit to the developers.
If we can’t complete the project, do we have to give the money back? Yes. You must provide a full accounting of the receipt and disbursement of funds and expenditures incurred under the grant by May 31, 2024.
Are all applications funded? No. Application projects are awarded based on priority considerations. Applications will be scored on this rubric.
Can this money be used for scholarships to go to professional development conferences? No. We recommend that you utilize KCCTO Scholarships. Link: https://kccto.org/providers/scholarships/
Mini-grant application opens
Mini-grant Informational Webinar 1:00 PM Central Time Access Webinar Recording Here Access Webinar Presentation Here
Proposals reviewed and grantees notified
Expenditures for the project must be dated between 3/1/24 – 5/31/24
Project completed, including submitted receipts, summary report, and documentation
Deadline for submissions:
All submissions must be submitted electronically by EOD on February 23, 2024. Download a printable version of the application here.