MONTE VISTA—The Monte Vista Community Center Inc. is proud to announce that we have been selected as the grant awarded for the Monte Vista Head Start. We were notified with the amazing news on June 24 and it went into effect on July 1. This was a result from the Designation Renewal System (DRS) that was established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in an approach to raise standards to increase quality and accountability in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs nationwide. HHS established the Designation Renewal System through regulation that became effective on Dec. 9, 2011. This regulation specifies seven conditions HHS considers when determining whether a grantee will be required to compete for continued funding or renewed without having to compete.
In December 2011, we were notified that we were one of the Head Start programs subject to DRS. This basically meant we met one of the seven conditions, or as I like to call them, “The Seven Deadly Sins,” at the last monitoring review and we now had to compete for our funding. This was very hard to swallow, but the cards had been dealt and the only thing left to do, was fight. After the initial shock, we composed ourselves, united as a team and decided we were not ready to give up. We worked closely with the grantee board and policy council and it was decided to hire a grant writer. The process was competitive and tedious, but in the end, our agency was top choice. This means that the Monte Vista Head Start will remain local and will continue to serve the children in the Monte Vista area. For the complete article see the 09-19-2013 issue.