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Application Assistance: Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems

About Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health Through Integration

The purpose of this grant program is to improve the healthy physical, social, and emotional development of children during infancy and early childhood; to eliminate disparities; and to increase access to needed early childhood services by engaging in systems development and integration activities and collective impact approaches that improve the quality and availability of early childhood services at both the state and local levels.  

Applicants have the option to plan, if necessary, and implement one of three strategies:  

  1. Mitigation of toxic stress and trauma  during infancy and early childhood across two or more early childhood systems (e.g., health, child care, home visiting, parenting education, etc.); or
  2. Coordination of the expansion of developmental screening activities in early care and education settings statewide by connecting pediatric and other child health leaders with child care health consultants to link training and referrals among medical homes, early intervention services, child care programs and families; or
  3. Improvement of state infant/toddler child care quality initiatives (e.g., State licensing standards/Quality Rating and Improvement Systems [QRIS] and/or professional development) by incorporating 10 or more Caring for Our Children, 3rd edition, standards focused specially on the infant/toddler age group.  

All applicants are required to partner with an early childhood state team.

Eligible Applicants

As cited in 42 CFR Part 51a.3(a), any public or private entity, including an Indian tribe or tribal organization (as those terms are defined at 25 U.S.C. 450b) is eligible. Faith-based and community-based organizations are also eligible.

All applicants must have significant experience developing and implementing state wide early childhood comprehensive systems strategies to build the health of young children. Applications that fail to show such experience will not be competitive.


This program will provide funding during Federal fiscal years 2013 - 2015.  Approximately $7,800,000 is expected to be available annually to fund up to 57 grantees.  Applicants may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $140,000 per year.  The project period is three (3) years.  Funding beyond the first year is dependent on the availability of appropriated funds for ECCS Program in subsequent fiscal years, grantee satisfactory performance, and a decision that continued funding is in the best interest of the Federal Government.

Application Basics

Organizations, not individuals, are eligible to apply. Completing a grant application can take 40 hours or more. Be sure to avoid common mistakes that stop an application before it is even reviewed. 

First step: Register

Are You an Eligible Organization?

Submit Your Application Before the Deadline

Understand the Grant Process: Pre-Award, Post-Award and Closeout (PDF - 296 KB) | recorded webcast

How to Apply - Top 10 Tips for Applicants

"Debunk the Myths" about grant application -- animated video series

Dictionary of Grant Terms Application Help (FAQs & troubleshooting tips)