Pennsylvania’s fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 proposed budget makes historic investments in education to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, including an additional $40 million more for early childhood education. With new investments in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts ($30 million) and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program ($10 million), the state will be able to increase the number of children served in high-quality pre-kindergarten. The proposal in the FY 2018-19 Executive Budget represents the further steps toward achieving the goal of universal access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is seeking applicants for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts was enacted into law by Act 45 of 2007 (and amended in 2008 and 2010) amending the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 15- 1511-D—15-1516-D). Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides children with the opportunity to experience a high quality pre-kindergarten program. The program standards ensure a high return on the investment in the preparation of young children for school and will help to close the achievement gap. Early education through Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life.

The Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grant program operates on a five-year cycle of continuation. FY 2017-18 represented the end of a five-year cycle, therefore; the Pennsylvania Department of Education is issuing this full, competitive rebid Request for Application (RFA) to evaluate equitable distribution of funding. 

PDE is issuing this Request for Applications to support providers in preparing to serve children and to be ready for September enrollment. We recognize that providers need to conduct outreach to families; recruit, hire and train staff; and do all of the planning necessary to successfully implement the program pending approval of proposed funding.

Information on the application process can be accessed at PKC How to Apply , and apply to this competitive opportunity to disperse funding to select eligible grantees for a five-year grant period beginning in FY 2018-19. All FY 2017-18 Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees wishing to serve children in FY 2018-19 MUST submit an application as part of this competitive rebid process. In addition, applications from those seeking to become new Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees will be reviewed.

Pennsylvania continues to be committed to a mixed delivery system. As such, eligible applicants include existing Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grantees and new applicants from these five eligible entity categories:
a.   School districts;
b.   PDE Licensed nursery schools;
c.    Head Start grantees;
d.   Child care centers and group child care homes designated at Keystone STAR 3 or STAR 4; and
e.   A third party entity applying for Pennsylvania Pre‐K Counts funding to administer the lead agency responsibilities for entities that are eligible to provide the classroom services under the categories listed above.

PDE encourages all eligible entities to assess community need and apply for funding to support eligible children in their communities. There is no limit to the number of slots that may be requested through this application process. 

Age (three and four-year old children) and family income (at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines) are the primary eligibility criteria for participation in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts. Additional priorities for enrollment should be developed at the local level and may include teen parents, migrant or seasonal students, children of a family experiencing homelessness, children involved in the child welfare system, siblings of children already enrolled in the program, English language learners, children of an incarcerated parent, or children receiving early intervention or behavioral health supports.

Applicants must have the following in place in order to complete an application: a Letter of Intent, a vendor number (SAP #), an administrative unit number (AUN), a master provider index number (MPI), and a federal ID number or tax ID number.

  • Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance Any applicant should thoroughly review Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance prior to submission of a letter of intent to apply to ensure an understanding of the program requirements and expectations of compliance if an application is successful. The application review process will include evaluation of the extent to which the applicant demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute and Regulations.
  • Required Letter of Intent Because of the need to establish access to eGrants procurement system, eligible organizations must submit a completed Letter of Intent to apply for funds. The template posted at PKC How to Apply must be used. The Letter of Intent represents intent to apply for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funding and includes the legal name of the eligible agency who will apply, the AUN associated with the applying legal entity, preliminary information about requested funding, program model, provider type, and area to be served. Except for the legal entity and AUN, information submitted in the Letter of Intent may be modified in the final eGrants application. Programs interested in applying must submit a fully completed Letter of Intent by 3 pm on March 30, 2018 to Programs who do not submit a timely Letter of Intent will not be able to apply in the eGrants system. Late submissions will not be accepted. Those agencies submitting a fully complete Letter of Intent by the due date will be notified when the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts application is open in eGrants.
  • Administrative Unit Number (AUN Number) Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need to supply a valid AUN number within the Letter of Intent. A Letter of Intent without a valid AUN that matches the legal name of the applying entity will not be accepted. To verify your AUN number or to check to see if you have one assigned to your agency, visit EDNA. If you are an Intermediate Unit, select Search for Intermediate Units. If you are not an Intermediate Unit, select Advanced Search, and search for your agency. Applicants that are not already licensed by PDE and therefore do not have an AUN number should contact Brian Bell (, (717) 346-0038) at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. 
  • Vendor Number (SAP #) The supplied vendor number MUST align with the legal name and address provided in the application. A vendor number and account can be set up by registering at Vendor Number Registration selecting the Non-Procurement Registration Form. All agencies applying for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts grants must be pre-registered. The Central Vendor Management Unit is a storage database. The Comptroller uses this account to store direct deposit information. If you have any questions about vendor numbers, please contact Brian Bell (, (717) 346-0038) at the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. 
  • Master Provider Index (MPI #) The supplied MPI number MUST align with the legal name and address provided in the application. All Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts applicants will need an MPI number if the application is successful. The number is requested as part of the application process to ensure timely contracting for approved applications. MPI numbers are used by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to identify legal entities and service locations that participate in any of its programs. As such, they are used in PELICAN as a common identifier for all OCDEL programs, including child care licensing, Early Intervention, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program, and Keystone STARS. Legal entities are assigned a unique nine-digit MPI number. In addition, service locations are assigned a unique 13-digit MPI number, which is created by adding a four-digit extension to the nine-digit MPI of the legal entity. Legal entities and service providers currently participating in any of these programs should have an MPI number. Applicants that are not currently participating in any of these programs should contact the Early Learning Network (ELN) Help Desk at (877) 491-3818 and provide their Federal Tax ID to determine their MPI numbers. MPI numbers will not be provided without a Federal Tax ID number.
  • Tax ID Number or Federal ID Number This is the number that an agency uses on its federal W-9 form. Applicants for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts funds should consult with the person who handles tax, legal, or accounting matters for the agency to determine the federal ID number. Use the number that aligns with the legal name and address provided in this application. The correct number must be provided when requested in order to process an application. Failure to do so will result in significant delays in funding approved applicants for FY 2018-19. This number is often referred to as the “FEIN number” by OCDEL staff.

Pre-application recorded webinar
An asynchronous pre-application webinar will be posted at PKC How to Apply   after February 26, 2018 to assist interested applicants in the completion of the application. The webinar will include information on the application process and program requirements. 

Bidder’s Conferences
Face-to-face bidder’s conferences will be held regionally. All interested parties are strongly encouraged to attend one face-to-face bidder’s conference. The bidder’s conference will provide the necessary information to assist interested applicants in completion of the application process. The bidder’s conferences will include the opportunity to ask questions regarding the application process, and program requirements. Any response provided will not become “official” until addressed in writing. In addition to questions submitted during the bidder’s conferences, questions may be sent to until 3 pm on April 27, 2018. Official written responses to questions submitted by the due date will be posted to PKC How to Apply . Applicants should not submit questions regarding this application through any other means.

Registration is required . For a listing of available dates and locations, and to register, visit PKC How to Apply . Attendees are encouraged to register early and consider carpooling, as space is limited at all locations. 

The Project Officer for this competitive RFA process is:
Deborah C. Wise, M.Ed.
Chief, Division of Standards and Professional Development
Bureau of Early Learning Services
Office of Child Development and Early Learning
Pennsylvania Department of Education

All questions regarding this competitive RFA process should be directed to the Project Officer only, by sending an email to .
In order to provide consistent messaging and an equitable application process, ONLY questions collected during bidder’s conferences, and sent to , will be addressed. Questions and responses not already covered in either Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Statute, Regulations, and Guidance , or within the Application Guidance document, will be included in an on-going Frequently Asked Questions document posted at PKC How to Apply .