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									            Pennsylvania Early Learning Facilities Fund
                      Request for Proposal

A Joint Project:
              Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Public Welfare
              Office of Childhood Development and Early Learning

             Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

             Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
                                     Table of Contents

Section One:     Partnership Overview

Section Two:     Early Learning Facilities Fund Overview

Section Three:   Application

Section Four:    Selection Process

                               Fiscal Year 2008-2009       2
                             Section One: Partnership Overview

As a result of a unique partnership between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of Child
Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), the Department of Community and Economic
Development (DCED) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), the 2008-2009
Fiscal Year Budget is supporting a new Early Learning Facilities Fund (ELFF). ELFF will
subsidize some of the costs of constructing or renovating early learning centers.

Office of Child Development and Early Learning Since its inception in 2004, OCDEL, at the
Departments of Education and Public Welfare, has focused on creating opportunities for the
Commonwealth’s youngest children to develop and learn to their fullest potential. This is
accomplished through a framework of supports and systems that help ensure that children and
their families have access to high quality services.

OCDEL works with many partners to create opportunities for the Commonwealth’s children.
Parents, schools, child care, early intervention, Head Start, libraries, community organizations,
and other stakeholders have joined with OCDEL to provide high quality early childhood
programs and effective prevention strategies to mitigate challenges faced by families that affect
school readiness and academic success. The success of the state’s efforts today will be seen
in the development of citizens of the Commonwealth who are strong, independent, and well-
prepared for the future.

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Over the last 35 years, PHFA, the state’s leading
financing institution for affordable homes and apartments, has invested $8 billion in housing
programs. PHFA operates homeownership programs, rental housing development initiatives, a
foreclosure prevention effort and various related consumer counseling and community facility

Department of Community and Economic Development Pennsylvania is committed to
developing and enhancing its communities - from downtown revitalization, to helping the
individual citizens of low economic means to weatherize their houses. The Department’s goal is
to foster opportunities for businesses and communities to succeed and thrive in a global
economy, thereby enabling Pennsylvanians to achieve a superior quality of life.

                                 Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                          3
                   Section Two: Early Learning Facilities Fund Overview

Research has long documented that high quality early learning experiences and environments
lead to greater ability for children to achieve academic success. Most center-based early
learning programs utilize space that was not designed for early care and education. Facilities
have struggled over the years to meet compliance requirements while keeping costs at a
minimum. There is rarely an opportunity for facilities to access funds for renovation, expansion
or new development. The Early Learning Facilities Fund (ELFF) is designed to fill that gap,
giving programs another tool – the resources to create a well-functioning physical setting
designed specifically to meet the needs of early childhood education programs.

The ELFF is a pilot program that allows the state and the child care program to share the cost of
financing each facility, with the Commonwealth covering the largest part of the cost. The funding
will come from two sources:
           Fundraising by the child care program. Each program will be expected to raise a
           minimum of 5% of the cost of the new or renovated facility with a target amount of
           10%. Priority may be given to applicants who are able to contribute a higher share of
           the total cost. This money can come from any combination of foundation grants,
           corporate and individual donations, in-kind contributions (such as a building site) and
           organizational assets (such as accumulated savings or the earnings from the sale of
           a property). The fundraising will challenge organizations that have never carried out
           a capital campaign. But the task will be made easier by the state’s commitment to
           pay approximately 70 - 90% of the project cost. In other words, the state’s financing
           requires some matching funds from the applicant.
           State bond financing. Tax exempt bonds will be issued to establish a pool of funds
           (ELFF) to make loans with long repayment periods and low interest rates. As the
           financing plan is developed and approved for each facility, a repayment schedule will
           be established for the loan. Each provider will be responsible for making monthly
           loan payments, but a state budget appropriation will support the repayment schedule
           of the balance of the loan on the provider’s behalf.

ELFF will support selected facility renovation and construction projects carried out by nonprofit
community-based child care programs that have earned two or more Keystone STARS; are
located in counties identified as moderately-high or high risk according to OCDEL’s Program
Reach and Risk Analysis, and meet other priorities described below. In addition to the emphasis
on creating high quality early learning environments, especially in high-need areas, selection will
depend on an assessment of the project’s feasibility and its readiness to proceed. Depending on
timing of facility construction needs and funding availability, one or more pools of bond proceeds
may be generated to support qualified programs.

Each organization awarded a preliminary financial commitment will be provided extensive
technical assistance throughout the project development process, including project planning,
capital budgeting, facility design and project management. Project budgets will be prepared for
each facility, and funding necessary to support the capital and operating costs of the facility will
be identified during the project capital budgeting process. Loan proceeds may be used for costs
of acquiring a site; performing necessary due diligence on the site; actual costs of construction
or renovation; “soft costs” such as architectural and legal fees, as well as the cost of equipping
and operating the new or renovated facility.

                                  Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                            4
All potential applicants should attend the scheduled bidder’s conference in Harrisburg on
Tuesday, September 9, 2008 from noon to 3pm. Registration is mandatory and must be
completed by Wednesday, September 3, 2008. To register, send an email to
ra-dpwocdnet@state.pa.us and include:
    1. Name
    2. Center Name
    3. Center Address (including County)
    4. Number of Attendees

An email with directions to the meeting location will be sent to all participants prior to the
meeting date. While attendance is not mandatory, this meeting will be helpful in deciding
whether to submit an application and, if so, in preparing a high quality submission. Questions
and comments potential applicants may have concerning the ELFF Request for Proposals
(RFP) will be addressed during the meeting. Applicants should bring key project team members,
such as their board president, center director, architect, and community partners to this meeting.

ELFF Policy Objectives:
The Facility Fund’s overarching policy objectives are to:
      • target financing to facilities meeting the highest priority needs: underserved
            geographic areas, low-income families, and high need populations such as infants
            and toddlers or children with special needs.
      • encourage collaborative efforts that will strengthen the early childhood education
            system in these communities and bring needed family services together in one
      • ensure high quality programming, and
      • produce well-planned and designed facilities that support increased capacity and
            high quality programming (note: ELLF funding will be provided only for the
            construction or renovation of the facility, not for operating costs).

ELFF Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for ELFF financing, applicants must:

    1. Be in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, including a Department of
       Public Welfare Certificate of Compliance. Facilities with provisional certification are not
       eligible to apply.
    2. Be an existing licensed center serving infants, toddlers and/or preschool children.
    3. Be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and be in good standing in the
       Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    4. Participate in Keystone STARS and have a minimum of two stars.1

 Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to
improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in
Pennsylvania. The Keystone STARS Performance Standards provide the foundation for the program. The
Performance Standards are grouped into four levels: STAR1, STAR 2, STAR 3, and STAR 4. Each level
builds on the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning
environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional
development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and

                                    Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                              5
    5. Be located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and serve families in one of the
       counties rated as moderately-high or high risk according to OCDEL’s Program Reach
       and County Risk Assessment for the most recent fiscal year.
    6. Serve at least 30% children who receive state child care subsidies through the Child
       Care Works Subsidy Program.
    7. Offer care for at least 8 hours per day; 5 days per week; 12 months of the year
    8. Be able to submit three years of financial audits without any material deficiencies or
    9. Be open to the general public and not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, gender,
       national origin, disability.

Additional priorities for receiving funds through the ELFF include the following:

        Centers whose enrollment includes 10% or more children with an IFSP or IEP
        Centers who enrollments includes 10% or more documented special populations (i.e.
        English language learners and homeless children.
        Centers enrolled in PA Pre-K Counts.2
        Centers with an active parent engagement program
        Centers that collaborate with other child and family serving programs and services.
        Applicants proposing to develop or improve a child care facility that they own or will own.
        Applicants that can demonstrate long term viability of their programs.

For more information on the ELFF, send an email to ra-dpwocdnet@state.pa.us.

  PA PreK Counts is a pre-kindergarten program that provides quality early learning experiences to
prepare 3- and 4-year-olds for kindergarten and school success. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts greatly
expands quality pre-kindergarten opportunities to children and families across the Commonwealth.
Children in participating communities attend half- or full-day quality pre-kindergarten classrooms located
in schools, Head Start sites, child care programs, and/or nursery schools.

                                     Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                                   6
Section Three: Application

A. Application Cover Sheet

Legal Name of Incorporated Entity: ________________________________________________

Address:       ________________________________________________________________


City: __________________ State: PA            Zip: ___________        County:_________________

Phone: (___) ___________________              Fax: (___) ____________

Organization’s Chief Executive Officer: ___________________           Title: ___________________
Phone: (    ) ____________ Email Address:________________

Contact Person:________________________________ Title: _________________
Phone: (    ) ____________ Email Address: ______________

Organization’s Federal Taxpayer Identification Number: _______________________________

How many Pennsylvania certified center-based sites do you operate for infants, toddlers and/or
preschool aged children? ________

Do you contract with any third-party organizations or companies to deliver any aspect of your
program services (for example, for PreK Counts services)? If yes, please list all of these third-
party contractors:

Certifications: By submitting its application for preliminary consideration, each provider is
certifying the following:

1.) The organization is a qualified non- profit corporation exempt from federal income taxation
under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

2.) The organization is Keystone STAR 2 or higher certified.

3) The organization has not been suspended or debarred from participation in any federal or
state programs.

4.) The organization is not currently under investigation by any federal or state regulatory

5.) The organization is authorized to do business and is in good standing under the laws of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

                                  Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                           7
6.) The organization does not have any pending or threatened litigation against it which would
materially affect its financial condition, its facilities or operations, or challenging its powers or
authority to engage in business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

7.) I certify that I am fully authorized to submit this application on behalf of the organization and
no additional corporate actions are necessary to bind the organization to incur the costs
associated with this application and to engage in this initiative if selected.

I certify that all information provided in this response is accurate, complete, true and correct.

Chief Executive Officer:                                       Board Chair:

_______________________                                        _______________________
Print                                                          Print

______________________ _______                                 _______________________ _____
Signature               Date                                   Signature               Date

                                   Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                                8
B: Application

Each statement must be answered in full. Answers for all statements should not exceed 20
double-spaced pages using a 12-point font. Attachments do not count towards the page limit.

1. Organizational Description
Provide a description of your organization including
    a. Mission Statement
    b. Tenure and qualifications of chief executive officer and chief financial officer,
    c. Administrative staffing
    d. Organizational structure (include organizational chart)
    e. Role of the board of directors
    f. Years in operation
    g. Programs other than early care education

2. Current Early Childhood Education Programming
    a. Number of Pennsylvania child care sites: _________
       If your organization operates more than one site, please attach a list of all centers;
       hours, days and months of operation, and Keystone STARS rating for each center.
       Otherwise, the enrollment data below can be aggregated for all centers.
    b. Describe your current enrollment (as of June 30, 2008):

Legal Entity Name:
Name of Center (if different):
Center Address (including county):
Keystone STAR rating:
                                            Infant    Young       Older         Pre-        School-
                                            (0-12     Toddler    Toddler     school (37    Aged OST
                                             mo)      (13-24     (24-36        mos to       program
                                                       mos)       mos)        entering
                                                                             1st grade)
Total Licensed Capacity
Total Enrollment
Pre-K Counts Enrollment
Full-Day state-subsidized child care
Part-Day state-subsidized child care
Special Needs Children – ELL (by
Special Needs Children – Disability (by
Special Needs Children – Homeless

   c. Describe the center’s hours and days of operation: _____________________
           Monday     Tuesday       Wednesday Thursday Friday               Saturday Sunday
   How many months per year does this facility operate?___________________
   (Note: 12 months of service is required for eligibility for ELFF funds.)

                                  Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                         9
   d. Describe your early childhood education program including name of curriculum and
      assessment tool used to determine of programmatic quality.
   e. Describe specifically the way your program focuses on the needs of at-risk children and
      those with special needs.
   f. Describe the program’s scope of work with families, especially with families whose
      children are deemed at risk. Please include the following information.
          1. Inclusion practices for children with IFSP’s and IEP’s
          2. Support services (screenings, financial aid, etc).
          3. Parent involvement activities and family support services
          4. Partnerships within the community (shared services, program collaborations,
   g. Describe characteristics of your center and its program that set it apart from other early
      childhood education programs in your area.
   h. Describe the qualifications, experience, professional affiliations and tenure of the
      center’s director.
   i. Describe the program staffing; the staff’s qualifications, experience and tenure,
      especially those of lead teachers.
   j. Describe the cultural competency practices your agency uses, including your program’s
      policies, practices and procedures that reflect culturally relevant and responsive services
      to children and their families. Include number of bi-lingual/multi-lingual staff.

3. Proposed Facility Project

   a. Do you propose to (circle one):
          1. Renovate an existing child care site?
          2. Renovate a building not currently being used for child care?
          3. Construct a new facility?

      If you are relocating to a new facility and either purchasing the facility or purchasing and
      renovating the facility, or if you are constructing a new building, will the facility replace an
      existing center(s)? ____

      Which center(s) will be replaced and what is the reason for the replacement?

                                 Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                             10
   If you are renovating an existing child care center, please answer the questions in the
   box below. If your project involves renovating or constructing a new site (at a location
   where you are not currently operating a center), please skip to the questions in part b.

   If you are renovating an existing center where you are currently operating a child care program,
   provide the following information:

           Location of center to be improved: ___________________________

           Keystone STAR Rating: ________

           Legal Name of owner: __________________________
           Date Acquired:        __________________________
           Is there an outstanding mortgage? ______
           Outstanding principal balance: $__________
           Interest rate: _________

           Describe what you propose to do to physically improve your existing center:

b. Describe the goals you hope to achieve by undertaking this project.

c. Describe your vision for what the new center will look like and how the physical design
   will support the quality of your program.

d. Describe how this project will enable your program to better meet the needs of at-risk
   children and families.

e. Describe how this project will help stabilize your program financially.

f. Describe the market need for the proposed facility. (If you are relocating children you are
   currently serving, skip to question g.). Provide relevant information on the population the
   program will draw from; neighborhood demographics such as the number and ages of
   children and family income; neighborhood competition; what sets your program apart
   from others, etc. Include information on how you reached the market judgment made to
   proceed with this project (e.g. previous experience, market study, etc.)

g. Describe any committees that have been working to advance the project, the
   membership of the committee(s), and how long they have been meeting (e.g., this could
   be a committee of the center’s board members, or could be a specially formed
   committee with experts and stakeholders from the community).

                              Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                           11
h. Identify any architects, lawyers or other real estate development and construction
   professionals who have been working on the project; their qualifications and experience,
   and indicate whether their work has been done on a fee, contingency or pro-bono basis.
i. Provide a brief timeline for planning and constructing or renovating the facility and
   indicate why you believe the timeline is feasible. (If you do not have a timeline, indicate
   that you have not yet reached that point).

j.   Describe your anticipated future enrollment in the proposed center:

                                        Infant    Young       Older    Pre-school     School-
                                        (0-12     Toddler    Toddler   (37 mos to      Aged
                                         mo)      (13-24     (24-36    entering 1st     OST
                                                   mos)       mos)       grade)       program
     Target Enrollment
     Special Needs Children
     Projected percentage of
     children receiving state child
     care subsidy through Child
     Care Works

k. Describe the proposed site:
   1. If you have identified a site, describe the site (and include photographs).
      a. Who owns the site?
      b. Have there been discussions with the owner about purchase or long-term
           occupancy? (Priority will be given to properties that are owned by the applicant.
           However, providers may build a center on leased land if the term of the lease is
           at least 50 years)
      c. Do you have a written agreement or an agreement in principle with the owner to
           sell or option the property and, if so, on what terms? Attach any executed
           purchase or option agreement.
      d. Do you have preliminary plans for the site? If so, please attach to the application.
      e. Provide a brief narrative description of the site (describe the building and its
           condition; the location; abutting uses; space available for playground and
           parking, etc.)
      f. Have you conducted either a geotechnical or environmental assessment of the
           site? If so, please include a copy of the report.
   2. If you have not identified a specific site, provide whatever evidence you have that
      suitable sites exist and could be obtained. Provide specific examples and describe
      these sites even if there have been no discussions with the owner at this point.

l.   Project funding:
     1. Please use the “sources and uses” template at Attachment A to describe the costs of
        the project and the funding the applicant organization can contribute to the project:
        a. Sources of equity or grant funds: Applicants will need to demonstrate the ability
             to raise a minimum of 5% of project costs in the form of equity or grant funds and
             a target amount of 10%. Priority may be given to applicants who are able to
             contribute a larger share of the total cost. This equity can include foundation,
             governmental and corporate grants; organizational assets such as accrued
             savings or capital from the sale of property; in-kind contributions, and individual
             donations. Indicate the source and amount of any commitments in hand, as well
             as any funding you have applied for or plan to apply for. If you don’t currently

                                Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                        12
              have all of the funds in hand or under firm commitment, provide evidence of your
              ability to raise the required funds, such as a fundraising plan.
          b. Uses of funds: If you have been working with an architect, construction manager,
              contractor, or other development professional, do you have an estimate of the
              cost of building or renovating the center? To the best of your ability, please use
              the template to break the cost estimate into the following categories: acquisition,
              soft costs for professional fees, permits, etc, construction costs, and equipment
              and relocation costs.
       2. Debt – To raise the balance of the capital needed to construct or improve facilities,
          the Commonwealth will secure a long-term loan. The state currently expects to pay
          between 70 and 90% of the monthly interest and principal payments. If your
          organization is selected for ELFF financing, it will be responsible for paying the
          balance of each monthly principal and interest payment. In other words, the ELFF
          grantee will be responsible for roughly 10 – 30% of the principal and interest each
          month. The actual percentage will be stipulated in the grant award letter. Those
          monthly payments will need to come from your organization’s operating budget. Why
          do you think you will be able to afford to make these payments? What are your
          assumptions? (Note, your future operating budget will also need to cover other
          occupancy related operating costs such as utilities, insurance, maintenance and
          repairs). Please attach budget projections for your organization for the first two full
          years of operation in the new or renovated facility. Please include a narrative
          description of your budget assumptions.

4. Required Attachments
      a. List of Board of Directors with their professional affiliations and years of service on
          the board.
      b. Letters of support indicating willingness to help raise funds or in other ways advance
          this project.
      c. Resumes of chief executive officer, chief financial officer and child care director.
      d. Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) tax exempt status designation letter.
      e. Current fiscal year financial statements (balance sheet and income statement) for the
          most recently completed quarter.
      f.  Audited financial statements for each of the prior three fiscal years.
      g. The operating budget for the current fiscal year.
      h. A projected operating budget for the first two years of operation in the new facility,
          including a narrative description of budget assumptions.

5. Application Submission
Please submit five (5) copies of the completed application with all necessary attachments along
with the application cover sheet including signatures of the applicant organization’s chief
executive officer and board chair.

All applications must be received by 5pm, Monday, October 20, 2008. Failure of an applicant to
submit a completed application in a timely manner will result in automatic disqualification without
consideration. All application responses will be documented by the date and time of their
submission and remain sealed until the deadline, at which time they will be opened and
reviewed for completeness. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

                                  Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                         13
A completed application will include the following items:
      a. Application cover sheet signed by the chief executive and board chair as duly
          authorized officers of the corporation.
      b. A Completed Application (Part B, sections 1-4)
      c. Attachments listed Section 3.

All applications should be sent via standard mail (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc) or by commercial
delivery or courier service to:

                                  Early Learning Facilities Fund
                        Office of Child Development and Early Learning
                          PA Depts. of Education and Public Welfare
                                   333 Market Street, 6th Floor
                                      Harrisburg, PA 17126

All applications must be received no later than 5 pm on Monday, October 20, 2008.

All information submitted may be subject to public release at any time and will not be returned to
the applicant.

We reserve the right to change any or all of the requirements set forth during the review of the
applications to best serve the needs of the program. This invitation may be withdrawn or
amended at any time and from time to time, and specific criteria may be modified to meet
geographic, demographic, fiscal constraints, etc. This program is dependent upon the
continued availability of funds in support of this initiative and no assurance is made that this
funding will be available. This invitation does not in any way constitute a commitment of funds
by the Commonwealth. Any costs incurred by applicants shall be the sole responsibility of such

                  Section Four: Application Review and Selection Process

The Early Learning Facilities Fund is a pilot program and reserves the right to select projects
that meet diverse needs in a variety of ways. ELFF anticipates receiving more applications than
can be funded. A limited number of applications meeting ELFF’s threshold eligibility criteria will
be awarded a conditional financing commitment for the development and/or renovation of a
center. A preliminary commitment does not guarantee a final commitment of funds. Each
applicant awarded a preliminary commitment must meet all of ELFF’s requirements and all
requirements associated with the financing source.

Preliminary financing commitments will be made based on a comparative review of factors,
including the following:

       1.   Need for the proposed facility
       2.   Quality of applicant’s program
       3.   Soundness of proposed project and project goals
       4.   Financial feasibility of project
       5.   Availability of a suitable site
       6.   Demonstration of community support for the project
       7.   Project readiness to move forward

                                  Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                         14
       8. Applicant’s organizational and financial capacity
       9. Unique attributes of project and community support (such as design, green features,
          alternative energy use, levels of equity the applicant is able to raise, location, etc.)

Each application will be reviewed based upon the responses to the written applications
submitted, and site visits will be made with a select number of applicants based on the above
criteria. At that meeting members of the ELFF review team will meet with organizational
leadership and tour potential sites to assess project feasibility.

Preliminary selection decisions will be announced January 2009. Preliminary reservations of
financial assistance at a specified level will be provided and will entitle the awardee to receive
technical assistance to facilitate project planning. [This may include advancing planning funds to
pay for the cost of third-party professionals, such as architects. The reservation will be
contingent on the project being able to proceed to construction within a designated period, along
with other conditions that will be specified in the award letter. A commitment letter outlining all
final funding levels and the terms of the financing will be issued when the project is ready to
begin construction. Among other conditions that will need to be satisfied to begin construction
are site control; environmental clearances, state and local building permits and approvals, a
feasible long term financing plan; construction drawings, an approved construction budget and a
firm construction contract with a qualified contractor, insurance and evidence of firm
commitments of the organization’s necessary equity contribution to the project. Because the
debt portion of the program’s financing is expected to be raised using tax exempt bonds, there
will also be numerous technical requirements associated with the funding source, which all
applicants must meet in order to participate in the program.

                                  Fiscal Year 2008-2009                                         15

                       Facility Development Budget

             Sources of Capital to Purchase Property and Construct
             or Renovate Facility
               Corporate & Foundation Grants               $
               Donations from Individuals                  $
               Organizational Cash                         $
               Sale of Real Estate                         $
               In-Kind Contribution                        $
               ELFF Bond Amount Requested                  $

                                          Total Sources $

             Uses of Capital to Purchase Property and Construct or
             Renovate Facility
               Site Acquisition (Sale Price)               $
               "Soft Costs" like architectural and other
               professional fees and transaction costs     $
               Construction Costs (including
               playground)                                $
               Cost to Equip the Facility (e.g. furniture
               and appliances)                            $
               Start-up & Relocation Costs                $

                                              Total Uses $

                               Fiscal Year 2008-2009                 16

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