Provide Early Childhood Care and Education Services

Beginning in 2019, all contracted birth-to-five early childhood care and education services will be managed by the Department of Education (DOE), including 3-K for All, Pre-K for All, and services that are currently part of EarlyLearn NYC. The DOE will procure services under new program models with the goals of increasing quality, equity, access, and sustainability.

The birth-to-five system of early care and education is designed to uphold a set of core values. In order to produce positive outcomes for children, families, and providers, the DOE seeks to: 

  • Provide children from birth to five years old with access to a high-quality early childhood program that is held accountable to and supported to meet high expectations of program quality.
  • Ensure a sustainable early care and education system that accurately reflects need across the city and sets up all programs for successful enrollment.
  • Value the expertise of program leaders, educators, staff, and families, and work together to meet community needs.
  • Promote socioeconomic and racial integration in early childhood classrooms.
  • Provide extended day, extended year services and robust family supports to the families that need them most.
  • Ensure leadership and teaching teams have the knowledge and skills they need to provide quality instruction to all children, and help programs continuously improve.

Open Requests for Proposals (RFP)

Birth-to-Five RFP

The Birth-to-Five Request for Proposals (RFP) for early childhood care and education services beginning in 2020 opened on March 5, 2019. The RFP seeks providers of services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, combining services that are currently part of EarlyLearn with 3-K and Pre-K for All programs. This is an important step in creating a stronger early care and education system in New York City that will benefit children, families, and providers.

Proposals must be submitted by Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm EST. All current EarlyLearn and 3-K and Pre-K for All center-based providers (NYCEECs) must apply to one or more of the DOE's RFPs to continue services in 2020 and beyond. See below for information on additional upcoming RFPs.

If you are a provider with a contract that expires after 2020, you are strongly encouraged to apply, as the timeline for any future RFPs is not yet confirmed.

Head Start/Early Head Start RFP

The Head Start/Early Head Start Request for Proposals (RFP) for Head Start and Early Head Start services beginning in 2020 opened on March 13, 2019. This RFP is designed to solicit proposals for Head Start and/or Early Head Start services in alignment to the regulations and expectations of the Federal Office of Head Start.

Head Start is a federally funded program designed to promote the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age five and their families through early care and education, health and family well-being services. Awards for services through this RFP are contingent on the DOE receiving funding from the Office of Head Start.

Proposals must be submitted by Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 2:00pm EST. Providers interested in partnering with the DOE to offer Head Start and/or Early Head Start in 2020 and beyond can apply.

If you are a provider with a contract that expires after 2020, you are strongly encouraged to apply, as the timeline for any future RFPs is not yet confirmed.

Upcoming RFPs

Later in 2019, a Family Child Care Networks RFP and an RFP for supplemental funding for programs receiving direct federal Head Start grants will be released.

How to Apply to DOE RFPs

To access the RFPs, your organization must first create an account and become pre-qualified in HHS Accelerator. Please note that completing a prequalification application is not the same as submitting a proposal. Once pre-qualified, you will be able to download documents related to the RFP, complete your proposal, and submit your completed proposal and required documents through the HHS Accelerator system. Providers must submit a written proposal along with other required documents by the deadlines outlined above and detailed in the text of the RFP.

Detailed instructions on how to complete a proposal in HHS Accelerator can be accessed in the Provider Guide to Submitting Proposals in HHS Accelerator. Additional resources for using the HHS Accelerator system, such as user guides, videos, and training dates are listed on the HHS Accelerator website at

If you have questions regarding the HHS Accelerator system, please contact the Mayor's Office of Contract Services (MOCS) HHS Accelerator support team at

Opportunities to Learn More 

We encourage you to attend one of our upcoming information sessions to learn more about eligibility, timeline, process, and what it means to partner with the DOE as an early childhood provider. This section will continue to be updated with additional Information Session dates and locations. 

Staten IslandFriday, March 22nd, 201910:30am - 12:30pmMichael J. Petrides School, 715 Ocean Terrace Room H-101RSVP Now
Staten IslandTuesday, March 26th, 20194pm - 6pmMichael J. Petrides School, 715 Ocean Terrace Room H-101RSVP Now
BronxTuesday, April 2nd, 20199am - 11amOne Fordham Plaza, Room 838RSVP Now

Pre-proposal conferences will also be held to provide further information on the RFPs for interested applicants and answer questions. Conference details will be made available through HHS Accelerator.

If you have any additional questions about this RFP, you must submit your questions in writing to

Additional Resources

RFP Preview

This RFP Preview, issued on November 26, 2018, outlines programmatic values, program models, supports and standards that will be a part of the DOE's early childhood system in 2020 and beyond, as well as the RFP timelines and processes.

DOE Response to Commentary and Questions on RFP Preview

After releasing the RFP Preview, the DOE held round-table meetings and information sessions with hundreds of providers across the City, as well as briefings with our advisory groups, advocates, elected officials, and other key stakeholders. We also solicited written comments over a 30-day period. Throughout the process, we received questions and insights that have been invaluable in our RFP planning and design process. In this memo, we provide clarifications and responses to some of these questions and comments.

Clarification for Head Start Grantees and Delegates: Joint OHS and DOE Memo

The purpose of this joint memorandum is to provide clarification to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees and delegates in New York City on the DOE's 2019 Requests for Proposal (RFPs) for all contracted birth-to-five early care and education services to begin in July or September 2020.

Following the release of the DOE's RFP Preview, the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the DOE sought to clarify how those changes will impact Head Start (direct funded and delegate) providers in New York City. We encourage all current and prospective Head Start providers to read the memo as they consider responding to the RFPs being released in 2019.

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