Grant Opportunity for Early Head Start/Head Start State Policy Campaigns

July 8, 2018

The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. Through this collaboration and in working with a team of experts across the healthy eating and active living movement, the initiative aims to engage, organize and mobilize people to help all children grow up at a healthy weight. Voices for Healthy Kids will advance coordinated state, local, and tribal public policy issue advocacy campaigns focused on healthy eating and active living and will utilize the American Heart Association’s proven advocacy capacity to drive meaningful and widespread policy change.

The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children.

Voices for Healthy Kids is focusing efforts in schools, community and early care and education/out-of-school time. All grants awarded within these opportunities will be 100% non-lobbying funding.

We are excited to have expanded our lever list to support policies and funding that increase awareness of and access to Early Head Start/Head Start programs, and advance efforts to promote coordination among providers across the continuum from early care to kindergarten.

As we begin our work in this field we are likely to fund campaigns that are seeking to establish or increase state funding to increase access to Early Head Start/Head Start.

We are very interested in discussing your application and campaign ideas in advance of your application.  We encourage you to reach out to discuss this opportunity to help determine whether the policy campaign you are considering meets our criteria for consideration.  Please let us know of your intent to apply by emailing as soon as possible.

The deadline for applications focusing on the Head Start and Early Head Start is July 20, 2018 – 5 PM PST. Please note: applications supporting one of the other policy levers (not Head Start/Early Head Start) is due July 13, 2018 – 5 pm PST. You will need to let us know your are applying so that we can work with you to submit the application between July 13th and July 20th. Please let us know of your intent to apply by emailing as soon as possible.


Pre-Application Webinar Recordings

To assist potential applicants in preparing an Open RFA, Supplemental or Incubator applications the following recorded webinars are posted online.

Application and Submission: Review the funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, online grant management system and application requirements.

Model Campaign Planning Tool: This recording reviews the Model Campaign Planning tool (required for Open RFA/Supplemental Applications).

Building Health Equity into your Campaign Plan: This recorded session discusses the integration of Health Equity into your campaign plan.


Open RFA Opportunity

Strategic Campaign Funds Open RFA opportunity aims to fund strategic issue advocacy campaigns focused on helping kids grow up at a healthy weight through state, local and tribal public policy campaigns. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, local or tribal geographic location. Voices for Healthy Kids is allocating grants up to $125,000 per award for a period of up to one year with potential renewal. Open RFA applicants may also include in their application, campaign plan, budget (up to $125,000) and an Incubator Subgrantee.

The goal of including an Incubator Subgrantee is to engage partners and strategies in your campaign that will further the policy efforts, particularly by empowered engagement of priority populations most impacted by childhood obesity.


Incubator Opportunity

Voices for Healthy Kids has made a commitment to ensure that we reach those population most adversely affected by childhood obesity and has integrated a broad-based health equity approach throughout the design of our initiative. Incubator opportunities should identify additional partners and strategies through the empowered engagement of populations that are in the greatest need for helping all children achieve a healthy weight. Voices for Healthy Kids is allocating $30,000 funding per award for a period of up to one year.

Additionally, we are now offering the opportunity to include an Incubator Subgrantee within the Open RFA application to engage health equity partners in the campaign from the start.

Voices for Healthy Kids does not fund:

  • curricula development
  • policy implementation
  • equipment
  • operations of physical activity, nutrition or similar participant based program capital expenditures
  • academic research or other non-advocacy purposes


Online Grant Management System

Voices for Healthy Kids grant information and applications are now online.  All applications will be submitted in this system and registration is required.  Please follow these simple steps to register:

  1. Visit and in the lower right hand side of the webpage, click the create account now button.
  2. Complete the eligibility quiz.
  3. If your organization is eligible you will then need to complete a registration form for your organization and individual information.
  4. Once submitted, your registration will be reviewed and approved within 2 business days.

We appreciate your support in sharing this opportunity with eligible organizations working on state or local advocacy campaigns. Together, we can ensure that children have access to healthy food and physical activity where they live, learn and play. If you have any questions, please visit our Grant Opportunities website or feel free to contact Shannon Melluzzo, Grants Manager at