Funding Opportunities

Bachelor of Arts Degree Cohort Program (RFQ)

RFQ Document:  

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County on behalf of Santa Clara County QUALITY MATTERS…a STRONG START for kids is seeking proposals from a qualified College or University to operate an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) Cohort Program.

Santa Clara County is at the forefront of California’s movement to improve the quality of early childhood education by strengthening retention and financial support and expanding access to higher education for its early care and education (ECE) workforce. These endeavors are based on a long history of planning and recent initiatives to improve support for ECE practitioners, with the goal of improving outcomes for the County’s youngest children.

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan emphasizes the importance of “high-quality early learning opportunities for young children in all settings that prepare them to be lifelong learners” and identifies the importance of community investments that support partnerships that strengthen educators/providers ability to adequately deliver these high-quality early learning opportunities. Investing in the formation of a unique Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts (ECEBA) does just that.

Request for Qualifications Released – February 18, 2020Applications are available online at
Deadline for Questions from Applicants – April 1, 2020Questions regarding the application may be addressed via email to All questions and responses will be posted on the FIRST 5 Santa Clara County website:
Application Submission Deadline – April 6, 2020 by 5:00 PMThe completed application packet must be emailed to: Application Packet shall include: 1. Application Cover Sheet and Minimum Qualifications 2. Completed Application Form 3. Samples of coursework syllabi 4. A resume or equivalent for each individual that will be involved in the services outlined in this RFQ. 5. A project budget including hours and rate
Application Review – April 7 – April 10, 2020Complete applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed and scored by a diverse panel.
Initial Award Recommendation – April 13, 2020The recommended applicant will receive an initial award notification by email. Those applicants who are not selected to move forward in the process will also receive notice via email.
Appeal Process – April 13 – 20, 2020Applicants who are not recommended for funding but wish to appeal the decision have five working days from receipt of the email notifying applicants of the initial award recommendation to file an appeal in writing. The written appeal needs to document the reason for the appeal and must be sent via email to: and addressed to Jolene Smith, CEO. Grounds for appeal are limited to a violation of a FIRST 5 Santa Clara County procedure, law, rule, or regulation regarding this RFQ process. Appeals will not be accepted on any other grounds. Appeals will only be considered if received in the inbox by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth working day from the date of the email regarding the initial award recommendation. Decision on appeal is final.
Award Decision – May 21, 2020Upon completion of the appeal process period, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, Chief Executive Officer, will request approval from the FIRST 5 Commissioners at their scheduled Commission meeting to award the most qualified applicant.
Contract Negotiations – May 31 – June 30, 2020Staff will begin contract negotiations with the selected institution.

*All dates are subject to change at FIRST 5 Santa Clara County’s discretion. Notice of any date changes will be posted on this page.