New York State Even Start Family Literacy


Online Guide for Administrators


Financial Management - Questions and Answers

Q5-1: What services can be paid for with Even Start Family Literacy funds?

Recipients of Even Start Family Literacy grants must use the funds to provide intensive family literacy services. Costs typically supported with Even Start Family Literacy funding include salaries for instructional staff, employee benefits (e.g., social security, health insurance, and disability insurance), transportation for families, staff travel, professional development, equipment, and educational materials. Rent may be included provided that it is space dedicated to Even Start Family Literacy. When planning the budget, partners should clearly determine the services required and ensure that the costs are aligned with the administration of a high-quality program.

For more information:

Guidance, pages 28 - 29

Q5-2: How is an Even Start Family Literacy project funded?

Each Even Start Family Literacy program is supported with federal and local funding. The total of these funds represents the total project cost.

The federal share is funding from the William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy program. In New York State, the federal share may be no more than $300,000. 

The local or in-kind share is funding generated by the Even Start Family Literacy partnership and its collaborators. The local share increases each year that the project is in operation. 

The following table details the federal share and local match requirements for each program year.

Year Local Share Federal Share Total
First four-year cycle
One $33,000 $300,000 $333,000
Two $75,000 $300,000 $375,000
Three $129,000 $300,000 $429,000
Four $200,000 $300,000 $500,000
Second four-year cycle
Five $300,000 $300,000 $600,000
Six $300,000 $300,000 $600,000
Seven $300,000 $300,000 $600,000
Eight $300,000 $300,000 $600,000
All subsequent four-year cycles
Subsequent $557,000 $300,000 $857,000


Q5-3: What is the process for accessing Even Start Family Literacy funding from the New York State Education Department?

Even Start Family Literacy programs are required to submit a Proposed Budget for a Federal or State Program (FS-10) with their initial application and, each year thereafter, with their Documentation for Continued Funding. The revised budget sent with the Documentation for Continued Funding each July represents the federal funding requested by the program for the upcoming year. The sources and amount of in-kind funding expected during the next year are also detailed.

Upon approval of the project and budget, the State Education Department program office sends an approval letter to the fiscal agent of the Even Start Family Literacy project. The State Education Department's Grants Finance Unit will initiate the first payment of the grant (25 percent).

Subsequent funds must be requested by submitting an FS-25 to the Grants Finance Unit. FS-25's are typically processed within 30 days of receipt. Up to 90 percent of the federal share may be requested. Locally, the FS-25 is often handled by an agency's fiscal office, so processes established by that office should be followed. 

No more than 90 days after the end of the project, the Even Start Family Literacy program must submit a final expenditure report (FS-10-F) detailing all grant expenses. Upon approval of the FS-10-F, any additional funds (up to the 10 percent) will be paid to the agency. 

New York City Department of Education recipients must contact the regional school grant officer to initiate the STARS budget process. 

For more information:

New York State Education Department Grants Finance Unit Home Page

Q5-4: What is the process for changing the budget once it is submitted?

Budget items can be changed over the life of a program, as long as the scope and objectives of the program remain the same. Requests for budget changes within a fiscal year must be submitted to the State Education Department on the Proposed Amendment for a Federal or State Program (FS-10A) form. Budget changes require approval prior to expending reallocated funds. The deadline for submitting budget amendments is July 15. 


Q5-5: What expenses are allowable under Even Start Family Literacy?

Guidance for the William F. Goodling Even Start Family Programs lists the following examples of allowable costs: salaries, materials and supplies, equipment, food and meals for project participants, minor remodeling, rental costs of buildings and equipment, and transportation. 

Costs that are not allowed include indirect costs; constructing, renovating, or acquiring real property; and organized fundraising.

For more information:

Guidance, page 28  

Q5-6: What constitutes indirect costs?

According to the USDOE Guidance, 

"In general, indirect costs are those costs that are incurred for common or joint purposes among multiple cost objectives (for example, the Even Start program and the school district's program) and cannot be readily and specifically identified with a particular final cost objective without effort disproportionate to the results achieved (for example, the cost of heating and lights for a building in which multiple programs are located)."

Federal statute does not allow indirect costs of a program as part of the Federal share or part of the local in-kind share. 

For more information:

Guidance, page 30

Q5-7: What are the fiscal guidelines that this project must follow?


Even Start Family Literacy projects must follow federal and state fiscal guidelines. Federal guidelines are found in two primary sources:

  • EDGAR (Education Department General Administrative Regulations): This document details USDOE regulations for the administration of projects supported with federal funding. A wide range of topics, including local administrative requirements and restrictions on lobbying, are covered. 

  • OMB Circulars: The Office of Management and Budget prepared circulars that establish principles and standards for determining costs for federal awards. For each type of organization, there is a separate set of Federal principles for determining allowable costs. State-administered grants that have local educational agencies as the fiscal agent, and Indian tribes and tribal organizations, must use the cost principles in OMB Circular A-87. Grantees that have institutions of higher education as the fiscal agent must use the cost principles in OMB Circular A-21, and non-profit organizations that are fiscal agents must use OMB Circular A-122

Projects must also adhere to New York State Education Department fiscal guidelines. 

For more information:


OMB Circulars (

NYSED Fiscal Guidelines (

Q5-8: What constitutes a fiscal program year for Even Start Family Literacy? 

The fiscal program year runs from September 1 to August 31.


Q5-9:What is allowable for an in-kind match? What are examples of in-kind matches?

A local project may use cash or in-kind contributions for its local match. Any cost that is allowable under Even Start Family Literacy guidelines may be used for the local match. The local match may be obtained from any source including federal funds other than Even Start.

In-kind must be documented from the beginning of a program. For example, the donation of desks, chairs, file cabinets, and a computer should be formally documented. 

Local Even Start Family Literacy projects in New York State have used the following sources for the local match:

  • Employment Preparation Education (EPE) State Aid used to support adult education classes

  • the pro-rated cost of preschool education for participating children

  • transportation for special needs children to a center

  • transportation of Even Start Family Literacy children and/or adults

  • summer school for school-age children

  • donated books

For more information:


Guidance, page 14

Even Start Family Literacy In-kind Document

Q5-10: Who is the fiscal agent for this grant?

A partnership may designate either the LEA or the community agency as the fiscal agent for this grant. The fiscal agent submits the necessary forms to the New York State Education Department (see Q5-3). When funding is received, the fiscal agent distributes it as delineated in the budget. The partners must be clear on their respective roles in budgeting, using, and documenting the fiscal resources received. It is important to spell out "ground rules" on when checks are cut, what documentation is required, who authorizes what, what can be paid or not paid, etc.


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