Crunch Time: Strategies for COVID Relief Spending in Uncertain Times

Featuring: Belinda Rinker, JD & Alan Baquet, PhD

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Until recently, Head Start budgets have remained mostly stable over time, gradually increasing with a few well-defined funding opportunities for expansion or quality improvement. Along with life in general, Head Start funding changed dramatically as multiple COVID-19 variants swept through communities, closing centers and disrupting the delivery of Head Start and Early Head Start services. Over the course of a single year, Congress poured an additional $2 billion into Head Start’s national funding. These funds, from three separate appropriations, have different project periods, budget periods and appropriated purposes. As relief funds poured in, the Office of Head Start quickly made awards and established program and fiscal flexibilities to help grantees respond to COVID-19 and resume program operations. There is no doubt that grantees need all of the funding they’ve received as they struggle to re-open or remain open, maintain staffing, reach full enrollment and address inequities caused or aggravated by COVID-19. How can grantees plan and implement spending decisions for their COVID relief funds in quick, compliant and meaningful ways? Join Belinda Rinker, JD and Alan Baquet, PhD of Swan River Consulting Services, LLC as they provide information and lead a discussion of strategies for COVID relief spending.




February 10, 2022

Event Fees:

$75 per participant

Intended Audience:

Head Start Management, Directors & Fiscal Teams


Contact Brian Stults at

Belinda Rinker, JD, an attorney and Managing Member of SRCS, has over thirty years of experience working with grant-funded and nonprofit organizations.   She recently retired from her position as a Senior Policy Analyst at the national Office of Head Start in Washington, DC where she led fiscal, facilities and disaster recovery initiatives.   During her Head Start career, she gained hands-on experience in program operations and fiscal management.  Belinda has extensive knowledge of the many governance and fiscal requirements that apply to federal awards and has provided training and compliance assistance at the grantee, state and national level.

Alan Baquet, PhD, an economist and Member of SRCS, has a robust background in educational, nonprofit and private industry settings.  He is nationally recognized for his research and teaching accomplishments.  He successfully applied for and managed grant awards throughout his university career.  He has expertise in supporting the operation of complex organizations, having served as a Department Head and Associate Vice Chancellor in educational settings.  Alan is certified in both Life Coaching and Appreciative Inquiry, critical skills that enhance his ability to facilitate strategic planning and organizational change initiatives.

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