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Mel Gravely

Allowable & Unallowable Costs in Head Start

budgetRecently The Gravely Group has been ask numerous questions on Allowable and Unallowable cost. We asked our new Fiscal and Administrative Consultant Geoffrey Lowry to compose a listing of ideas that can help you work through your program’s cost issues:

The Following Cost Are an Allowable Use of Head Start Federal Grant Funds

  1. Conference Services-Necessary recording of proceedings, simultaneous translation, and subsequent transcriptions.
  2. Consultant Services-Consultant Fees, including travel and supporting costs (Per Diem)
  3. Equipment Rental-Rental of necessary equipment.
  4. Meals-When certain meals are an integral and necessary part of a conference (working meals where business is transacted), qualified under “Travel” or meals where the primary purpose is for participants in the program performing necessary requirements of the program.
  5. Supplies-Necessary for participants in the program or funds used for the administration of the program to be used during the contract period.
  6. Speaker Fees-for services render
  7. Salaries-In accordance with the policy of the recipient, all or part of the salaries of professional personnel, clerical assistants, editorial assistants, and other non-professional staff in proportion to the time and effort to the program.
  8. Registration Fees-Paid by the recipient to other organizations on behalf of attendees provided such fees cover only those allowable costs properly chargeable to the grant.
  9. Publications Cost-When grant funds are awarded to pay for either the entire or partial cost of publication of proceedings or a book or pamphlet, cost of special plates, charts, diagrams, printing, distribution, mailing, postage, and general handling.
  10. Travel of staff, speakers, participants, and attendees, if identified in the application and approved at the time of award. Travel expenses for employees of the recipient are governed by the recipient’s travel policies, consistently applied regardless of the sources of funds. Proposed per diem or subsistence allowances must be reasonable and limited to the days of attendance at the conference plus the actual travel time to reach the conference location by the most direct route. Local mileage cost only may be paid for local participants. Where meals and/or lodgings are furnished without charge or at a nominal cost (i.e. as part of the registration fee), the proposed per diem or subsistence allowance must take this into consideration. Transportation costs for and participants at the conference may not exceed coach class fares.
  11. Administrative Cost-Agencies are limited to 15% administrative cost unless permission for a higher rate is granted

The Following Cost Are an Unallowable Use of Federal Grant Funds

  1. Entertainment and Personal Expenses-Cost of amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and related incidental cost, such as bar charges, tips, personal telephone calls, and laundry charges of participants or guest, are unallowable.
  2. Equipment Purchased-Not Allowable without Prior Authorization from your regional office
  3. Honorarium-payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant funds.
  4. Membership Dues-Not Allowable without Prior Authorization from your regional office
  5. Research Patient Care-Not Allowable under any circumstances
  6. Local Participant Expense-With the exception of local mileage as indicated under “Travel”, grant funds may not be used to pay per diem or expenses for local participants in the conference.

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  1. Bernadine Martinez says:

    Can you assist with family rent using Head Start funds?

  2. Maria Irizarry says:

    I have a question regarding allowable cost.

    What kind of activity can the parents do outside the classroom/center in order to assist with the inkind.

  3. Nancy Grunauer-Settles says:

    What kind of activity can the parents do outside the classroom/center in order to assist with the inkind

  4. Peggy says:

    Are meals an allowable cost for board members when served on site during a board meeting?

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