Professional Resource

Request for Proposals: Mobile Application Development

Download Files Jun 6, 2018

The National Center on Early Childhood Development Teaching and Learning (DTL) at ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) is requesting proposals from mobile application development organizations to support the development of three unique mobile applications that support effective teaching practices for the early education field.

Organizational Background

ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development. As a membership-based organization, we take a unique approach to child development by connecting those who can truly make a difference in the life of a child with the research, resources and tools they need. We lead a number of private and public initiatives while frequently partnering with other leaders in the child development field.

DTL is one of those public initiatives. Based at ZERO TO THREE, DTL is jointly administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Child Care (OCC). DTL advances best practices in the identification, development, and promotion of the implementation of evidence-based child development and teaching and learning practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive and lead to positive child outcomes across early childhood programs. DTL ensures that early care and education programs have access to high quality training, information, and materials consistent with the requirements of the Head Start Act, Head Start Program Performance Standards, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, and other applicable regulations.


The relevant stakeholders for this project are key ZERO TO THREE staff, federal project officers, and when the mobile applications are ready for release through the Office of Head Start iOS and Android accounts, the Head Start Information and Communication Center (HSICC). HSICC also maintains all the relevant technical standards for development and may be consulted along project life cycles.

ZERO TO THREE will solely manage the relationship with our federal project offices. During testing, release, and questions regarding standards ZTT staff will work with HSICC and developers to ensure questions are answered and apps are released according to schedule.

Oversight of all projects and final decisions will be made by DTL Director, Operations Amy Pirretti. Luisa Soaterna, Sr. Project Manager will be the day to day contact for all projects. Both have successfully led and executed nationwide mobile initiatives. There will be additional project members to help with task level execution, design, and analytics.

Project Description

The project consists of three different mobile application projects. Each one is explained in detail. Our mobile team will be working with the selected organization on all three projects concurrently.

Project 1: ELOF@Home:

Building on the existing wireframes, functionality and existing programming of the ELOF2Go (English) mobile application, available in iTunes and Google Play Store, ELOF@Home will be a content refresh and relaunch of this app for a new audience, home visitors. ELOF@Home will exclusively target home visitors. The teaching practices and stories will need to be replaced along with the introductory content. All existing functionality will remain the same. ELOF2Go was created in the public domain. As such developers will be provided with existing code for the existing ELOF2Go in English.

Project 2: HSTalks

This is a podcatcher mobile application designed to encourage the use of training and technical assistance podcasts made available via the Office of Head Start to the field. We are aware of the existing podcatching applications in the market. This is our first introduction of podcasts directly to our key audiences and we want to build a branded and consistent “place” to share podcasting series that are optimized with key features. Our first key audience segment is training and technical assistance providers and home visitors.

Project 3: Dual Language Learner (DLL) Teacher Support App

This application is designed to help infant, toddler, and pre-k teachers with features designed to increase their knowledge and give them strategies to support the growing number of linguistically diverse classrooms. Features of this application will help teachers with ideas to support children who are dual language learners.


Project 1: ELOF@Home

Functionality is already determined for this mobile application. Developers would assist in replacing content that states “teaching practices” to “home visiting practices”. Developers would replace content in the teaching practices and stories frames with new content. Developers would replace some introductory screen content. All goals sections within remain the same. Age based screens stay consistent and all peeling functionality and screens remain the same. There is limited new development work for this project.

Referenced mobile application: ELOF2Go available in stores now

Project 2: HSTalks

This mobile application is a new build using an existing RSS feed. The Head Start Talks (HSTalks) branded podcatcher app key features are:

Top Hand Navigation Features

  • Menu with listing features for newest and most viewed podcasts
  • Podcast series with tilecards to feature branding, click through to the individual podcast level
  • Page with list of target audiences, click through feature to relevant podcasts
  • Personal page including subscribe lists and history

Additional Features

  • Search
  • Linkage to radio via Bluetooth
  • Speed up/slow down feature

All content will build on an existing RSS feed from the Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center (ECLKC).

Similar mobile application: Ted Talks

Project 3: Dual Language Learner (DLL) Teacher Support App

Features we are considering:

  • Providing an interactive experience where teachers can choose information for basic emergency words in top 5 home languages including how to say comforting/common words for children; should allow for teachers to find these words and play key sentences for children in their home language.
  • Move you through an incentivized process to update your classroom to support children who are dual language learners
  • Link up and optimize picture or videos that showcase how to provide support to scaffold home language to English interactions. A similar mobile application for this feature : Voxy, Practice, Conversations; Memrise is also a nice gamified approach
  • Push notifications that share resources (via weblink); 2x month

Use Cases

Project 1: ELOF@Home

A user would want to gain knowledge about the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five (ELOF). The ELOF describes the skills, behaviors, and knowledge that programs must foster in all children. It describes how children progress across key areas of learning and development and specifies learning outcomes in these areas. ELOF@Home takes the content from the ELOF and makes it applicable to home visitors. The mobile application is designed to increase knowledge about the ELOF. ELOF@Home encourages home visitors to select an age, select a domain of the ELOF, select a sub domain of the ELOF, learn about the relevant ELOF content, review how the content can be used in the home with relevant practices, and then read a story and quiz about the content to reinforce learning.

Project 2: HSTalks

A user would download this podcatcher app because of the announcement that the Office of Head Start is now delivering training and technical assistance podcasts. The purpose of this podcatcher app is to be easy to use and introduce the audience to podcasting. The Office of Head Start already has an existing RSS feed via their website (listed above in functionality) that feeds to Google Play and iTunes. This application will be designed to deliver their content and encourage podcasting as a viable way to learn valuable information while on the go. Ease of use and searchability are key. User should also be able to identify by audience type relevant podcasts and search by topic, speakers, and languages. Podcasts will be available in English and Spanish. Users would enter the app to locate new content, listen to content directly in app or stream via Bluetooth to their car radio, and save and like both individual podcasts and series of podcasts. Users should also be able to link to subscribe to feeds for series.

Project 3: Dual Language Learner (DLL) Teacher Support App

A user would be a teacher. This early education teacher would select which language she is trying to support in her classroom to scaffold. There would be an interface of what the teacher would like to do. This list might include how to learn key words in a language to support my students, how to build a classroom that supports children who are dual language learners or how learn about effective practices to support dual language learners. Each aspect should be gamified to support progression at each activity level and across the board. Teachers will also receive periodic alerts about new resources.

Project Scope Requirements

Here are the services required for each project.

Project 1: ELOF@Home

  • Development work for very specific items
  • Quality Assurance & Testing

Project 2: HSTalks

  • Development
  • User Experience Recommendations
  • Quality Assurance & Testing

Project 3: Dual Language Learner (DLL) Teacher Support App

  • Development
  • User Experience & Design Recommendations
  • Quality Assurance & Testing

Platform Requirements

Our work is guided by the following standards. All applications should be made available for iOS, Android and Windows. The content should be optimized for smartphone use but viewable on tablets as well. All mobile applications will be released by the existing Office of Head Start iOS and Android accounts. RSS feed is provided by the ECLKC and also linked to the aforementioned accounts. The ECLKC has a Drupal content management system for reference. ZTT would like to explore easy content management and changes for all applications.

Push Notifications

  • Project 1: ELOF@Home: No push notifications are needed.
  • Project 2: HSTalks: Push notifications for new podcasts users are subscribed to.
  • Project 3: Dual Language Learner (DLL) Teacher Support App: Want to explore this idea.


Analytics are required for all three projects. The following data will be required:

  • # of downloads
  • # of downloads by geography (ie, at the state level)
  • Usage data

Data should be made available via Google analytics, Firebase, and iOS App analytics.


This is a competitive bid process. Budget should be provided to ZERO TO THREE based on level of effort. Basic breakdown costs per mobile application project should be provided as well as maintenance and support costs.

Project Timeline

Respond with a full project timeline and key anticipated dates. All work and final app packages for upload should be delivered by September 29, 2018. ZTT and funder will need to review app designs, wireframes, and completed build. Final build will be delivered via existing accounts.

Proposal Timeline

Submission and Awarding Timeline Information

  • Initial RFP Distribution-June 6
  • Final day to submit questions to ZTT ­ June 15 at 5 p.m. PDT/8 p.m. EDT. Questions received after this time will not receive a response.
  • Responses to all questions will be posted on ZERO TO THREE’s website on June 20
  • Final day to submit RFP Response ­ June 25 at 5 p.m. PDT/8 p.m. EDT. Proposals received after this time will be not be reviewed or considered.
  • Final selection made ­ June 29
  • Project Start with Kick off meeting on July 3rd at 12:00 pm PDT Questions and Proposals should be submitted to the following email address: Use pdf file format for proposal submissions.

Proposal Requirements

This Request for Proposal represents the requirements for an open and competitive process. Proposals from qualified individuals or firms will be considered. Limit the proposal to no more than 15 pages including attachments.

All proposals must be accompanied by a cover letter on official letterhead and signed by an agent or representative who is authorized to enter contractual relationships on behalf of the bidding party.

Company Overview

Provide an overview of the company, the leadership, and executive team.

  • How long has the company been in business? What is its mission?
  • How do you provide value?
  • What is the size of your agency? What are the sizes of the development, design, quality assurance, product, and project management teams?
  • Where are the employees located?

Service Offerings

  • What kind of services does your company offer? Please provide a description of each.

Development Lifecycle Philosophy

What development philosophy does the company follow? Why have they elected to follow this philosophy? What have they done to refine or improve it? Who owns the code? What code best practices are followed?

Case Studies

Provide a list of clients, awards, and summaries of at least 3 key client projects indicative of your work. Please list existing mobile applications that you have completed and feel are an encapsulation of your best work.

Project Team

Provide the following

  • Who will be involved in each project? Please provide a short description of the team, including qualifications of project leads and contributors.
  • What product management, project management, communication, and development tools will be used? Will we have access to these tools?

Project Scope

Provide a detailed scope of the project which includes specific feature and functionality items that will be integrated into the solution for each of the three projects. The scope should include how you will complete the work according to the projected timeline.

Project Timeline

Please provide a detailed project timeline including estimated start dates, schedule of activities, deliverables, and resources to be used focus in on key timelines for delivery to ensure completion by September 29. ZERO TO THREE will be responsible for submission of content and review of the app.

Pricing Model

Please provide a detailed price proposal based on the project scope. Please include a fee breakdown in relation to time, scope, and listed by each mobile application project.

Maintenance / Support Plan

Please provide a summary of the types of testing and service level support plans that are offered and breakdown of services and costs.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria (weighting):

  1. Technical capacity of team (10)
  2. Project management approach/staffing (10)
  3. Timeline (25)
  4. Project scope (25)
  5. Prior experience/case studies (10)
  6. Pricing model (20)

Terms and Conditions

This RFP is only an invitation for proposals and no contractual obligation on behalf of ZERO TO THREE whatsoever shall arise from the RFP process unless and until a formal contract is executed. This RFP does not commit ZERO TO THREE to pay any cost incurred in the preparation or submission of any proposal or to procure or contract for any services.

The successful bidder must be able to comply with all applicable Federal statutory and regulatory requirements and program guidelines, including but not limited to 45 CFR 75 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards, Appendix II, HHS Grants Policy Statement, administrative and national policy requirements, as well as other terms and conditions.

Bidders that are debarred or suspended or excluded from receiving federal funding will be disqualified from consideration.

Proposal Process Management

ZERO TO THREE reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and will, at its discretion, award the contract to the responsible vendor submitting the best proposal that complies with the RFP.

ZERO TO THREE encourages proposals from qualified small business concerns, women- and minority-owned entities, and faith-based organizations.

This RFP is both confidential and proprietary to ZERO TO THREE, and we reserve the right to recall the RFP in its entirety or in part. Vendors must accept all of the foregoing terms and conditions without exception. All responses to the RFP will become the property of ZERO TO THREE and will not be returned.