Child care hearings

On July 1, 2021, the following programs transferred from the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS):

  • General Child Care and Development Programs (CCTR)
  • California Family Child Care Home Education Networks (CFCC)
  • Programs for Children with Severe Disabilities (CHAN)
  • Migrant Child Care and Development Programs (CMIG)
  • Migrant Child Care Alternative Payment Programs (CMAP)
  • California Alternative Payment Programs (CAPP)
  • CalWORKs Stage 2 (C2AP)
  • CalWORKs Stage 3 (C3AP)
  • Resource and Referral Programs (CRRP)
  • Local Child Care and Development Planning Councils (CLPC)

For these programs, the child care agency must include the CDSS Appeals Unit contact information on the notice.

The California Department of Education (CDE) will continue to administer the CSPP, Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP), American Indian Early Childhood Education (AIECE) grant, and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant awarded to the CDE by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other early education programs.

For CSPP only, the agency must include the CDE Appeals Unit contact information.

When a family has children enrolled in both a CSPP and a CDSS program, the agency must issue two notices to the family: one for the child(ren) enrolled in the CSPP that includes the contact information for the CDE Appeals Unit, and a separate notice for the child(ren) enrolled in any non-CSPP program, that includes the contact information for the CDSS Appeals Unit.

CDE and CDSS will continue to develop agreements regarding processes and procedures for contractors who will hold contracts across both departments. Once those agreements have been finalized, the CDE and the CDSS will issue additional guidance to the field. (Child Care Bulletin 21-11, September 22, 2021.)

Family Fee Waivers for Child Care and Development programs

Family fees will be waived for all Child Care and Development Programs administered by the California Department of Social Services from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. receiving subsidized child care services. Fees will be waived for a period approved by the Federal Administration for Children and Families, during which contractors shall reimburse the subsidized child care providers for the full amount of the voucher without deducting family fees. Families should not be terminated due to outstanding fees owed for the 2021-22 fiscal year or while repayment plans are on hold. Families disenrolled due to delinquent family fees when family fees are waived may be reinstated. Additionally, contractors must record both collected and waived family fees. (CCB 21-01, July 1, 2021).

COVID-19 – extension of temporary emergency childcare services

This California Department of Education has provided updated guidance on the extension of temporary Emergency Childcare services.  This guidance replaces Management Bulletin 20-14.  

Families currently enrolled in Emergency Childcare through California Alternative Payment Programs (CAPP) and California Migrant Alternative Payment Programs (CMAP) may have service extended through June 30, 2022. This extension does not require updated documentation. CAPP and CMAP can enroll new families for Emergency Childcare after all families who are currently enrolled have received an extension of services, and if they meet the eligibility requirements as specified in the Child Care and Development Services Act, Education Code section 8200. They will be enrolled in priority order, and eligibility will be determined with a self-certification process.

Families enrolled in emergency childcare must be assessed a family fee using the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Family Fee Schedule unless they are exempt from fees.  A monthly family fee is implemented based on several factors in the MB. Families who receive Child Protective Services or have been identified as at risk of abuse or neglect will be exempt from fees.

All eligible families enrolled in emergency childcare have priority for subsidized child care. Families transitioning to ongoing child care services are eligible for 12 months from ongoing child care certification. Contractors will give a letter or Notice of Action to notify families of their extended child care. They must also give families a written 30 day notice of discontinuation of child care.

Contractors will not be responsible for verifying self-certification forms or eligibility. At-risk families and families with essential workers are eligible for emergency childcare if they meet all of the requirements in the MB. (MB 21-08, April 29, 2021.)

Reimbursement of TrustLine registration for Emergency Child Care Bridge Program

The Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children is designed to reduce child care barriers for children and parenting youth in the foster care system.  TrustLine is California’s registry of licensed-exempt childcare providers who have completed a criminal background screening and clearance process.

Before a licensed exempt provider can care for a Bridge Program eligible child, the provider must be registered on TrustLine.  Bridge Program caregiver families and county welfare departments can now reimburse license-exempt providers for TrustLine costs.  A total of $15,000 is available in Fiscal Year 2020-21, and $16,000 is anticipated to be available for Fiscal Year 2021-22.  (ACWDL, April 20, 2021.)

Child care portal

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) provides information regarding the Stage One child care immediate and continuous eligibility monthly data report and online summary screen.  This child care portal contains current individual family data needed to enroll a family in CalWORKs Child Care services or transfer between stages.

Counties are required to share information necessary for the administration of CalWORKs and child care programs with local contractors providing CalWORKs child care services.  Counties must provide limited access to the welfare department computer systems to child care contractors, including a single summary page containing individual family data needed to enroll a family in CalWORKs child care or transfer a family between stages.  Counties must also provide Stage Two contractors a report monthly of all families for whom CalWORKs has been discontinued, the parent/caretaker relative has not received aid for at least one month, and the parent/caretaker relative has children in the home who are eligible for child care services.

Counties must give child care portal access to Alternative Payment Providers and/or other contractors providing CalWORKs child care services.  (ACIN I-20-21, January 29, 2021.)

Immediate and continuous child care questions and answers

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued questions and answers about Stage One immediate and continuous child care.

Participants who have children under age 6 and are required to participate in Welfare to Work (WTW) for 20 hours per week can receive full time child care.

If an exempt volunteer does not sign a WTW plan and child care is discontinued, when the exemption ends and the client becomes a mandatory participant, counties must give the participant 30 days to secure child care before participation is mandatory.

A mandatory WTW participant who has been authorized for 12 months of State One child care and who later becomes exempt continues to be eligible for child care for the remainder of the 12- month period, regardless of whether they intend to participate as a volunteer.  The only time an exempt client can have their child care discontinued is when they begin receiving child care based on intent to participate but then do not sign a WTW plan.

CalWORKs applicants and recipients must be given a written notice at the time of application and when they sign a WTW plan, informing them of the availability of paid child care and of assistance in finding a provider.

If a client verbally confirms that they have secured child care within 30 days of the date of authorization, the participant can verify child care has been secured through an email, text message, phone call or other communication to the county.

Former CalWORKs recipients can be eligible to receive Stage One child care if no more than 24 months have passed since the former recipient left cash aid.  Former recipients sanctioned before October 1, 2019 who have received CalWORKs in the past 24 months, must express an intent to cure the sanction to be eligible for Stage One child care.

Long term sanctioned CalWORKs participants who express an intent to cure their sanction may get Stage One child care if they are otherwise eligible.  If the participant is already receiving Stage Two or Stage Three child care, may continue to receive services through Stage Two or Stage Three.

Clients with time on their CalWORKs time on aid clock and are engaged in WTW are eligible for Stage One, even if there is another parent in the home.

Immediate and continuous child care is authorized for twelve months, even if the parent stops participating in WTW.

Counties cannot mandate attendance at orientation or appraisal prior to confirmation that the client has secured child care.

Counties must continue to provide child care when an exempt volunteer is not participating in the activity in their WTW plan.  (ACIN I-09-21, January 25, 2021.)