The California Department of Education (CDE) has issued instructions regarding transition from Stage 1 child care to Stage 2 child care. Stage 1 is child care for CalWORKs recipients participating in welfare-to-work activities. Stage 1 is administered by the California Department of Social Services through county welfare departments or Alternative Payment Programs (APP) under contract with county welfare departments. Stage 2 is child care for CalWORKs recipients who are found to be stable on the program or former CalWORKs recipients. Stage 2 is administered by CDE through contracts with APPs.
Stage 2 contractors must develop efficient coordinated systems for transferring families from Stage 1 to Stage 2 to ensure that families do not experience a break in child care services. The sending Stage 1 program and the receiving Stage 2 program are responsible for data sharing and coordination to ensure the transfer of the nine data elements needed for child care eligibility and payment. Only those nine data elements must be received to transfer the family to Stage 2. If the nine data elements are incomplete or are missing information, the family should continue to receive Stage 1 child care until the nine data elements are transferred. The Stage 2 contractor cannot require the family to provide documentation to transfer to Stage 2.
When the Stage 2 contractor receives all nine data elements and informs the Stage 1 contractor that the nine data elements are complete, the family’s enrollment is transferred to Stage 2. The family’s 12 month eligibility period for Stage 2 begins on the date the nine data elements are received and confirmed. There is no need to for the family to complete an application for Stage 2. Starting on the date the nine data elements received and confirmed, the Stage 2 contractor must assume full responsibility for reimbursing the provider and provide written notice informing the parent of the transfer.
Current CalWORKs recipients are categorically eligible for Stage 2 until they are certified no sooner than 12 months after transfer. If a CalWORKs family would have their child care terminated for violation of a child care contractor’s reasonable policies, the contractor must notify the county welfare department about possible actions including transfer to Stage 1.
Families who transfer to Stage 2 as former CalWORKs recipients must report if their income exceeds 85 percent of State Median Income. (Management Bulletin 18-05, August, 2018.)