New income limits for subsidized child care programs

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has notified counties and child care and development contractors of the new income limits for all direct service and voucher-based child care and development contracts administered.  It reflects the State Median Income (SMI) and Income Ranking Table for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24, and the updated Schedule of Income Ceilings is used to determine a family’s income eligibility for state subsidized child care and development programs for FY 2023-24. The updated Income Ranking Table is used to determine an income-eligible family’s priority for enrollment in a state subsidized child care and development programs for FY 2023-24. 

Contractors must enroll families into CDSS-administered child care and development programs in priority order. First priority is for neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services, or children who are at risk of being neglected or abused, when there is a written referral from a legal, medical, or social services agency. 

The second priority for enrollment is for income-eligible families, with families who have the lowest gross monthly income in relation to family size receiving the highest priority. If two or more families are in the same priority in relation to income, the family that has a child with exceptional needs must be admitted first. Effective January 1, 2023, families in which the primary home language is a language other than English are also second priority for services. Contractors must ask on their waiting list application if a family’s home language is a language other than English.  Contractors must prioritize the family by the income declared on the application for the means-tested government program.

Effective July 1, 2023, contractors must use the revised FY 23-24 Income Ranking Table when determining enrollment priorities for families.  (CCB 23-16, June 19, 2023.)