In-Home license-exempt child care

The California Department of Social Services has provided new policy guidance regarding the use of in-home licensed-exempt child care.  CalWORKs Stage One child care already allows license-exempt in-home child care.  Effective immediately, CalWORKs Stage Two, CalWORKs Stage Three, Alternative Payment Programs and Migrant Alternative Payment Programs must also authorize allows license-exempt in-home child care.  Families must sign a form assuming employer responsibilities for the in-home license-exempt provider and acknowledge they must comply with any applicable federal and state employment laws.

Contractors must promote parental choice and provide translations of the form in a language that the parent understands.  (CCB 22-13, June 23, 2022.)

Expiration of COVID-19 child care flexibilities

Several child care flexibilities because of COVID-19 expired on June 30, 2022.  The requirement for providers to collect parent signatures on daily attendance records is reinstated effective July 1, 2022.

Providers can no longer bill for nonoperational days because of COVID 19 effective July 1, 2022.  Providers still can be reimbursed for 10 paid nonoperational days if the have documentation of the contractual terms that they use for non-subsidized children in their care which require payment for non-operational days.

Temporary emergency vouchers for children of essential workers, at-risk children, and children with disabilities or special healthcare needs whose individualized education plan or family service plans include early learning and care expired on June 30, 2022.  Families with emergency child care vouchers have first priority for enrollment into ongoing child care services in CAPP and CMAP.

Contractors must issue notices of action to the parent when changes are made to the service agreement.  This includes an increase or decrease in the amount of services, or termination of service.  Contractors must issue a notice of action to families transitioning from temporary emergency child care to ongoing child care to inform them of their 12-month eligibility.  Providers must also be issued a notice on the same day the notice of action is issued to the family.  (CCB 22-15, June 30, 2022.)

Stage One Child Care eligibility age

Stage One child care is available to every CalWORKs participant with a dependent child in the household who is age 12 or younger.  Children who reach age 13 are generally ineligible for subsidized child care.  Children with exceptional needs or severe disabilities may receive child care through age 21.  Children who are under court supervision can receive Stage One Child Care to age 18.

Children who certified for child care prior to their thirteenth birthday may receive child care for 12 months.  Contractors cannot disenroll a child when they turn age thirteen during the 12-month eligibility period and must allow the child to continue in subsidized child care until the family’s next recertification.  Counties must give families a Notice of Action stating the duration of eligibility that includes an end date of eligibility which must be through the 12-month eligibility period.  (Child Care Bulletin 22-04, January 13, 2022.)

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.)