Exclusion of foster care and guaranteed income payments for child care eligibility

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance and information on the exclusion of foster care payments and guaranteed income payments when determining eligibility for subsidized child care and development programs. CDSS will implement these changes via childcare bulletin immediately until regulations are adopted, and these changes are effective immediately.

Foster care payments, Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Program payments, Emergency Assistance Program payments, and Tribal Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Program payments are no longer counted as income when determining eligibility for subsidized child care.

Guaranteed income payments received by an individual will not be included as income when determining eligibility for subsidized child care. Guaranteed income payments are unconditional, recurring, regular cash payments, whether publicly or privately funded, that are intended to support the basic needs of eligible recipients. Guaranteed income payments include, but are not limited to, payments provided through pilot programs and projects receiving funding from the California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program. (CCB 22-30, October 10, 2022.)

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).