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.)