Status Report on Implementation of County Centralized Eligibility Lists (CEL) - 2007
The 2006-07 State Budget (Assembly Bill 1801, Chapter 47, Item 6110-196-0001, Provision 13) allocated $7.9 million for county Centralized Eligibility Lists (CEL) and requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to provide a status report on “implementing eligibility lists in each county, which shall include, but is not limited to, the cost of implementation and operation of the eligibility list in each county, and number of children and families on the list for each county.”
In response to the legislative mandate to implement a CEL in each California county, the CDE Early Education and Support Division (EESD) established a new contract type with specific program requirements. Fiscal year 2005-06 was implementation year and all county CELs were required to be operational by July 2006 and begin reporting the collected CEL data to the CDE on an annual basis.
The second year of implementation has identified challenges to effective CEL administration and clarified that implementation of the new statewide CEL involved more work and resources than initially reflected in the implementing legislation and appropriation.
This status report identifies second year implementation challenges including:
- The need for additional staff and resources to perform the essential functions of the CEL.
- The need for family and child data within the county CELs to contain current and relevant information to fill subsidized child care and development slot vacancies in a timely manner; and
- The need for uniformity in county CEL user participation.
The report also discusses actions the CDE has taken to assist counties with their county CELs including:
- Established and conducted regional CEL Administrator meetings;
- Developed a CEL question and answer matrix;
- Developed a CEL information booklet;
- Established a CEL and Head Start workgroup;
- Conducted CEL workgroups at various association meetings;
- Surveyed CEL Administrators on successes and barriers to effective utilization of the CEL;
- Issued Management Bulletin 07-12 clarifying participation and expectations terms from EESD contractors on the use of their county CEL; and
- Facilitated work with the CEL workgroup on the development of CEL regulations.
Additionally, this report provides second-year county CEL expenditure information; present some family and child characteristics data collected from the county CELs, including over 135,000 families and 200,000 children actively waiting for subsidized care on September 30, 2007. The CEL data collected and displayed for this year’s Legislative Report 2007 may be more complete than last year’s. However, we continue to caution that the data may not be adequate for reliable policy analysis, as full CEL implementation will be a multi-year effort.