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Management Bulletin 09-04

Early Education and Support Division

Subject: State Preschool Program Enrollment Priorities

Number: 09-04

Date: February 2009

Expires: When Superseded

Authority: California Education Code sections 8235 to 8239; California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 18131 and 18131.1

Attention:  All Program Directors of Child Care and Development State Preschool Programs


This Management Bulletin (MB) informs the California Department of Education (CDE), Early Education and Support Division (EESD), contractors of the changes to the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18131 regarding the State preschool program enrollment priorities. Also, this MB informs contractors of the new regulation, 5 CCR Section 18131.1, for collaborative full-day services. The regulations were effective December 9, 2008.

Background and Regulatory Authority

Statutory changes to California Education Code (EC) Section 8236 in 1991 (AB 1670 Hansen) have not previously been addressed in the State preschool program regulations. The statutory changes include: 1) granting first priority to eligible four- year-old and three-year-old children who are recipients of child protective services or who are at risk of being neglected or abused; and 2) after children in the first priority are served, serving eligible four-year-old children prior to eligible three-year-old children. The amended regulations are found in 5 CCR Section 18131.

Many EESD contractors are also Head Start grantees or work with grantees to provide full-day, full-year services. Head Start and State preschool have different eligibility criteria and enrollment priorities. The different enrollment priorities combined with the implementation of the Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) often make it difficult to match children with programs providing full-day services. In April 2007, the EESD brought together a workgroup of CEL administrators, State preschool contractors, and Head Start grantees to make recommendations on how to reduce barriers to the provision of the full-day services many families need. The recommendations of that workgroup are reflected in the new regulation found in 5 CCR Section 18131.1.

You may view the regulations and all recent changes to Title 5 regulations on the Title 5 Regulations CDE Web page at

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your assigned EESD Field Services Consultant at

This Management Bulletin is mandatory only to the extent that it cites a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement. Any portion of this Management Bulletin that is not supported by a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement is not prescriptive pursuant to California Education Code Section 33308.5.

Questions:   Early Education and Support Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 6, 2016
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