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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 03, 2020

Dear Executive Directors, Child Care and Development Programs:

2020–21 Child Care and Development Contract Changes for Direct-Service Contractors

The purpose of this letter is to inform General Child Care and Development Program (CCTR), California State Preschool Program (CSPP), California Migrant Child Care and Development Program (CMIG), Family Child Care Home Education Networks (CFCC), and Programs for Children with Severe Disabilities (CHAN) contractors of changes to Child Care and Development contracts and reporting procedures beginning July 1, 2020. Please share this letter with your agency staff.

Standard Reimbursement Rate

The 2020 Budget Act held the Standard Reimbursement Rate (SRR) for CCTR, CSPP, CMIG and CHAN contracts at the same level as provided in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019–20. The SRR for CCTR and CMIG contracts remain at $49.54. The SRR for CSPP contracts will remain at $49.85 for full-day care and $30.87 for part-day care. The Alameda CHAN SRR remains at $79.55 and the San Francisco CHAN SRR remains at $83.34.

FY 2019-20 CCTR Expansion Funding

The FY 2019–20 budget provided expansion funding for the CCTR program, which was maintained in the FY 2020–21 budget. These funds were awarded through a Request for Application (RFA) process. Due to COVID-19, the award of funding was delayed. In July 2020, contractors who were awarded expansion funding were notified of their awards, as well as the process required to receive this new funding.

Additionally, the 2020 Budget Act updated the source of CCTR expansion awards, which are now funded by Proposition 64 income. This change requires an Interagency Agreement (IA) between the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for CDE to obtain the funds, as Proposition 64 funds reside in the DHCS budget. This process has delayed CDE’s ability to distribute expansion funds to contractors. However, the effective date of the funds is July 1, 2020; therefore, in instances where the awardee is prepared to operate the program, funds will be made available to awardees as of July 1, 2020. The CDE Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services (CDNFS) office will prioritize processing awards for contractors who are preparing to open and provide early learning and care services immediately. Contractors should contact their CDNFS fiscal analyst to inform them of their status in opening or expanding their CCTR program with these funds.

FY 2020–21 Direct-Service Reimbursement

Senate Bill (SB) 820 amended Education Code (EC) Section 8209, which allows CCTR, CSPP, CMIG, CFCC and CHAN contracts to be reimbursed based on the lesser of the contract maximum reimbursable amount (MRA) or net reimbursable program costs. In order to be reimbursed pursuant to the limits defined in EC Section 8209(f), direct service contractors must meet one of the criteria outlined within the policy section of Management Bulletin (MB) 20-18, which can be found at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2018.asp. Please reference MB 20-18 for further details on reopening requirements as they relate to FY 2020–21 contract funding.

Reimbursement: Family Childcare Home Education Network

Direct service contractors who hold a CCTR, CSPP, CMIG or CFCC contract and provide services through a Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN) shall only reimburse providers who are physically open and providing in-person services to enrolled families, or who are closed due to a local or state public health order or guidance related to COVID-19 and specific to early learning or childcare.

FCCHEN providers operating under a CCTR, CSPP, CMIG or CFCC contract who are physically open and providing in-person services, or who are closed due to local or state public health order or guidance, must be reimbursed as follows:

  • For families certified with a predictable schedule, providers must be reimbursed based on certified need for services, regardless of attendance.
  • For families certified with a variable schedule, providers must be reimbursed based on average documented attendance over the most recent four weeks, or actual attendance, whichever is greater.

A FCCHEN provider operating under a direct-service CCTR, CSPP, or CMIG contract that closes without a local or state public health order or guidance related to COVID-19 and specific to early learning or childcare shall not be reimbursed for any days of closure.

A FCCHEN provider operating under a direct-service CFCC contract that closes without a local or state public health order or guidance related to COVID-19 and specific to early learning or childcare shall not be reimbursed for any days of closure except for the ten non operational days authorized by 5 CCR Section 18076.2, as made applicable to CFCC contracts pursuant to 5 CCR Section 18074.

FCCHEN providers operating under a direct-service contract will not receive an additional 14 paid non-operational days provided by SB 820 as those additional days are limited to alternative payment program providers.

Reimbursement Calculation: CCTR, CSPP, CMIG and CHAN

In order to address the increased cost of providing care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as simultaneous reduced attendance, SB 820 added EC section 8209(f) to provide fiscal relief to direct service contractors. FY 2020–21 contract reimbursement is based on the lesser of:

  • Contract Maximum Reimbursable Amount (MRA); and
  • Net Reimbursable Program Costs

The chart below displays the change in the reimbursement calculation between previous years and FY 2020–21.

Contract Reimbursement Calculation Comparison

Time Period

Prior to FY 2020–21

FY 2020–21 Only

Maximum Reimbursable Amount (MRA)

$750,000

$750,000

Service Earnings

$700,000

$700,000

Net Reimbursable Expenses

$745,000

$745,000

Contract Reimbursement

$700,000

$745,000

In this example, the contractor will be reimbursed $745,000 to cover the cost of the program. Please note that contractors may charge increased reimbursable costs to their contract, helping to ensure a safe and high-quality program. This will likely include increased costs associated with the need for additional staff, the need to reorganize classrooms for appropriate social distancing, and/or cleaning supplies. Contractors should assess total expected program costs in FY 2020-21 as compared to the MRA and adjust expenditures as needed. Contractors must be aware that contract reimbursement per EC section 8209(f) is for FY 2020–21 only, and should therefore not enter into any ongoing agreements that would cause them to over-expend the FY 2021–22 contract.  

Reimbursement Criteria: CCTR, CSPP, CMIG and CHAN

In addition to the change in the contract reimbursement calculation, contractors must be aware of the reopening criteria that contractors must adhere to in order to be eligible for reimbursement. The criteria to be eligible for reimbursement outlined in MB 20-18 includes that contractors (a) must reopen within the specified time line set forth in SB 820, (b) may be closed due to a local or state public health order or guidance related to COVID-19 and specific to early learning or childcare, and/or (c) have verification of a mandated closure of the early learning or childcare program on a LEA campus.

Contractors holding a CCTR, CSPP, CMIG or CHAN contract must review their previously approved operational days on their FY 2020–21 program calendar. Contractors that do not meet the reopening criteria as described above and in MB 20-18 must submit a revised FY 2020–21 program calendar and program narrative change to their assigned ELCD Regional Consultant in order for CDNFS to properly fund the contractor for the reimbursable period of operation. The chart below is to assist contractors on how to report days of operation on the CDNFS report form, as well as to assist contractors in determining whether or not a revised program calendar and program narrative change must be submitted to the ELCD.

CDNFS Report Field​ July 1, 2020 – September 7, 2020​ September 8, 2020 – June 30, 2021​

Days of operation​

Contractors preparing for a safe reopening must report the days of operation previously approved by the CDE and indicated on the program calendar, regardless of whether the program was open to provide in-person services to children​

*Report days of operation that the program is:  ​

(a) physically open and providing in-person services for children and families; or​

(b) not physically open due to written local or state public health guidance or orders; or​

(c) not physically open due to being on an LEA campus that is closed, and the LEA is requiring the closure in accordance with EC8209(f)(1)(C)(i).​

 *Programs will not be funded if criteria (a), (b) or (c) are not met. If these criteria are not met, a revised calendar must be submitted to ELCD. The contract will subsequently be amended to reduce the days of operation and to prorate the MRA accordingly. Contractors will not report days of operation on CDNFS report forms for any days that do not meet the criteria in (a), (b) or (c).  

In instances where a revised program calendar must be submitted to the ELCD, the contract will be amended to prorate the contract’s MRA based on the number of days the contractor meets the criteria for reimbursement. The chart below displays an example for how a prorated MRA will be calculated. 

Calculating a Prorated MRA

FY 2020–21 Original Contract MRA

$750,000.00

FY 2020–21 MDO

246

Days closed without a public health order or guidance

126

Revised days of operation

120

Percentage of days eligible to be funded (Revised days of operation / MDO)

48.78%

Revised MRA (Original MRA x Percentage of days eligible to be funded)

$364,854

In this example, the contractor had an original MRA of $750,000. However, the contract was closed for 126 days without a public health order or guidance, and was not located on an LEA campus that was mandated to close. Therefore, the FY 2020–21 MRA will be revised and reimbursement will be capped at the revised MRA of $364,854.

FY 2020–21 Enrollment and Attendance Reporting

Contractors should refer to the Data Reporting Requirements: Attendance and Expenditure Reporting Section of MB 20-18 for specific information on how to report days of operation, days of enrollment, and days of attendance in FY 2020–21. The charts below can further assist contractors with how to report days of enrollment and days of attendance on the CDNFS report form.

CDNFS Report Field​ July 1, 2020 – September 7, 2020​ September 8, 2020 – June 30, 2021​

Days of enrollment​

Contractors closed during this time period to plan for a safe reopening, as well as contractors who were open and providing distance learning or in-person services, should report enrollment for all children associated with days of operation originally planned for the agency as indicated on the approved FY 20–21 program calendar.

*Report enrollment associated with days of operation only for enrollment on days where the program is:​

(a) physically open and providing in-person services; or​

(b) not physically open due to a written state or local public health guidance or order; or​

(c) not physically open due to being on an LEA campus that is closed and the LEA is requiring the closure in accordance withEC8209(f)(1)(C)(i).​

*Programs will not be funded if they do not meet the criteria for (a), (b) or (c). If they do not meet these criteria, contractors will not report the days of enrollment during this time. 

Contractors may use the chart below to determine how to report attendance in FY 2020–21. Please note that while children participating in distance learning activities do not constitute as a day of attendance, contractors may find it useful develop a new attendance code for children distance learning and/or sheltering in place in order to track activity for these children separately.

Attendance Scenarios ​ Attendance Reporting ​

Child is participating in distant learning activities ​

Do not report the days of attendance for any children participating in distance learning activities  ​

Child is receiving in-person services ​

Report the days of attendance for any child that was expected to physically attend the program.  ​

Child has an excused absence ​

Report excused absences as a day of attendance for children you expected to be in attendance on any given day, but the child did not attend. Excused absence policies should continue to be followed for children receiving in-person services. Excused absences include family emergency and illness of the child or parent, which also includes a positiveCOVID-19 case in the family, with the expectation that the child will return to in-person care.   ​

FY 2019–20 Family Fee Reimbursement

FY 2019–20 family fees were waived for the months of April, May and June 2020. Additional funding was identified to support contractors that could not absorb waived family fees within their FY 2019–20 contract MRA. In other words, if waived family fees caused the contract to be over-earned, the contractor will receive an augmentation. The determination of over-earnings is based on projected fourth quarter family fees reported by each contractor. The CCTR, CSPP, CMIG and CFCC contractors impacted will receive direct notification from CDNFS no later than October 30, 2020. The CDE Contracts Office also expects to send contract amendments by the end of October 2020.

FY 2020–21 Family Fee Waivers, Reporting, and Reimbursement  

Senate Bill 820 waived family fees for all families enrolled in an early learning and care program for the months of July and August 2020 and provided additional funding to support the waiver of family fees in July and August 2020. Pursuant to SB 820, the CDE will receive an additional $4.17 million to cover the family fees that were waived for families enrolled in a CCTR, CSPP, CMIG or CFCC program for the months of July and August 2020. Augmentations will be based on data reported to CDNFS on the amount of family fees assessed and waived for the months of July and August 2020. Contractors must submit this data to CDNFS no later than November 6, 2020 in order receive an allocation. An augmentation will be provided to each contractor once funds become available to the CDE.  

Between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020, family fees are waived only for families where all children in the family enrolled in care remain at home for early learning and care (ELC) distance learning or are sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All contractors are required to report the amount of family fees collected and the amount of family fees that were assessed but waived, beginning with the September 2020 report period, due on October 20, 2020. Reporting fees according to this directive will ensure the CDE is reimbursing contractors accurately.

Family Fee Reporting Requirements

Contractors will report the amount of family fees collected on the line Family Fees Collected for Certified Children (September – June). Contractors are reminded that family fees reported on this line must be based on the amount of fees the contractor expects to collect in the report month, regardless of when the revenue is actually received.

Two new lines have been added to the CDNFS Fiscal Reports entitled, Waived Family Fees for Certified Children (July and August) and Waived Family Fees for Certified Children (September – June). For FY 2020–21, all contractors must report the amount of family fees that were assessed and subsequently waived between July 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 on the line Waived Family Fees for Certified Children (July and August). Family fees that were assessed and subsequently waived between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 will be reported on the line Waived Family Fees for Certified Children (September – June).

Contractors who have previously submitted a July, August, and/or September report and did not include the amount of family fees that were assessed and subsequently waived should submit a revision to their previously submitted report no later than November 6, 2020. This data will be utilized to determine the augmentation amount for each contractor, which will ensure that the appropriate amount of funding is provided to each contractor for waived family fees.

Family Fee Reimbursement

Family fees are in lieu of contract payments, which reduces the amount of contract funds that the CDE will reimburse. Since SB 820 provides additional funds to cover family fees for July and August 2020, contractors will receive reimbursement for the waived family fees reported on this line that would have otherwise been paid by the family.  

Reimbursement to contractors for family fee waivers beyond August 2020, for families receiving ELC distance learning or who are sheltering-in-place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is contingent on the CDE receiving additional funds. Contractors should review MB 20-19 at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2019.asp for further directives and guidance regarding family fee waivers in FY 2020–21.  

CPARIS Updates for FY 2020–21

CPARIS is a web-based system, originally released to ELC contractors in January 2019 after the State of California implemented a new automated accounting system, known as the Financial Information System of California (FI$Cal). The CDE established CPARIS to allow contractors to view the payment detail of child development apportionments that was no longer printed on remittance advices processed through FI$Cal. Specifically, CPARIS allowed contractors to continue to associate payments received to a specific contract or fund source.

As of August 2020, all CCTR, CSPP and CMIG contractors were instructed to report their monthly or quarterly Attendance and Fiscal Reports online through CPARIS. Prior to FY 2020–21, these Attendance and Fiscal reports were submitted to CDNFS via hard copy and sent to the CDE utilizing various postal services.

In addition to CCTR, CSPP and CMIG contractors reporting through CPARIS, contractors holding a Health and Safety Training Activities (CHST), Childcare Initiative Project (CCIP), Local Childcare and Development Planning Council (CLPC), and Prekindergarten Family Literacy Support (CPKS) contract will now report their expenditure data to CDNFS via CPARIS. Therefore, as of October 2020, the following report types are now available in CPARIS:

CCTR (9500)

CSPP (8501)

CMIG (9500)

CHST (9529)

CCIP (9529)

CLPC (9529)

CPKS (9529)

Please be aware that although CDNFS is transitioning to have all contractors submit their Attendance and Fiscal forms through the CPARIS system, at this time contractors who hold a Programs for Children with Severe Disabilities (CHAN), Resource and Referral Program (CRRP), and Migrant Special Services (CMSS) contract are still required to submit their reports via hard copy. PDF forms for the CHAN (1400), CRRP (2507), and CMSS (9500A) can be found at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/cdnfsforms20.asp.

CDNFS expects to have the remaining forms available in CPARIS by the 2nd Quarter Reporting Deadline, January 20, 2021. These PDF forms have the e-signature feature enabled so contractors have the ability to e-mail them directly to their assigned fiscal analyst. If, for any reason, a contractor is unable to complete the e-signature, they should submit a hard copy by mail with an original signature to their assigned CDNFS fiscal analyst.

The design of CPARIS has eliminated the need for a separate Mental Health Consultation Services (MHCS) Attendance and Fiscal report. All contractors will now indicate whether they are reporting MHCS enrollment data for the contract, which will expand the report fields for that contract and allow the contractor to submit MHCS data. Additionally, contractors who participate in a local county pilot will no longer need to use the pilot-specific Attendance and Fiscal Report forms, as the pilot adjustment factors will populate automatically within the CPARIS system.

Revised Reports

Contractors may revise any previously certified and submitted reports in CPARIS throughout the contract period. Revisions to data must be made in the relevant report period, rather than reflected in the Cumulative Prior Period. Additionally, any subsequent reports must be recertified and submitted.

For example, a contractor has submitted September and December reports, but later identifies that September data needs to be revised. The contractor will reopen the September report, make necessary changes, note the reason for the change within the comments section, recertify, and resubmit. The December report, which was based on cumulative prior period data that has now changed, must also be recertified and resubmitted.

CPARIS Resources

CPARIS can be accessed through https://www2.cde.ca.gov/cparis/logon.aspx.

Contractors should refer to CPARIS User Manual provided at the following link https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/documents/cparisusermanual.docx for further information and instruction on online reporting, including instructions related to adding new users to the system, viewing payment data, and submitting report data.

Additionally, contractors should reference CPARIS Frequently Asked Questions regarding logging in, passwords, user roles, and reporting prior to contacting their fiscal analysts or emailing CPARIS support. The Frequently Asked Questions can be found at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/cparisfaqs.asp.

Reporting Reminders

Contractors are reminded of the importance of accurate reporting. Enrollment, attendance and fiscal data provided to CDNFS must adhere to all applicable laws, regulations, and the funding terms and conditions of the contract. It is recommended that all child development programs periodically review and update written policies and procedures related to enrollment, attendance, income and expenditure reporting. The beginning of a fiscal year is also a good time to review cost allocation plans and equipment inventory records. Additionally, it is recommended that clear written procedures are developed to ensure accurate reporting to the CDNFS, which may include a procedure for data reconciliation.

Reporting Expenses

All expenses related to child development programs that are reimbursable to the contract should be reported within CPARIS. This includes salaries, operating expenses, and supplies. CDNFS calculates projections based on data provided by programs and the omission of expenses could lead to a cash flow shortage for the program. We encourage a thorough review of program expenses to ensure that all reimbursable expenses are being reported appropriately to CDNFS via CPARIS.

Additionally, it is required that costs are accrued and reported as such. Costs are projected by CDNFS to determine payment and the effect of reporting costs on a cash basis is an under- or over-payment. To ensure proper cash flow, and to remain in compliance with the funding terms and conditions of the contract, it is imperative that programs accrue their costs.

The Child Development Attendance and Fiscal Reporting and Reimbursement Procedures handbook is available to assist child development contractors in understanding the attendance and fiscal reporting and reimbursement procedures. The CDNFS Fiscal handbook is updated annually and CDNFS aims to release it in the Fall. Contractors will be notified via the ELCD e-mail distribution list when the FY 2020-21 handbook is posted to the CDNFS web page.

Analyst Directory

Please be aware that some CDNFS analyst’s county assignments have changed. Please refer to the CDNFS analyst directory at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/faad.asp for fiscal analyst county assignments and contact information. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fiscal analysts are primarily teleworking and contractors are therefore encouraged to e-mail their fiscal analyst, rather than leaving a voice mail, in order to receive a prompter response.

The CDE, CDNFS understands that contractors may need additional support throughout the fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the legislature and administration work to address impacts of COVID-19 on early learning and care programs, and as the CDE implements these efforts, CDNFS encourages contractors to reach out for assistance in navigating changes to reimbursement and reporting requirements.  

If you have any questions about a specific contract, or need clarification about any topic covered in this letter, please contact your assigned CDNFS fiscal analyst.

Sincerely,

Andrea Johnson, Staff Services Manager III
Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services
Fiscal and Administrative Services Division

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

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