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ECR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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The California Department of Education (CDE) is releasing the following set of FAQs to assist you in participating in the Emergency Operating Costs Reimbursement (ECR) Programs.

  1. Can the deadline to submit the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet be extended past June 30?

    Yes. The CDE has extended the deadline to July 16, 2021. We appreciate that this is a complex program and that sponsoring organizations would benefit from additional time to gather site-level data and assurances statements.

    This extension, however, does significantly decrease the amount of time the CDE has to provide technical assistance to sponsors on any updates needed after submission of the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet; your prompt reply to any follow-up requests is greatly appreciated.

  2. How can I tell what type of sponsor we are?
    If you are unsure of your agency type, please refer to your Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) External link opens in new window or tab. Identification Number located above your name listed in the CNIPS header. Your agency type is indicated at the end of your CNIPS Identification Number:

    • DCH—Day Care Home Sponsor
    • SOIC/SOUC—Sponsor of Independent Center/Sponsor of Unaffiliated Center
    • CS—Center Sponsor


    For example, ABC Child Care is a Center Sponsor (CS) as shown in bold below:

    01234-CACFP-04-PS-CS
    ABC Child Care
    1234 Wonderful Way
    Sacramento, CA 95819
    SACRAMENTO
    CD: 0123456
    Vendor #: 12345Z

  3. How do I know which ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet to use?

    Locate your sponsor type, as described in Question #2 above. Remember, your agency type is indicated at the end of your CNIPS Identification Number (i.e., 01234-CACFP-04-PS-CS).

    • DCH Sponsor
      • Use Form CACFP 93 in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS.
    • SOIC/SOUC
      • Use Form CACFP 94 in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS.
    • CS
      • Sponsors of Affiliated Centers that maintain a single centralized budget and do not disburse funds to sites are not required to complete the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet.
      • If you are a CS and you do disburse reimbursements to sites, then use Form CACFP 93 in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS External link opens in new window or tab..
  4. Do I need to complete the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet if I only have meal counts?

    The ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet must be completed by DCH Sponsors and SOUCs. If you are categorized as one of these agencies, then yes, you do need to complete the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet; if you only have meal counts, please contact the ECR team by email at ECR@cde.ca.gov and request assistance. If you are a Sponsor of an Affiliated Center that maintains a single, centralized budget, then you do not need to complete the ECR Sponsor Calculation Worksheet.

  5. Are we required to send backup documentation when we submit the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet, or is it needed only upon request?

    Backup documentation is only submitted upon request by the CDE. If backup documentation is needed, you will receive an email from the CDE with this request. Back up documentation may be requested when amounts submitted in the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet vary significantly from CDE estimated reimbursements. In this case, the back up documentation would be used to support technical assistance activities.

  6. If I am a Sponsor of Affiliated Centers (or CS) do I need to complete the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet?

    Sponsors of Affiliated Centers (or CS) that maintain a single, centralized budget and do not disburse funds to sites are not required to complete the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet. Additionally, these same agencies are not required to submit an assurances statement (see Question #10 below).

  7. What happens if I do not send the worksheet by the July 16 deadline?

    The ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet helps the CDE determine the total amount of funds needed for California’s ECR Program reimbursement. By July 31, 2021, states must report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) how much money is needed in order to fund this program. If you do not send in your ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet by the deadline, the CDE may not have the funds to reimburse you or your sites or providers.

  8. Do we need to submit site-level information on the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet?

    Yes. All DCH Sponsors and SOUCs are required to submit site-level information. Sponsors of Affiliated Centers that maintain a single aggregated budget and do not disburse reimbursement funds to sites are not required to submit an ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet.

  9. How do we submit the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet?

    You can submit the worksheet to the CDE Emergency Operational Cost Reimbursement inbox at ECR@cde.ca.gov by the deadline, extended to July 16, 2021.

    When submitting the ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet, ensure that you:

    • Use the naming conventions noted in the Directions tab of the worksheet.
      • <Full CNIPS ID> _ECR_MMDDYY. Example: 6459-CNP-PSD-1_ECR_050921.
      • To find your full CNIPS Identification (ID) Number, log into your CNIPS a account, select Applications, locate your full CNIPS ID listed above your name in the CNIPS header (see CNIPS ID example in Question #2 above).
    • Include your contact information.
    • Submit only the completed worksheet. Please do not submit additional backup documentation, unless requested.

    If the file size is too large to email, the CDE can arrange for a file transfer site. If you need to request access to the file transfer site, please email ECR@cde.ca.gov with your request.
  10. As a Sponsor of Affiliated Centers (or CS), do I need to submit an Assurances Statement for each closed, but potentially eligible site?

    No. Following clarification received by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), it was determined that Sponsors of Affiliated Centers that maintain an aggregated budget and do not distribute reimbursement funds to sites, are not required to collect assurances statements. Because reimbursements are not distributed to sites, Sponsors of Affiliated Centers that maintain an aggregated budget do not need to submit an ECR Sponsor Calculations Worksheet (see Question #6 above).

  11. Are the trainings posted online?

    The following CDE CACFP ECR PowerPoint presentations are available on the CACFP Roundtable website:

    • CACFP ECR Program for DCH Sponsors and SOIC/SOUC
    • CACFP ECR Program for CS


    Both presentations are available on the CACFP Roundtable Emergency Funds CDE Nutrition Services Division PowerPoints web page External link opens in new window or tab..

    Please keep in mind that the CS training only applies to CS who distribute funds to their sites. CS who do not distribute reimbursements to their sites do not need to collect site-level reimbursement information and, as a result, the CDE will calculate and disburse CACFP ECR payment directly to the CS.

We thank you for your interest in this program.

Contact Information

If you have additional questions regarding this subject, please contact the ECR team by email at ECR@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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