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Management Bulletin 10-02

Important Notice: Programs Moved to CDSS

While the California Department of Education continues to operate the California State Preschool Program, the Early Childhood Development Act of 2020 (Senate Bill (SB) 98, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) authorized the transfer of many childcare programs from the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) effective July 1, 2021. The content on this page may include programs that have moved to CDSS. For additional assistance you can either visit the CDSS Child Care Transition web page External link opens in new window or tab. or call 1-833-559-2420 for more information.

Early Education and Support Division

Subject: Enrollment Priority for Siblings

Number: 10-02

Date: January 7, 2010

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Education Code (EC), Sections 8200, 8201, 8202(c), 8208(j), 8227, and 8263.

ATTENTION: Executive Officers and Program Directors of all Child Care and Development Programs and all Centralized Eligibility List Administrators


The purpose of this Management Bulletin is to clarify enrollment priority for siblings from families who have been certified by a child care and development contractor.


In 2005, legislation was enacted that required each county to design, maintain, and administer a countywide centralized eligibility list (CEL). California Education Code (EC), Section 8227(e) requires that all child development contractors, with specific exceptions (campus and migrant child care and development programs pursuant to EC sections 66060 and 8230 and programs serving severely handicapped children pursuant to EC Section 8250), participate and use the CEL to fill vacancies and utilize funding in their child development programs. The development of county CELs ranked families according to the priorities in EC, Section 8263, with first priority being given to children receiving protective services or at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and all other eligible families ranked according to income. In addition, a “super-rank” or higher priority was added that provided the highest priority for enrollment to unserved siblings of eligible families who had one or more children enrolled in an Early Education and Support Division (EESD) program. However, our research on admission priorities has found there is no legal authority to provide siblings with a priority to all EESD programs in a county over other eligible children.


EC Section 8263(b)(1)(A) reads in part, first priority shall be given to neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services, or children who are at risk of being neglected or abused, upon a written referral from a legal, medical, or social services agency. 

Additionally, EC Section 8263(b)(2) reads, in part, second priority shall be given to income eligible families. Within this priority, families with the lowest rank as determined by the income ranking schedule at, shall be admitted first. If two or more families are in the same rank, the family that has a child with exceptional needs shall be admitted first. If there is no family with a child with exceptional needs, the same rank family that has been on the waiting list the longest shall be admitted first.


To meet the family’s need for care, when a contractor is serving one (or more) child(ren) in a family and a vacancy occurs in any of that agency’s contracts that would serve the family’s other child(ren), that agency may enroll the family’s other child(ren). However, depending on the contract type and services offered, a contractor may not be able to enroll all of a family’s children. For example:

  • A contractor may not have the contract type that allows the contractor to serve the child’s sibling.
  • A contractor may not have an available vacancy.

When this occurs, the family remains on the CEL ranked in priority order per EC, Section 8263(b). The siblings not being served are not given a “super-rank” or super priority over all the other children on the CEL.

If you have any questions regarding the admission of siblings, please contact your assigned 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: Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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