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Management Bulletin 13-10

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Electronic Record Storage

Number: 13-10

Date: December 2013

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: Chapter 733, Statutes of 2013 (Assembly Bill 274) California Education Code, sections 8227.3, and 8262.1

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Administrators of All Child Care and Development Programs


The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to provide information to contractors regarding statutory changes that allow contractors to maintain records in electronic format.


California Education Code Section 33421 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18067, require contractors to retain all records to support claims for reimbursement for a minimum period of five years and longer where an audit by a government agency remains unresolved.

California Civil Code, Section 1633.12 gives California businesses the ability to maintain records in electronic form if certain conditions are met, even where a law requires records to be kept for audit purposes. A government agency may impose additional requirements related to the retention of a record.

Assembly Bill 274 (Chapter 733, Statutes of 2013) authorizes Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) contractors to electronically maintain records that were originally created in an electronic format.


Effective January 1, 2014, contractors may maintain any document or record in electronic format if it was originally created in electronic format. The new statute limits the option of electronic storage to those documents or records that were originally created and completed in an electronic format. An electronic document or record must be maintained in its original electronic format. For example, an e-mail or an Excel spreadsheet must not be converted into a Portable Document Format for storage, but must instead be stored in the format it was originally created.  

Documents and/or records that may be kept electronically include but are not limited to:

  • Documentation kept in the family data file as required by 5 CCR, Section 18081
  • Attendance and expenditure reports as required by 5 CCR, Section 18068
  • Daily sign-in/sign-out sheets as described in 5 CCR, Section 18065

Documents or records created in paper form cannot be scanned and stored electronically. These records must be stored in their original paper format.

All records, regardless if they are kept in hard copy or electronically, must be retained for at least five years, as noted above. Whether in paper or electronic format, contractors must maintain a recordkeeping system that can be readily accessible to auditors conducting audits or reviews of the contractors' records.

Questions regarding the information in this MB should be addressed to your ELCD Field Services Consultant at or by phone at 916-322-6233.

Pursuant to California Education Code Section 33308.5, any portion of this Management Bulletin that is not supported by a specific statutory and/or regulatory requirement is not prescriptive.

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 23, 2024
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