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Management Bulletin 15-04

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Revised Local Child Care and Development Planning Council Funding Priority Setting Process

Number: 15-04

Date: June 2015

Expires: Until rescinded

Authority: California Education Code sections 8499.5 (a) through (d), 8279.3 (a) through (d), and 8208 (ag).

Attention: Local Planning Council Chairpersons, Coordinators, Contractors, Legal Entity Representatives, Executive Directors, and Program Directors of all Child Care and Development Programs


The purpose of this Management Bulletin is to provide a revised standardized child care and development funding priority setting process for Local Planning Councils (LPCs). LPCs are required to submit their local funding priorities to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) every year, on or before May 30. This MB rescinds MB 09-05.


California Education Code (EC) Section 8499.5 (a) through (d) requires the LPCs to review local State and Federal data and provide the CDE with an updated listing of their local child care and development funding priorities by May 30 every year. EC Section 8279.3 specifies that LPCs must identify local funding priorities for the distribution of any new state general child care and development and new preschool funding to promote equal access to child development services across the state. These priorities must be based on direct impact indicators of need.

The EC language directs LPCs as to how to conduct their yearly review of child development services in order to identify gaps in services and funding priorities that will ensure all child care and preschool services of the county are met to the greatest extent possible given limited state resources. The LPC priorities are used by the CDE to determine funding decisions for new general child care and preschool services. In 2009, CDE staff worked with the California Child Care Coordinators Association to clarify and standardize the LPC priority setting process. This MB updates that process to reflect legislative changes that have occurred as well as a review of the data that had been used to develop the initial priority setting process. One significant change is that the process to set priorities for California Center (CCTR) priorities has been separated into two processes, one for school-age children, and the other for infants and toddlers. Another change is that previous options of using the county Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) data has been removed, as the CEL is no longer mandated and funded in all counties. Finally, by combining the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) full and part-day into one priority process, some adjustments have been made to the percentage and caseload thresholds necessary to become a Priority 1, 2, or 3.

This new priority setting process must be utilized for the priorities submitted by May 30, 2016, and all subsequent submittals.

Process for Establishing LPC Priorities

All county LPCs must:

  1. Use the methodology for establishing LPC priorities based on the population of the county, using the most recent county demographic information from the California Department of Finance Demographics Unit.

  2. Review the instructions in Attachment 1 at which describe and define the process by which LPC priorities are established for the California State Preschool Full and Part-Day Program. (CSPP)

  3. Review the instructions in Attachment 2 at which describe and define the process by which LPC priorities are established for the California Center Infant and Toddler Program. (CCTR)

  4. Review the instructions in Attachment 3 at which describe and define the process by which LPC priorities are established for the California Center School-Aged Program. (CCTR)

  5. Analyze all of the data to determine Priority 1 and Priority 2 rankings for each zip code in the county.

  6. Priority 3 may be established using Option 1 or Option 2, all other zip codes in the county, or Option 3, which is no other zip codes in the county. The LPC priorities report form must identify which options have been chosen.

  7. List each local zip code in the county. Each zip code must only have one identified funding priority number.

  8. LPC priorities must be submitted electronically to the CDE in Microsoft Excel 2000 or newer versions. The LPC priority forms include instructions and examples of the correct format. This is described in Attachment 4 at

The attached LPC priority forms must be completed, approved, signed, and submitted to:

Early Learning and Care Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 3410
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

These forms must be also be submitted electronically to, and a signed hard copy and attached spreadsheets for CSPP and CCTR programs must be mailed to the above-mentioned address every year on or before May 30.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this management bulletin, please contact your assigned Early Learning and Care Field Services Consultant at or by phone at 916-322-6233.

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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 Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Thursday, December 29, 2022
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