Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Management Bulletin 17-14

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: 12-Month Eligibility

Number: 17-14

Date: September 2017

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Education Code (EC) Section 8263(h) and (j) and Section 8263.1.

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Administrators of Child Care and Development Programs: Center-based Child Care (CCTR); California State Preschool (CSPP); Family Child Care Homes Education Networks (CFCC); Programs for Special Needs Children (Handicapped) (CHAN); Migrant (Center-based) (CMIG); CalWORKs Stage 2 (C2AP); CalWORKs Stage 3 (C3AP); California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP); Migrant Alternative Payment Program (CMAP); and Resources and Referral (CRRP)


The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to provide guidance and instruction for implementation of the new requirements in California Education Code (EC) Section 8263(h), referred to as “12-month eligibility.” In order to provide thorough guidance for contractors to implement 12-month eligibility and need for federal and state subsidized child care and development services administered by the California Department of Education (CDE), it is necessary to address sections of the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) that are directly impacted.

This MB includes 12-Month Eligibility Implementation Guidance (Guidance) (Attachment A) regarding the changes to 5 CCR related to the EC changes. The attached guidance should be used in lieu of current 5 CCR which conflict with statute changes. A list of such sections is included below.

This MB supersedes all other MBs, or portions thereof, that are in direct conflict with the Guidance (Attachment A). It also rescinds the following MBs:

  • MB 06-14 Update to Changes in Law Affecting Child Care and Development Services for At Risk and Child Protective Services Families

  • MB 15-05 Extension of 60-day Limitation on Seeking Employment


The EC Section 8263 provides criteria for establishing eligibility, enrollment, and priority for child care and development services.

As relevant to this MB, Assembly Bill (AB) 99, Chapter 15, Statutes of 2017, amended EC Section 8263 (h) as follows:

(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) to (4), inclusive, upon establishing initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility for services under this chapter, a family shall be considered to meet all eligibility and need requirements for those services for not less than 12 months, shall receive those services for not less than 12 months before having their eligibility or need recertified, and shall not be required to report changes to income or other changes for at least 12 months.

(2) A family that establishes initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility on the basis of income shall report increases in income that exceed the threshold for ongoing income eligibility as described in subdivision (b) of Section 8263.1, and the family’s ongoing eligibility for services shall at that time be recertified.

(3) A family that establishes initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility on the basis of seeking employment shall receive services under this chapter as follows:

(A) If seeking employment is the basis for initial eligibility, the family shall receive services under this chapter for not less than six months.

(B) If, at the time of recertification, the only basis established for ongoing eligibility is a parent’s need to seek employment, the family shall receive services for no less than six months.

(4) A family may at any time voluntarily report income or other changes. This information shall be used, as applicable, to reduce the family’s fees, increase the family’s services, or extend the period of the family’s eligibility before recertification.

In order to conform with EC Section 8263(h), AB 99 removed the current limitation allowing only up to three months of service for a family who is receiving child care and development services on the basis of being a child at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and also removed the 60 working day extension for seeking employment as it related to 5 CCR Section 18086.5.

The AB 99 permits the CDE to implement “12-month eligibility” through issuance of a MB or similar letter of instruction. This MB includes Guidance (Attachment A), which, pursuant to EC Section 8263(j), has the same force and effect in law as regulations promulgated through the formal rulemaking process. This guidance is effective immediately and will remain in place until regulations are adopted through the formal rulemaking process.  The CDE will seek stakeholder input as required by EC Section 8263(j)(2). In the interim, contractors should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they do not conflict with this MB and Guidance (Attachment A).  

Additionally relevant to this MB, AB 99 amended EC sections 8263 and 8263.1 resulting in changes to the following requirements:

  • State Median Income (Initial Certification)
  • Graduated Phase-out (Recertification)
  • Updated Income Rankings
  • Revised Family Fee Schedule
  • Minimum 12-Month Eligibility

A separate MB has been issued for each of the requirements listed above. Please refer to the Other Relevant Information section below for more information.


Effective July 1, 2017, in accordance with EC sections 8263(h) and 8263.1, once a family establishes eligibility and need at initial certification or recertification, a family shall be considered to meet all eligibility and need requirements for not less than 12 months.  

The changes to the regulations set forth in the guidance, listed below, are intended to provide specificity and clarity regarding implementation of 12-month eligibility.  It is important to highlight, in particular, four of those changes:

  • Families certified for services on the basis of seeking employment shall receive those services for not less than twelve months

  • All families must be recertified at least once each contract period, and no sooner than 12 months from when they were last certified

  • Families may voluntarily report changes decreasing their service need under specific conditions

  • Families must report within 30 days if income exceeds 85 percent of state median income (SMI)

Once certified, a family shall receive services for no less than 12 months, without having to report changes in eligibility or need, with the following exceptions:

  • Families certified as income eligible, when their adjusted monthly income adjusted for family size exceeds 85 percent of the SMI as published by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

  • Families who voluntarily report changes in order to reduce family fees, increase service schedule, or extend the period of eligibility before recertification.

The following 5 CCR sections have been aligned to implement EC sections 8263(h) and 8263.1 as authorized by EC Section 8263(j). These changes are reflected in the Guidance (Attachment A):

Title 5 Sections – REPEALED

    • 18102 Notice to Families of Their Responsibility to Notify Contractor of Changes to Family Circumstances
    • 18104 Limited Term Service Leave Requirements

Title 5 Sections - REVISED

    • 18078 Definitions
    • 18084 Documentation of Income Eligibility
    • 18086 Documentation of Employment
    • 18086.5 Documentation of Seeking Employment; Service Limitations
    • 18087 Documentation of Training Towards Vocational Goals
    • 18088 Documentation of Parental Incapacity; Service Limitations
    • 18090 Documentation of Homelessness
    • 18091 Documentation of Seeking Permanent Housing; Service Limitations
    • 18096 Calculation of Income
    • 18103 Recertification
    • 18406 Family Eligibility (CalWORKs, Stage 2)
    • 18408 Eligibility Duration (CalWORKs, Stage 2)
    • 18410 Contractor Responsibilities for Maintaining Family Eligibility (CalWORKs, Stage 2)
    • 18421 Family Eligibility (CalWORKs, Stage 3)
    • 18423 Eligibility Duration (CalWORKs, Stage 3)
    • 18425 Contractor Responsibilities for Maintaining Family Eligibility (CalWORKs, Stage 3)

Title 5 Sections - ADDED

    • 18084.1 Duration of Service Agreement
    • 18084.2 The Family’s Right to Voluntarily Report Changes
    • 18084.3 Requirement to Report When Income Exceeds 85% of SMI

Families are considered eligible for no less than 12 months based on initial certification or recertification, therefore, the CDE will not consider changes in families’ circumstances as an error or improper payment between initial certification and recertification (EC Section 8263[i]).

Return to Top


Contractors must continue to certify families based on eligibility and need criteria as stipulated in EC Section 8263(a) using the current 5 CCR as modified by the Guidance. Upon initial certification or recertification for child development services, families are considered to meet all eligibility and need requirements, regardless of whether the basis of need is job search, and must receive services for not less than 12 months. Recertification should occur no sooner than 12 months from the prior certification and at least once each contract period.

During the 12-month eligibility period families are no longer required to report changes in:

  • Income (except when families are certified as income eligible and their adjusted monthly income exceeds 85 percent of SMI, adjusted for family size)
  • Service need
  • Other changes

However, families may voluntarily request changes as follows:

  • To reduce their family fees (without a decrease to their service hours)
  • Increase their service hours (without an increase to the family fee)
  • As otherwise specified in the attached guidance

Additionally, families may voluntarily request a decrease in service hours. Additional detailed information is included in the Guidance (Attachment A) about under what conditions a family’s service hours may be reduced. 

When families voluntarily request changes contractors must:

  • Reassess the family fee in accordance with the directives outlined in MB 18-07. Document and certify the need to support the requested increase in service hours as applicable.

  • Issue a timely Notice of Action when any changes are implemented.

Note: Detailed information regarding these directives are included in the attached guidance (Attachment A).

Attendance and Reimbursement

The CDE understands that many contractors have questions regarding the impact of 12-month eligibility on reimbursement and attendance. This MB does not change the manner in which contractors are reimbursed nor does it change the statutes, regulations, or policies in place with respect to attendance reporting.

As before, “attendance” includes excused absences and contractors shall continue to have policies in place regarding unexcused absences, which may include a policy regarding excessive unexcused absences. The CDE recommends contractors work with families and providers to inform parents of the importance of consistent attendance for their child in order to maximize the benefits of their early learning and care experience.

In addition, reimbursement to contractors has not changed. Contractors will continue to be reimbursed as follows:

  • Center-based contractors are reimbursed based on the three Limits of Reimbursement: the Contract Maximum Reimbursable Amount, Net Reimbursable Program Costs, and Service Earnings. “Service earnings” are based on enrollment and adjusted for attendance. Attendance does not affect reimbursement, unless unexcused absences exceed five percent of an agency’s contracts total enrollment within a given contract year.

  • Alternative Payment Program contractors are reimbursed based on provider payments and allowable administrative and support costs.

While no changes to reimbursement and attendance are being made at this time, the CDE will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to address concerns to assist the CDE in developing regulations in alignment with these recent changes to the EC and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) regulations.

Other Relevant Information

For more information on the requirements, please see the associated MBs linked below:

If you have questions regarding the information provided in this MB, please e-mail Responses will be posted in the near future to a CDE Budget Implementation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page. Contractors are encouraged to refer to the FAQ Web page before submitting questions.

For questions specifically related to a current client, please contact your Early Learning and Care Field Services Consultant by phone at 916-322-6233. A listing of Field Services Consultant regional assignments is located on the CDE Consultant Regional Assignment Web page 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 EC Section 33308.5.

Return to Top

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 18, 2024
Recently Posted in Early Education