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Management Bulletin 18-13

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Travel Requirements

Number: 18-13

Date: November 2018

Expires: Until Rescinded

Authority: California Government Code Section 11139.8 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Education, sections 18034(j), 18041, 18308, and Title 2 CCR, Section 599.619

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


The purpose of this Management Bulletin (MB) is to provide early learning and care contractors with updated information regarding:

  1. Travel prohibitions for state-funded and state-sponsored travel
  2. Travel and per diem rates,
  3. Out-of-state travel approval

This MB rescinds and replaces MB 14-05.


On September 27, 2016, Assembly Bill 1887 (Chapter 687, Statutes of 2016) was signed by the Governor. Assembly Bill (AB) 1887 added Section 11139.8 to the California Government Code, and generally prohibits a state agency from approving state-funded or state-sponsored travel to any state that after June 26, 2015, has enacted the following:

  • A law that voids or repeals, or has the effect of voiding or repealing, existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  • A law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

The California Attorney General website at, provides a current list of states that, after June 26, 2015, have enacted the aforementioned discriminatory laws or practices. As of the date of this MB, those states are: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18041 requires contractors to receive prior written approval from the California Department of Education (CDE) in order to receive reimbursement for out-of-state travel expenses. Section 18041 states that the CDE may not approve out-of-state travel expenses for more than one employee per contract per year; for contractors with delinquent accounts payable which are delinquent more than ninety (90) calendar days after the date of the original invoice; for contractors on conditional status; when there is no clear benefit to the state; or when the benefit to the state can be obtained within California. Section 18041 also specifies conditions upon receiving reimbursement for out-of-state travel expenses. The CDE will approve or deny the out-of-state travel request within thirty (30) calendar days upon receipt of the request. If the request is denied, the contractor may appeal the decision in accordance with the 5 CCR, Section 18308.

Section 18034(j) of the 5 CCR, requires travel and per diem expenses for Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) Contractors to be reimbursed at rates not to exceed those paid to the majority of the CDE’s represented employees, computed in accordance with the California Code of Regulations, Title 2 (2 CCR), Section 599.619. The CalHR website at, provides information on the most recent travel and per diem rates.


Not less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to out-of-state travel, contractors must submit a request to their Field Services Office Consultant. The request must include all travel costs and a justification that clearly describes why the travel is of benefit to the state, and why this benefit cannot be obtained within California. Out-of-state travel may only be approved for one employee per contract, per year.

Out-of-state travel requests will not be approved for contractors with delinquent accounts payables, when the delinquency is more than ninety (90) days, or if the contractor is on conditional status.

Please note that out-of-state travel requests to states included on the travel ban list issued by the California Attorney General website at, will not be approved.

When reimbursing travel, contractors must only reimburse at rates not to exceed the rates as described in 5 CCR, Section 18034(j). The rates for travel reimbursement can be found on the ELCD Contractor Travel Guide web page at The revised rates and rules are summarized in the CDE document and web page link referred to above.

Contractors are urged to read this document carefully. Please note that reimbursement for meals and incidentals have been, and continues to be, for actual expenses only. Although receipts for meals need not be attached to the travel reimbursement documentation, the per diem amounts are maximums, and not an automatic allowance. Therefore, contractors must advise their staff who travel to keep the following in mind:

Per 2 CCR, Section 599.619(a)(1)(C), receipts for meals must be maintained by the traveler, as evidence that the amount claimed is not in excess of the amount of actual expense. The term “incidentals” includes, but is not limited to, expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothing, and fees and tips for services, such as porters and baggage carriers. It does not include taxicab fares, lodging taxes, or the costs of personal telegrams or telephone calls.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned ELCD Consultant via the CDE Consultant Regional Assignments web page 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: Friday, December 15, 2023
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