Management Bulletin 20-09
Early Learning and Care Division
Subject: COVID-19 Guidance on Program Self Evaluation, Contract Monitoring, and Program Quality Requirements
Date: April 17, 2020
Expires: June 30, 2020 or until the State of Emergency has ended, whichever occurs first
Authority: Senate Bill 117 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2020)
Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of All Early Learning and Care Programs
This Management Bulletin (MB) is to notify and provide guidance to contractors about contractual requirements and instructions specific to program quality and monitoring after the enactment of Senate Bill (SB) 117.
These are not permanent changes to statute or regulations. These requirements will apply until June 30, 2020 or until the State of Emergency has ended, whichever occurs first. As the situation evolves and more information is available, the California Department of Education (CDE) may issue additional guidance.
The California Education Code (EC) Section 8261 requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to adopt rules and regulations for monitoring and reporting requirements. California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR), Section 18023, requires the CDE to complete compliance reviews of contractors. 5 CCR Section 18279 sets forth requirements for contractors for submitting Program Self Evaluations (PSE).
In addition, EC Section 8203 requires the SSPI to develop standards and indicators for the implementation of quality programs.
5 CCR Section 18272 requires contractors to complete a Desired Results Developmental Profile 2015 (DRDP ) for each child who is enrolled in the program at least ten (10) hours per week, within sixty (60) calendar days of enrollment, and at least once every six (6) months.
5 CCR Section 18273 requires contractors to provide program activities and services that are age appropriate, meet the developmental needs of each child, meet the cultural and linguistic needs of children and families, and meet the needs of children with exceptional needs and their families.
5 CCR Section 18274 requires contractors to develop and implement a staff development program.
5 CCR Section 18275 requires contractors to provide parent involvement and education that includes, but is not limited to, sharing information and conducting at least two individual conferences with parents each year.
5 CCR Section 18280 requires contractors to annually distribute the Desired Results Parent Survey, to parents; collect the surveys from the parents; and analyze the results to plan and conduct activities to help parents support their child's learning and development and to meet the family's needs.
5 CCR Section 18281 requires contractors to complete an environment rating scale that is appropriate for the type of setting and age of children served, to measure program quality.
On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency in California as a result of the threat of the global pandemic disease COVID-19. On March 17, 2020, the Governor signed SB 117 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2020) which authorizes the SSPI to issue guidance to address contractual requirements during Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 and ensure continuity of payments to state subsidized early learning and care (ELC) programs.
Following the enactment of SB 117, the CDE released MB 20-04 on March 19, 2020 providing guidance to state-subsidized ELC programs about updated apportionment, attendance, and reporting requirements. This MB provides additional guidance to those contractors who provide services through the following programs: Alternative Payment Program (CAPP), Migrant Child Care (CMIG and CMAP), California State Preschool Program (CSPP), General Child Care (CCTR), Family Child Care Home Education Networks (CFCC), and Care for Children with Severe Disabilities (CHAN). This new law allows the SSPI to develop directives to modify, as necessary, contractual reporting requirements applicable for FY 2019-20 state-subsidized ELC programs impacted by the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The guidance below responds to this topic
Effective immediately, the CDE will suspend comprehensive compliance reviews of contractors for the remainder of FY 2019-20. However, the CDE will continue to perform compliance reviews to ensure program quality, as needed.
Effective immediately, the CDE will suspend the submission of the Program Self Evaluation (PSE) for FY 2019-20.
The suspension of these requirements and associated timelines does not exempt contractors from providing quality program activities and services that are age appropriate and meet the developmental needs of each child, the cultural and linguistic needs of children and families, and the needs of children with exceptional needs and their families.
State-subsidized early learning and care programs are required to continue to provide quality program activities and support services in compliance with 5 CCR and EC 8203 as provided in the directive below.
All Early Learning and Care Division Contractors (CSPP, CCTR, CMIG, CHAN, CAPP, C2AP, C3AP, CMAP, CFCC, as applicable)
Program Quality Contractual Requirements During an Emergency Closure:
Contractors who are currently open or who are physically closed but funded to be operational due to the COVID-19 pandemic must develop a plan around modifying program operations to address the needs of children and families who are no longer being served in a physical setting during an emergency closure. For contractors that have closed some or all sites, this plan must be provided to the contractor’s assigned regional consultant by April 30, 2020. This plan must include engaging staff during the emergency closure to provide supportive services to children and families. This plan must include the following services, but may include others:
- Developing a family engagement plan for disasters
- Providing online resources and activities for children and families at home, including virtual opportunities
- To the extent practicable, assisting local efforts to provide child care and development services to essential employees
- Engaging existing statewide quality projects supporting 5 CCR contractors for local and/or virtual professional development and support activities
- Engaging external online/virtual professional development opportunities for program staff
Please refer to your local Quality Counts California agency, Resource and Referral program, and Local Planning Councils for available resources in your county.
Requirements for Alternative Payment Program Contracts (CAPP, C2AP, C3AP, and CMAP):
Alternative Payment and Resource and Referral Contracts are exempt from the following requirements listed in the directives below:
Parent Involvement, Education Programs, Developmental Profile Requirements and the ERS.
Modified Quality Contractual Requirements
State-subsidized early learning and care programs are required to continue to provide modified quality program activities to all currently enrolled children and families in compliance with 5 CCR and EC 8203, as directed below:
Contract Reviews of Contractors
The CDE will be conducting modified monitoring of contracts and will suspend all on-site visits, unless as needed. The CDE will continue to support contractors by providing technical assistance, training, and updated information remotely.
Program Self Evaluation Reporting Requirements Suspended
The requirement to submit the Program Self Evaluation on June 1, 2020, has been suspended. The CDE will assess the need for the PSE, in light of the developments of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, and will provide additional guidance regarding the submission of the PSE at a later date if necessary.
CCTR, CSPP, CFCC, and CMIG contractors must contact each family a minimum of twice a week to keep updated on the child and family in compliance with 5 CCR Section 18275 and must document outreach efforts. To the greatest extent possible, outreach efforts should be conducted in the family's preferred language via phone calls, emails, and/or texts. Outreach should consist of a mix of individual and group activities to maintain relationships and supports for families and children with each other and with program staff.
Contractors will communicate with families about their progress and needs with distance learning and the family’s overall well-being; providing resources and referrals to support services, social services, and health services as needed. Additional resources are available at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp. Contractors should contact the local Resource and Referral (R&R) agency https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/rragencylist.asp and the local Quality Counts California (QCC) consortia to identify additional resources to meet the needs of children and families. Parent conferences have been suspended through June 30, 2020; although contractors are encouraged to conduct these virtually whenever possible.
CCTR, CSPP, CFCC, and CMIG contractors who are currently open or who are physically closed but funded to be operational will provide all enrolled families with developmentally appropriate activities that can be done at home. Activities provided will comply with 5 CCR Section 18273 and must be documented.
Contractors are required to provide an activity plan for each child that can be incorporated into the daily activities and assists with creating a predictable routine in the family’s home. Additional resources are available https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp. These activities should be similar to those activities conducted in the program and promote the developmental progress of social emotional skills, language and literacy skills, problem solving skills, math and science skills, and physical health. To the greatest extent possible, activities should be provided in the family's preferred language. Contractors who are currently open or who are physically closed but funded to be operational are required to offer virtual learning opportunities daily through various methods to maintain the developmental progress of currently enrolled children. These methods should include, but not be limited to, email, online learning platforms, video and/or activity packets. Contractor preparing activity packets should ensure the delivery of these packets comply with all social distancing requirements.
Contractors should contact the local R&R agency at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/rragencylist.asp and the local QCC consortia to identify additional resources to meet the needs of children and families.
Contractors who are currently open or who are physically closed but funded to be operational will provide all staff members professional development. Staff Development will comply with 5 CCR 18274 and must be documented.
Contractors must provide professional development, or access to professional development through distance learning opportunities for priority topics including, but not limited to, health and safety and child development.
Contractors should provide staff development using, but not limited to, the resources located https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp, as well as the resources below:
- View resources, including eight comprehensive 60-80 minute Health and Safety Modules for Child Care, located California Early Childhood Online at https://www.caearlychildhoodonline.org/
- Contact your local Quality Counts California to participate in professional communities of practice at https://qualitycountsca.net/quality-partners/
- Contact your local Resource and Referral Network agency for professional development opportunities. Resources are also available at https://rrnetwork.org/provider-services/provider-support-resources
- View professional development resources at the Head Start Early Childhood Knowledge Center at https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/professional-development/article/professional-development-go
Contractors should also contact the local R&R agency at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/rragencylist.asp and the local QCC consortia to identify additional resources to meet the needs of children, families, and staff.
Developmental Profile Requirements
CCTR, CSPP, CFCC, and CMIG contractors are required to submit data in DRDP Online for any rating period that complete data has been collected. Contractors shall not upload partial data into DRDP Online. Information, resources, and training on the DRDP Online system can be found at https://www.desiredresults.us/.
Rating periods after March 17, 2020 are suspended through June 30, 2020.
This requirement has been suspended through June 30, 2020.
Health and Social Services
CCTR, CSPP, CFCC, and CMIG contractors are required to communicate with families about their progress and the family’s overall well-being. Contractors must identify, refer, and ensure that the families’ health and social services needs are being met.
Environmental Rating Scales
This requirement has been suspended through June 30, 2020 for CCTR, CSPP, CFCC, and CMIG contractors. The CDE will assess the need for the Environmental Rating Scale (ERS), in light of the developments of the State of Emergency in California as a result of the threat of the global pandemic disease COVID-19, and will provide additional guidance regarding ERS at a later date if necessary.
The CDE Early Learning and Care Division has developed a COVID-19 guidance and resource page that includes answers to frequently asked questions, all management bulletins issued to implement pertinent legislation, and other relevant resources at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp.
To be informed of the updated information, please sign up for Early Learning and Care Division's email list at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/progspeclist.asp.
The CDSS Community Care Licensing Division has developed Provider Information Notice (PIN) 20-04-CCP, which provides a statewide waiver for operation of child care facilities, including licensees, registered TrustLine providers, and temporary employer sponsored child care, along with guidance for the implementation of prevention, containment, and mitigation measures for COVID-19. This PIN can be found on the CDSS website at https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/community-care-licensing.
For more information about federal and state guidance and response to COVID-19, please refer to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html, the California Department of Public Health’s website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx, and the California COVID-19 Response website at https://covid19.ca.gov/.
If you have any questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned Early Learning and Care Consultant via the CDE Consultant Regional Assignments web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/assignments.asp or by phone at 916-322-6233.
Stephen Propheter, Director
Early Learning and Care Division