Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

MB 21-13

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information and guidance to CSPP contractors related to meeting the program quality requirements of the CSPP contract and any flexibilities allowed due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early Learning and Care Division

Subject: Guidance on Implementation of the California State Preschool Program Quality Requirements During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Number: 21-13

Date: September 29, 2021

Expires: June 30, 2022

Authority: California Education Code (EC) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR)

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of California State Preschool Programs (CSPP)


Purpose

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information and guidance to CSPP contractors related to meeting the program quality requirements of the CSPP contract and any flexibilities allowed due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Policy

Contractors operating a CSPP must adhere to the program quality requirements of the CSPP contract for children, families, and staff, pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 8203 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) sections 18270.5 through 18281, and to staffing ratios requirements pursuant to 5 CCR sections 18290 through 18292.

In accordance with MB 21-11, CSPP contractors are required to submit a distance learning plan and offer distance learning services for enrolled children and families who are unable to receive in-person services when the CSPP is required to close, or limit group sizes due to written local or state public health orders or guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic and specific to early education or childcare. CSPP contractors must continue to meet the program quality requirements of the CSPP contract when providing distance learning services, as specified below.

Implementation

Developmental Profile Requirements

All CSPP contractors are required to conduct the age-appropriate Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) for each child who is enrolled in the program for at least 10 hours per week. If a child has a disability, and/or has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the DRDP must be completed even if the child is enrolled for less than 10 hours per week, and must be completed with any necessary accommodations and adaptations.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2021–22, CSPP contractors may use the Modified Essential View of the DRDP, and the California Department of Education (CDE), Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) will allow contractors up to 90 days from the time of a child’s enrollment to complete the initial DRDP. This flexibility does not prevent CSPP contractors from completing the initial DRDP 60 days from the date of a child’s enrollment if preferred by the contractor. A second rating period must occur six (6) months following the initial rating.

NOTE: While the CDE, ELCD is permitting CSPP contractors to use the DRDP Modified Essential View during FY 2021–22, the CDE strongly encourages CSPP contractors use, at a minimum, the DRDP Essential View in order to obtain critical observations and data, and to support children’s social and emotional development. This is particularly important during the pandemic due to the additional stressors that children, families, and communities are experiencing, and the potential impact on children’s development.

The CSPP contractors are required to submit DRDP data to the DRDP Online system for any assessment period for which complete data has been collected. Partial DRDP data shall not be uploaded to the DRDP Online system.

For more information, resources, and training on the DRDP assessment and DRDP Online procedures visit the Desired Results for Children and Families website at https://www.desiredresults.us/.

Note: When children are participating in distance learning services because the CSPP contractor is required to close, or when group sizes are limited due to a local or state public health order or guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the teaching staff conducting the DRDP should gather family perspectives about their child’s development and behavior to inform the DRDP assessment. The information families provide is important, is considered valid data, and facilitates partnering to support children's learning and development.

When a child is not receiving in-person services due to the family sheltering in place and the contractor is unable to complete the DRDP assessment, the contractor shall indicate unable to rate due to extended absences for the child.

Education Program

The CSPP contractors must include a child development and education program that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The program approach is developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate

  • The program is inclusive of children with special needs
    • The program and its staff should participate with the parents and the Individualized Education Plan or Individualized Family Service Plan (IEP/IFSP) team to learn more about how to support the care and education of individual children with disabilities in their program.
    • The program should work with the IEP/IFSP team to provide appropriate activities and instruction that align with the goals or outcomes set forth in the IEP/IFSP during the child’s daily routines and activities.
  • The program encourages respect for the feelings of others and ensures equitable treatment of all children by eliminating bias through practices
  • The program supports children’s social and emotional development by:
    • Building trust
    • Planning routines and transitions so they can occur in a timely, predictable, and unhurried manner
    • Helping children develop emotional security and facility in social relationships
  • The program provides for the development of each child’s cognitive and language skills by:
    • Using various strategies, including experimentation, inquiry, observation, play, and exploration
    • Ensuring opportunities for creative self-expression through activities such as art, dramatic play, music, and movement
    • Promoting positive interactions and conversation among children and between children and adults
    • Supporting emerging literacy and numeracy, and
    • Supporting dual language children to maintain their home language while acquiring English
  • The program promotes each child’s physical development by providing sufficient time for both indoor and outdoor play with engaging equipment, materials, and activities to promote active play and movement.
  • The program promotes and maintains health and safety practices for adults and children.

These education components must be provided to all children enrolled in a CSPP, including for those children who are participating in distance learning services when the CSPP contractor is unable to offer in-person services to all children enrolled because the CSPP is required to close, or group sizes are limited, due to a local or state public health order or guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All services provided to enrolled children must be individualized and focused on activities that would have meaning and interest to the child and can be supported by the family at home.

Staff Development Program

The CSPP contractors must implement a staff development program and provide all staff members with professional development opportunities. CSPP contractors must document staff development activities and maintain the documentation for review by the CDE, ELCD. The staff development program must include all of the following:

  • Identification of training needs of staff or service providers;

  • Written job descriptions;

  • An orientation plan for new employees;

  • An annual written performance evaluation procedure unless a different frequency of performance evaluations is specified in a contractor's collective bargaining agreement with their employees;

  • Staff development opportunities that include topics related to the functions specified in each employee's job description and those training needs identified by the contractor;

  • An internal communication system that provides each staff member with the information necessary to carry out his or her assigned duties.

The following resources are currently available to support professional development opportunities for staff, and include topics such as health and safety, child development, teacher-child interactions, supporting resilience, trauma-informed care, implicit bias, multilingualism, and children with disabilities:

Early education practitioners play a role in dismantling systemic racism, and may find the following resources to be helpful:

Early education practitioners play a role in dismantling systemic racism, and may find the following resources to be helpful:

Parent Involvement and Education

Each CSPP contractor shall include in its program a parent involvement and education component that includes all of the following:

  • An orientation for parents that includes topics such as program philosophy, program goals and objectives, program activities, eligibility criteria and priorities for enrollment, fee requirements, and due process procedures
  • At least two (2) individual conferences with the parent(s) per year

  • Parent meetings with program staff

  • An open-door policy that encourages parents to participate in the daily activities whenever possible

  • A Parent Advisory Committee that advises the contractor on issues related to services to families and children

  • Sharing information between staff and parents concerning their child’s progress

Reminder: Per the California Code of Regulations, Title 22 (22 CCR), parents have the right to access their children at all times; however, temporary measures should be taken to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Coordination for parents’ visit to the classroom can be made in advance and parents must follow safety procedures (i.e. social distancing, facial covering, and washing hands or sanitizing prior to entry). If more restrictive, local or state public health orders or guidance must be followed.

Note: Parent orientations, individual conferences, parent meetings, and Parent Advisory Committee meetings should, to the extent possible, be offered in the family's home language. CSPP contractors may offer the parent involvement and education component virtually; however, families’ access to the technology required to participate must be considered.

Health and Social Services

The CSPP contractors are required to communicate with families about their child’s progress and the family’s overall well-being, and include in the program a health and social services component for children and families that include:

  • Identification of the needs of the child and the family for health or social services,

  • Referrals to the appropriate agencies in the community based on the identified needs, and

  • Follow-up procedures to ensure that the family’s health and social services needs have been met.

Contractors must document these efforts and maintain the documentation for review by the CDE, ELCD.

Community Involvement

Each contractor shall include in its program a community involvement component which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Each contractor shall solicit support from the community including the solicitation for donated goods and services

  • Providing information to the community regarding the services available

  • Contractors may utilize media or other forms of communication in the community
Nutrition

Each CSPP contractor shall ensure that children have nutritious meals and snacks during the time in which they are attending in-person services. Meals and snacks shall be culturally and developmentally appropriate for the children being served and meet the nutritional requirements specified by the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or the School Nutrition Programs (SNP).

Program Self-Evaluation Process

Each contractor must develop and implement an annual plan for its Program Self-evaluation (PSE) process. The annual PSE shall include all of the following:

  1. A self-evaluation based on the use of the CDE, ELCD Program Review Instrument (PRI)

  2. An assessment of the program by parents using the Desired Results Parent Survey

  3. An assessment of the program by staff and board members, as evidenced by written documentation

  4. An analysis of contractor’s findings based on the use of the PRI, including the Desired Results Developmental Profile, the Environment Rating Scales, and the Desired Results Parent Survey

  5. A written list of tasks needed to modify the program in order to address all areas that need improvement

  6. Procedures for the ongoing monitoring of the program to ensure that identified areas of improvement are addressed and the program continues to meet standards of the CSPP contract. Identified elements requiring modification must be addressed in a timely and effective manner

The CSPP contractor shall use the Agency Self-Evaluation Report to submit a summary of the findings of the program self-evaluation to the CDE by June 1, of each year.

Note: The CDE, ELCD will issue further guidance on the PSE requirements during Spring 2022.

Parent Survey

The CSPP contractors must annually distribute the Desired Results Parent Survey to parents, collect the surveys, and analyze the results. Surveys shall be provided in the family's home language and used to plan and conduct activities to help parents support their child’s learning and development and to meet the family’s needs. The contractor shall use the results and analysis of the parent survey as part of its annual PSE process.

Contractors may deliver and collect surveys in a format that is easily accessible and convenient to families. This may include digital surveys, electronic submissions, or hardcopies.

Environment Rating Scales

All CSPP contractors, including those that provide service through a Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN), must complete anEnvironment Rating Scale (ERS) that is appropriate for the type of setting and age of children served to measure program quality (i.e., The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale [ECERS] for center-based CSPP contractors, and The Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale [FCCERS] for CSPP contractors who provide services through a FCCHEN). The ERS must be completed:

  1. Every three (3) years as part of the program compliance review

    Note: For FY 2021-22, the assigned CDE, ELCD Program Quality Implementation (PQI) Office regional consultant will complete the applicable ERS observation for all on-site monitoring reviews. The ERS observation results will be used to provide CSPP contractos with technical assistance for subscales that score below a five (5). Scores will not be used to determine a CSPP contractor's compliance with the terms of the CSPP contract.

  2. Annually as part of the PSE process

    Note: CSPP contractors are not required to have the ERS completed by a reliable rater for purposes of the PSE.

Note: The CSPP contractors must complete an ERS on classrooms and FCCHEN homes in a manner that will not increase the health risks to the children and providers. Staff who typically complete ERS assessments on multiple classrooms or family childcare homes should ensure that when entering the environment, all individuals take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (i.e., wearing masks indoors and using personal protective equipment).

The Environmental Rating Scale Institute (ERSI) has issued updated guidance regarding the use of the ERS tools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the ERSI website for more information regarding this guidance at https://www.ersi.info/index.html.

Staffing Qualifications:

Program Director

If the contractor operates at two (2) or more sites, the contractor shall employ a program director who has administrative and programmatic responsibility for the program. The program director shall meet the requirements specified in Staffing Qualifications on the CDE General Staffing Qualifications web page at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/genstaffqual.asp.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) shall grant a waiver of this requirement upon a contractor's demonstration of the existence of compelling need.

Site Supervisor

At each site there shall be a person designated as the site supervisor who has operational program responsibility for the program. A site supervisor shall meet the staffing qualifications specified on the CDE Staffing Qualifications web page at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/staffqualifications.asp

The SSPI shall grant a waiver of this requirement upon a contractor's demonstration of the existence of compelling need.
Teacher Qualifications

A qualified teacher is an individual with a permit issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) authorizing service in the care, development, and instruction of children in a CSPP program. This can be any of the following permits:

  • Regular Children’s Center Instructional Permit
  • Limited Children’s Center Instructional Permit
  • Emergency Children’s Center Instructional Permit
  • Child Development Master Teacher Permit
  • Child Development Teacher Permit
  • Child Development Associate Teacher Permit

Or

A current teaching credential issued by the CTC authorizing teaching service in elementary school or a single subject credential in home economics, and 12 units in Early Childhood Education and/or Child Development or two (2) years' experience in early childhood education or a child care and development program.

Staffing Ratios

All CSPP contractors must maintain at least the following minimum ratios in all centers serving preschool children (three-years-old to enrollment in kindergarten):

  • 1:8 adult-child ratio

  • 1:24 teacher-child ratio

  • Except as otherwise provided in California Code of Regulations, Title 22 (22 CCR) of the Child Care Licensing Standards, the full-day CSPP may exceed adult-child ratios by fifteen (15) percent of the total number of children in attendance for a period of time not to exceed one hundred twenty (120) minutes in any one (1) day

  • The ratio for full-day CSPP during a scheduled nap period may be a 1:24 teacher-child ratio, provided that the remaining staff necessary to meet the adult-child ratio are immediately available at the center

  • All napping children shall remain on a cot/mat. If one child gets up, additional staff need to be called in immediately to meet the required adult-child ratio.

Family Childcare Home providers who serve children through a CSPP FCCHEN must adhere to the ratio requirements set forth in 22 CCR, Child Care Licensing Standards.

Note: Compliance with these ratios shall be determined based on actual attendance

Background

The EC Section 8203 requires that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) develop standards and indicators for the implementation of quality programs.

The 5 CCR Section 18272 requires contractors to complete a Desired Results Developmental Profile 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 thereafter. If a child has a disability, and/or has an IEP, the DRDP must be completed even if the child is enrolled for less than 10 hours per week, and must be completed with any necessary accommodations and adaptations.

The 5 CCR Section 18273 requires contractors to provide an education program and offer 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 special needs, including children with disabilities, and their families.

The 5 CCR Section 18274 requires contractors to develop and implement a staff development program.

The 5 CCR Section 18275 requires contractors to provide a parent involvement and education component that includes, but is not limited to, sharing information and conducting at least two (2) individual conferences with parents each year.

The 5 CCR Section 18276 requires contractors to include in its program a health and social services component.

The 5 CCR Section 18277 requires contractors to include in its program a community involvement component which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) Each contractor shall solicit support from the community. This includes the solicitation of donated goods and services.

(b) Providing information to the community regarding the services available. Contractors may utilize media or other forms of communication in the community.

The 5 CCR Section 18278 requires contractors to include in its program a nutrition component that ensures children have nutritious meals and snacks during the time in which they are in the program.

The 5 CCR Section 18279 sets forth requirements for contractors for developing and implementing an annual plan for its PSE process.

The 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.

The 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.

EC sections 8205(t) and 8295–8305 and 5 CCR Section 18295 set forth staffing qualifications requirements for the CSPP.

Resources

If you have programmatic questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned ELCD Program Quality Implementation (PQI) office Regional Consultant. The CDE, ELCD Consultant Regional Assignments directory web page can be located at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/assignments.asp.

The CDE, ELCD has developed a COVID-19 pandemic guidance and resource web page that includes answers to frequently asked questions, all MBs issued to implement pertinent legislation, and other relevant resources at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp.

To be informed of updated information, please sign up for ELCD’s email distribution list by visiting the web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/progspeclist.asp.

For more information about California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD), which provides guidance on social and physical distancing, ratio and group sizes, and healthy practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit their website at https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/community-care-licensing.

For the California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) COVID-19 guidance for childcare providers and programs, visit the CDPH web page at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Child-Care-Guidance.aspx

For information about federal and state guidance and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html, the California Department of Public Health’s web page 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/.

For information about COVID-19 guidance from the Office of Head Start, please visit their web page at https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/about-us/coronavirus/ohs-covid-19-updates.

This MB is mandatory only to the extent that it cites a specific statutory or regulatory requirement.

Stephen Propheter, Director
Early Learning and Care Division

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6223
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Recently Posted in Child Development
  • ARPA Survey Information (added 15-Oct-2021)
    This page contains the survey questions contained in the ARPA Stabilization Fund Application.
  • MB 21-13 (added 29-Sep-2021)
    This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information and guidance to CSPP contractors related to meeting the program quality requirements of the CSPP contract and any flexibilities allowed due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MB 21-12 (added 17-Sep-2021)
    This Management Bulletin provides Guidance on Family Fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021–22.