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Management Bulletin 23-02

Management Bulletin 23-02 Guidance to California State Preschool Program (CSPP) Contractors for Children with Disabilities (Exceptional Needs).

Early Education Division

Subject: California State Preschool Program and Children with Disabilities (Exceptional Needs)

Number: 23-02

Date: February 2023

Expires: Until rescinded or superseded by regulations

Authority: Assembly Bill (AB) 210 (Chapter 62, Statutes of 2022); California Education Code (EC) sections 8205, 8208, 8210, 8211 and 8244; AB 185 (Chapter 571, Statutes of 2022)

Attention: Executive Directors and Program Directors of all California State Preschool Programs


Purpose

This Management Bulletin (MB) notifies and provides guidance to California State Preschool Program (CSPP) contractors of the following:

  1. A change in the definition of children with exceptional needs
  2. Categorical eligibility for children with exceptional needs
  3. The enrollment requirement set aside for children with exceptional needs
  4. The enrollment priority for children with exceptional needs
  5. The increased adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs and children with severe disabilities
  6. New data collection requirements for contractors; and
  7. Requirement that children with exceptional needs be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE)

NOTE: Children with exceptional needs are also known as children with disabilities. The language in this MB refers to children with exceptional needs to align with the statutory definition in Education Code (EC). However, to align more closely with federal special education law and programs, the California Department of Education (CDE) encourages contractors to use the term children with disabilities at the local level during implementation.

Policy

Definitions of Children with Exceptional Needs

Effective July 1, 2022, the definition of “children with exceptional needs” in EC Section 8205 has changed. Specifically, the definition no longer includes:

  1. The requirement relating to needing the special attention of adults in a childcare setting; and
  2. A list of the types of disabilities for children ages 3-21

Pursuant to EC Section 8205(h) “Children with exceptional needs” means either of the following:

(1) Children under three years of age who have been determined to be eligible for early intervention services pursuant to the California Early Intervention Services Act Title 14 (commencing with Section 95000) of the Government Code) and its implementing regulations. These children include an infant or toddler with a developmental delay or established risk condition, or who is at high risk of having a substantial developmental disability, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 95014 of the Government Code. These children shall have active individualized family service plans and shall be receiving early intervention services.

(2) Children 3 to 21 years of age, inclusive, who have been determined to be eligible for special education and related services by an individualized education program team according to the special education requirements contained in Part 30 (commencing with Section 56000) of Division 4 of Title 2, and who meet eligibility criteria described in Section 56026 and, Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 56333) of Chapter 4 of Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2, and sections 3030 and 3031 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. These children shall have an active individualized education program and shall be receiving early intervention services or appropriate special education.

Categorical Eligibility for Part-day and Full-day CSPP

  • Children with exceptional needs, as defined in EC Section 8205(h), have been added as an eligibility category.
  • Only children with exceptional needs may be enrolled under this eligibility criteria. Any other children in the family who do not meet the definition of exceptional needs may be enrolled based on any of the other eligibility categories for which the family is otherwise eligible.
  • To qualify for full-day CSPP, families must still establish a need for services. However, after a contractor has enrolled all eligible families meeting the need criteria, a contractor may enroll families that do not meet these criteria pursuant to EC Section 8208(d)(4).

Enrollment Requirement Set Aside for Part-day and Full-day CSPP

  • Pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(1) and (d)(2)(A), a percentage of the contractor’s funded enrollment will be set aside specifically to allow children with exceptional needs, including children with severe disabilities, to be enrolled in income order, but without regard to enrollment priorities, until the set aside is filled.
  • The set aside for children with exceptional needs began in fiscal year (FY) 2022–23 and increases incrementally each year until FY 2024–25, as depicted in the table below.

 

Fiscal Year Set Aside Percentage
2022–23
At least 5%
2023–24
At least 7.5%
2024–25
At least 10%

 

  • Beginning July 1, 2024, at least 10 percent of a CSPP contracting agency’s funded enrollment must be reserved for children with exceptional needs and the contracting agency must serve those children.
  • Funded enrollment is defined in EC Section 8205(ae) as the number of subsidized children funded to be enrolled, based on the maximum reimbursable amount (MRA), contract rate, inclusive of any adjustment factors, and approved program calendar, by a CSPP contractor. Contractors can calculate the funded enrollment by dividing the MRA by the service county full-day rate, adjusted by the average adjustment factor, divided by the minimum days of operation. Agencies will be fully funded for the set aside percentage of enrollment, inclusive of the exceptional needs adjustment factor, to ensure funding is available to enroll children with exceptional needs in the set aside at any point during the fiscal year.
  • Contractors not filling the enrollment requirement set aside must conduct community outreach to special education partners to enroll additional children with exceptional needs into their programs.
  • Beginning July 1, 2026, any agency not filling the set aside requirement described in EC sections 8208(c)(1) and (d)(2)(A) may have their CSPP contract designated as "conditional” unless they have applied for and have been granted a waiver from CDE.
  • The CDE will release further information about the waiver process at a later date.

Enrollment Priority Beyond the Set Aside for Part-day and Full-day CSPP

Pursuant to EC sections 8210(a)(2)(A) for part-day and 8211(a)(2)(A) for full-day, age eligible children with exceptional needs, beyond the set aside explained above, must be given second priority for enrollment, as long as their family’s income is below the eligibility threshold. Within this priority category, children with exceptional needs from families with the lowest income according to the most recent schedule of income ceilings and income ranking table, shall be enrolled first. The CDE has released MB 23-01 further detailing priority requirements at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2301.asp.

Reimbursement for Children with Exceptional Needs and Children with Severe Disabilities for Part-day and Full-day CSPP

Contractors will receive additional reimbursement for providing services to children with exceptional needs or children with severe disabilities. Pursuant to EC Section 8244(b)(1), the adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs, including children with severe disabilities, is 2.4. The Enrollment, Attendance, and Fiscal Reports have been updated to reflect 2.4 adjustment factor to all exceptional needs and severely disabled time-based categories (i.e., Full-Time plus, Full-Time, One half-time). All child days of enrollment reported under the exceptional needs or severely disabled categories will receive the applicable adjustment factor.

Please note that the use of adjustment factors does not increase a contract’s MRA, but instead determine how much of the MRA a contractor is earning based on the certified children being served. For more information on adjustment factors, please refer to FY 2022–23 Enrollment, Attendance, and Fiscal Reporting, and Reimbursement Procedures for Early Education Contractors, also known as the Early Education and Nutrition Fiscal Services (EENFS) Fiscal Handbook. The EENFS Fiscal Handbook can be found at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/documents/fiscalhandbook2223.docx [Link no longer available].

Pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(2)(B) and (d)(2)(B)(ii), contractors shall be fully funded for the percentage of enrollment set aside for children with exceptional needs, inclusive of the adjustment factor, to ensure funding is available to enroll children with exceptional needs.

Refer to the Contractor Reporting Requirements and Reimbursement Section below for more information.

Data Collection for the Children with Exceptional Needs

Pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(2)(A) and (d)(2)(B)(i), the CDE is required to review data on compliance and will provide technical assistance to contractors to assist them in filling the enrollment requirement set aside for children with exceptional needs.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for Children with Exceptional Needs

Pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(3) and (d)(2)(C), children with exceptional needs must be educated in the least restrictive environment in accordance with Section 1412(a)(5)(A) of Title 20 of the United States Code.

Directives for Implementation

Documentation Required for Children with Exceptional Needs

All CSPP contractors must continue to keep a family data file for each family enrolled in CSPP. As a reminder, the family data file must include documentation of the child’s exceptional needs, pursuant to CCR, Title 5 (5 CCR) 17758 & 17770(a). The documentation from an active Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be required in the family data file for all children with exceptional needs, including children with severe disabilities, to be counted in the set aside and receive the adjustment factor.

Note: The additional documentation previously required to document that a child requires special attention of adults, pursuant to 5 CCR 17770(b), is no longer necessary to receive the adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs.

Contractors must include on the family’s application for services whether a child qualifies for CSPP services under the child with exceptional needs eligibility category. To assist with this requirement, the CDE is in the process of updating the Confidential Application for Child Development Services and Certification of Eligibility, Form ELCD 9600, to add the eligibility category for children with exceptional needs. Until Form ELCD 9600 has been updated, contractors should handwrite the category of eligibility under Section II, Item A: Family Eligibility Status. Contractors will be notified when the updated form has been posted to the CDE, Early Education Division (EED) forms web page.

Collecting Income in Part-day and Full-day for Families with Children with Exceptional Needs

Pursuant to EC sections 8210 and 8211, all families with a child qualifying for CSPP services under the eligibility category of having a child with exceptional needs must self-certify their income. This is to ensure enrollment of families with the lowest income first, and for the purposes of assessing family fees for full-day CSPP. Without this self-certification information, a family cannot enroll in CSPP.

Meeting and Filling the Set Aside

All CSPP contractors must meet the set-aside requirements as outlined above. However, for FY 2022–23, if a contractor did not set aside and reserve the five percent of funded enrollment for children with exceptional needs (i.e., the program was fully enrolled prior to July 1, 2022), currently enrolled children should not be disenrolled. As children leave the program, the contractor must begin reserving those spaces for children with exceptional needs, until five percent of funded enrollment is met.

For more information about how to estimate the number of children contractors must serve to meet the percent of funded enrollment set aside requirements as well as information on the reimbursement for the required set aside, please refer to the Contractor Reporting Requirements and Reimbursement section below.

For more information on conducting community outreach to special education partners to enroll additional children with exceptional needs, see the Community Outreach resources listed in the Resources section at the end of this MB.

Further guidance regarding the waiver process and penalties, including but not limited to, conditional contract status for contractors not filling the set aside for children with exceptional needs, will be included in updated CCR, Title 5. The waivers and conditional contract status will not start until July 1, 2026.

Counting Children with Exceptional Needs Towards the Set Aside and Receiving the Adjustment Factor

In order to qualify as a child with exceptional needs, the child must have an active IFSP or IEP and be receiving services, pursuant to EC Section 8205(h). The days of enrollment for any child that qualifies as a child with exceptional needs, including children with severe disabilities, can be reported under the exceptional needs or severely disabled adjustment factor categories as appropriate on the Enrollment, Attendance and Fiscal Report. When a child’s days of enrollment is reported in the exceptional needs and severely disabled adjustment factor category, the contractor must also indicate on the monthly 801a report that the child as has an active IFSP or IEP.

Reporting the child’s days of enrollment in the exceptional needs or severely disabled adjustment factor categories will provide additional reimbursement due to the application of the adjustment factor.

Additionally, reporting the child’s days of enrollment in the exceptional needs or severely disabled adjustment categories will ensure that the child is counted towards the set aside.

Transitioning from an IFSP to an IEP
  • If a child with an IFSP is turning 3 years old and is undergoing an assessment to determine whether the child is eligible for an IEP, the child can count toward the set aside (and receive the exceptional needs adjustment factor) until the determination is made as to whether the child is eligible for an IEP.
  • If the child qualifies for an IEP and the parent consents to services, the child continues to count towards the set aside and receive the exceptional needs adjustment factor.
  • If the child qualifies for an IEP and the parent does not consent to special education services, the child does not continue to count towards the set aside and may not receive the exceptional needs adjustment factor.
  • If the child does not qualify for an IEP or is determined eligible for an Individual Program Plan (IPP) through the Regional Center when the IFSP closes, then the child no longer counts toward the set aside and may no longer receive the exceptional needs adjustment factor. For more information on IPPs, visit https://www.dds.ca.gov/rc/ipp/.
Children Referred for an Assessment
  • If a child without an IFSP is already enrolled in CSPP and is referred for a special education assessment, the child does not count toward the set aside or the adjustment factor until that child is determined eligible for special education services, has an active IEP, and is receiving services.
  • If a child qualifies for an IFSP or an IEP and the parent does not consent to any early intervention or special education services, the child does not count towards the set aside or adjustment factor.
Documenting Continuity of IFSPs and IEPs
  • Contractors are required to have a copy of the current IFSP or IEP at all times. If a current IFSP or IEP is not on file, the child does not count toward the set aside and the contractor will not receive the adjustment factor.
  • Contractors must develop and implement a written policy to inform families of the family’s obligation to provide up-to-date copies of the IFSP or the IEP, as well as any changes to the status of the IFSP or the IEP.
  • The IDEA requires IFSPs and IEPs to be reviewed periodically, but not less than semiannually for IFSPs and annually for IEPs. If an IFSP or an IEP is not current and the family has not provided: (1) an updated copy of the active IFSP or IEP, (2) information regarding transitioning from an IFSP to an IEP, or (3) the status of the annual IEP meeting, as applicable; contractors cannot count these children towards the set aside nor claim the exceptional needs adjustment factor for those children. However, if the family later provides an updated copy of the IFSP or IEP, the contractor may revise their fiscal reports to count that child towards the set aside and claim the exceptional needs adjustment factor during the time corresponding with the active IFSP or IEP.

Contractors shall keep case notes in the family data file about the status of children being counted towards the set aside and receiving the exceptional needs adjustment factor if the IFSP or IEP documentation alone is not sufficient to show exceptional needs status. For example, if a child does not have an active IFSP or IEP and is currently in the transition or annual review process, contractors must include the following information in case notes in the family data file:

  • Information about the status of the transition from IFSP to IEP or annual review IEP.
  • Communication with the family about the status of those processes.

Prioritizing and Enrolling in Part-Day and Full-Day for Children with Exceptional Needs

All CSPP contractors must set aside and reserve a percentage of their funded enrollment for children with exceptional needs, pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(1) and (d)(2)(A). Only children with exceptional needs, as defined in EC section 8205(h), may be enrolled in the set aside. Any other child in the family without exceptional needs may be enrolled based on any of the other eligibility categories that the family qualifies for, which can be found in EC Section 8208(a) and (d). For more information on eligibility please refer to the MB 23-01 on Eligibility and Priority at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2301.asp.

Children with exceptional needs from families with incomes above the income eligibility threshold, as described in EC Section 8213, shall not count towards the 10 percent limit on enrollment for families above the income eligibility threshold as provided in EC Section 8208(a)(3).

Within the set aside, pursuant to EC sections 8210(c) and 8211(c), children with exceptional needs from families with the lowest income, according to the income ranking on the most recent schedule of income ceiling eligibility table, must be enrolled first. If two or more families have the same income ranking, the child that has been on the waiting list the longest shall be enrolled first. For more information on priorities outside of the set aside please refer to the MB 23-01 on Eligibility and Priority at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2301.asp.

To view a diagram on enrolling children with exceptional needs in CSPP, download a diagram here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/documents/endiagram12023.docx.

24-Month Eligibility for Children with Exceptional Needs

If a child’s status of being a child with exceptional needs changes during their 24-month eligibility period, the family is not required to provide a contractor with notice of the change for purposes of maintaining eligibility or recertifying early. This includes children with IFSPs who are transitioning from an IFSP to an IEP and children who are assessed and found no longer eligible for an IEP. (However, as noted above, parents must provide information on IFSP or IEP status to contractors for purposes of determining whether the child counts towards the set aside and whether the child receives the exceptional needs adjustment factor.)

Family Fees for Children with Exceptional Needs Enrolled in CSPP Full-Day

Pursuant to 5 CCR 17734, all contractors must assess a family fee for families qualifying for full-day CSPP, which includes families with children with exceptional needs. Families with children with exceptional needs are required to self-certify their income for the purpose of assessing a family fee. Pursuant to 5 CCR 17734(k), families whose incomes are higher than the maximum income for their family size represented on the annual family fee schedule shall be charged the highest fee rate for their family size. Pursuant to 5 CCR 17735(c), families with an income level that, in relation to family size, is less than the first entry in the family fee schedule shall not have to pay a fee.

However, for children with exceptional needs who are placed in the CSPP pursuant to an IEP, no fees shall be collected from the family to ensure children with disabilities are provided a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Any family fee shall be paid by the local educational agency (LEA) placing the child with exceptional needs in the CSPP because the LEA placing the student with disabilities in the CSPP is responsible for providing the student with disabilities with a FAPE.

Pursuant to EC Section 8252, family fees are waived for all families effective July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. For more information on family fees, please refer to the MB on family fees, which can be accessed at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2207.asp.

Data Collection

Data related to children with exceptional needs will be collected by the CDE via Snap Survey. The Survey will collect additional information regarding funded enrollment of the entire contract and specific information on enrolled children with exceptional needs. The draft instructions and survey questions will be posted in the coming weeks on the Inclusive Early Education Resources page, which can be accessed at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/op/ieeresources.asp.

The 2022–23 data will be due in September 2023; and an MB that includes finalized questions will be released in Spring 2023. Contractors must also include in the survey responses how they were or were not able to meet the set-aside percentage of funded enrollment for children with exceptional needs. If the set aside was not met, the contractors will be expected to include information in the survey response about their conducted community outreach to special education partners to enroll additional children with exceptional needs.

Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Providing the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for Children with Exceptional Needs

Pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(3) and (d)(2)(C), children with exceptional needs attending CSPP must be educated in the LRE in accordance with Section 1412(a)(5)(A) of Title 20 of the United States Code and EC Section 56040. That is, to the maximum extent appropriate, individuals with exceptional needs must be educated with children who are nondisabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of individuals with exceptional needs from the educational environment may only occur if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and service cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the IEP team is responsible for determining the placement of a child with a disability, taking into consideration the LRE provisions. The CSPP program directors should be aware that, among other team members, the IEP team must include not less than one regular education teacher, if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment. Therefore, a regular education teacher from the CSPP may be required to participate as a member of the child’s IEP team.

The CSPP program directors should be aware that for children with an IFSP, the IDEA requires the IFSP team to include, among other participants, as appropriate, persons who will be providing early intervention services to the child or family.

Contractors must make every effort to enroll children with exceptional needs evenly throughout their program, throughout all contracted counties, sites, and classrooms. Concentrating enrollment for children with exceptional needs in specific counties, sites, or classrooms is not aligned with the intent of the new requirement to serve a certain percentage of children with exceptional needs in CSPP. The CDE will be monitoring program data to identify whether enrollment of children with exceptional needs is evenly distributed.

Changes to the Child Development Management Information System (CDMIS)

Updates to 801A Reporting

The Child Development Management Information System (CDMIS) has implemented all programming changes related to children with exceptional needs as of the July 2022 CDD-801A report.

The CDMIS is in the process of updating the “Child has an IEP” field to read “Child has an IEP or IFSP”. If a child has either an IEP or IFSP, contractors must input or mark “Yes” in the applicable box for this child to be reflected in the “Child has an IEP” count.

As a reminder, when a child with exceptional needs has a status change and is no longer a child with exceptional needs (i.e., child with an IFSP does not qualify for an IEP), contractors must change the “Child has an IEP or IFSP” selection to reflect the new status by unmarking that child in CDMIS.

If you have any questions about the CDMIS, please reach out to the CDMIS Support Team by email at CDMIS@cde.ca.gov.

Contractor Reporting Requirements and Reimbursement

Adjustment Factor for Children with Exceptional Needs and Children with Severe Disabilities

Assembly Bill (AB) 210 increased the adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs and children with severe disabilities, effective July 1, 2022. Specifically, the adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs has increased from 1.54 to 2.4, and the adjustment factor for children with severe disabilities has increased from 1.93 to 2.4. The FY 2022–23 Enrollment, Attendance, and Fiscal Report in the Child Development Provider Accounting Reporting Information System (CPARIS) has been updated to reflect this change to the exceptional needs and severely disabled adjustment factor.

Reporting Days of Enrollment for Children with Exceptional Needs and Children with Severe Disabilities

There is no change to reporting, as contractors shall continue to report subsidized children enrolled as exceptional needs or severely disabled under the applicable categories on the Enrollment, Attendance, and Fiscal Report. Please note that for a child with exceptional needs or severe disabilities to qualify, the child needs an active IFSP or IEP and must be receiving services, as previously described in this MB.

Reimbursement for Required Set Aside

The EC Section 8205(ae) defines funded enrollment as the number of subsidized children funded to be enrolled, based on the MRA, contract rate, inclusive of any adjustment factors, and approved program calendar, by a CSPP contractor. Pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(1) and (d)(2), in FY 2022–23, CSPP contractors are required to set aside five percent of funded enrollment for children with exceptional needs as defined in EC Section 8205.

To ensure funding is available to enroll children with exceptional needs within the required set aside, contractors will be fully funded for the percentage of funded enrollment set aside, pursuant to EC sections 8208(c)(2)(B) and (d)(2)(B)(ii). The CDE will advance the funding set aside for children with exceptional needs based on the normal apportionment schedule, regardless of whether the contractor is fully earning their set aside amount.

The CDE will determine the extent to which contractors are earning their set aside amount based on the child days of enrollment reported within the exceptional needs and severely disabled adjustment factor categories. Contractors who are not fully earning the amount set aside to serve children with exceptional needs will receive a service-level exemption credit, which allows the contractor to be reimbursed for identified expenses without meeting the service requirement.

The EENFS contract earnings calculations will be updated to include the required set aside amount, the earnings associated with the set aside amount, and the service-level exemption credit. Contractors will be able to use this information to track their earnings related to the set aside amount.

Additional information on how the CDE will apply the service-level exemption can be found in the EENFS FY 2022–23 Contract Changes for Preschool Contractors Letter, which can be accessed at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/beginningyrlttr22.asp [Link no longer available].

Determining the Funded Enrollment Associated with the Set Aside

Contractors are issued one annual CSPP contract that, upon approval, can be used to provide a combination of part-day and full-day CSPP services and can be used to provide services across multiple counties. These factors are necessary to calculate the funded enrollment associated with the amount set aside for children with exceptional needs or severe disabilities.

The EENFS has developed the Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator which contractors can use as a tool to help determine the number of children associated with the five percent set aside requirement. It is not a requirement to submit the Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator to CDE. The Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator is available on the EENFS web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/ or to download the calculator visit https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/documents/fundedenrollmentcalculator.xlsx.

To use the Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator, contractors will identify the counties in which they plan to serve children with exceptional needs, the percentage associated with each county, and the percentage of exceptional needs enrollment they expect to enroll in their full-day and part-day programs.

Please note that the Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator rounds the calculated number of slots associated with the set aside requirement up to the nearest whole number. If actual exceptional needs enrollment is in line with the percentage assumptions entered in the Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator, rounding up will ensure that contractors fully earn their set aside amount. Throughout the fiscal year, if actual enrollment differs from the percentages originally entered in the Exceptional Needs Funded Enrollment Calculator, the contractor should update the assumptions used in the calculator. Updating the calculator will provide a more accurate number of slots associated with the set aside requirement.

Background and Authority

On June 30, 2022, the Governor signed the fiscal year 2022–23 Budget Trailer Bill for the Early Education Act, AB 210, which amended EC sections 8205, 8208, 8210, 8211, and 8244 to change contractor requirements regarding children with exceptional needs in CSPP programs.

On September 27, 2022, the Governor signed AB 185 (Chapter 571, Statutes of 2022), which amended EC sections 8208, 8210, and 8211 to provide additional clarification on contractor requirements regarding children with exceptional needs in CSPP programs.

These legislative enactments made the following amendments to the EC:

  • The EC Section 8205(h) defines “children with exceptional needs” as children with an active IFSP and receiving early intervention services or an active IEP and receiving early intervention services or appropriate special education. The requirement related to needing the special attention of adults in a childcare setting has been deleted.
  • The EC Section 8205(s) now defines “children with severe disabilities” as children with exceptional needs from birth to 21 years of age, inclusive, who require intensive instruction and training in programs serving pupils with the following profound disabilities: autism, blindness, deafness, severe orthopedic impairments, serious emotional disturbances, or severe intellectual disabilities. “Children with severe disabilities” also include those individuals who would have been eligible for enrollment in a developmental center for handicapped pupils under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 56800) of Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2 as it read on January 1, 1980.
  • The EC Section 8208 now includes children with exceptional needs as an eligibility category for CSPP. The EC Section 8208 requires siblings of children with exceptional needs to qualify for CSPP under another eligibility category.
  • The EC sections 8208(c)(1) and (d)(2)(A) require contractors to set aside and reserve funded enrollment for children with exceptional needs. The EC sections 8210(c) and 8211(c) require within the set aside, children with the lowest income must be enrolled first. If two or more families have the same income ranking, the child that has been on the waiting list the longest must be admitted first.
  • The EC sections 8208(c)(2)(A) and (d)(2)(B)(I) requires the California Department of Education to review data on compliance on the set aside funded enrollment for children with exceptional needs. The CDE must provide technical assistance to contractors to assist them in meeting the set aside. Contractors not meeting the set aside must conduct community outreach to special education partners to enroll additional children with exceptional needs.
  • Once the set-aside is full, EC sections 8210(a) and 8211(a) now require contractors to give second priority for enrollment to three- and four-year-children with exceptional needs and incomes below the income eligibility threshold from EC Section 8213. Families with the lowest income must be enrolled first. Contractors can enroll children with exceptional needs from families with incomes over the income eligibility threshold outside of the set-aside, but they fall later down the priority list. For more information about enrollment priorities, contractors should refer to the MB 23-01 on Eligibility and Priority at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/mb2301.asp
  • The EC 8224 requires children with exceptional needs be given equal access to all CSPP.
  • The EC 8244 requires the adjustment factor for children with exceptional needs and children with severe disabilities to be 2.40.
  • The EC sections 8208(c)(4) and (d)(2)(D) require the CDE to initiate a rulemaking action to implement the changes to EC 8208(c) and (d) no later than December 31, 2023, which will supersede this guidance.
  • In the interim, pursuant to authority provided in EC sections 8208(c)(4) and 8208(d)(2)(D)(i), this Management Bulletin constitutes official guidance to implement EC sections 8208(c), 8208(d)(2) and thus the directives in this MB with respect to implementing these sections are mandatory.

The 5 CCR 17734(j) requires contractors to still assess a family fee for families who are certified based on an eligibility criterion other than income eligibility. These families are required to self-certify their income for the purposes of assessing a family fee.

The 5 CCR 17734(k) requires contractors to assess the highest fee rate for the family size for families with incomes higher than the maximum income for their family size.

Resources

For more resources on inclusion, the special education assessment and evaluation process, developmental milestones, making referrals and more, please visit the Inclusive Early Education Resources web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/op/ieeresources.asp.

For Community Outreach on Children with Exceptional Needs

If you have programmatic questions related to this MB, please contact your assigned EED, Program Quality Implementation (PQI) office regional consultant. The EED, PQI regional consultant directory web page can be accessed at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/ci/assignments.asp.

If you have fiscal questions regarding the information in this MB, please contact your assigned EENFS fiscal apportionment analyst. The EENFS fiscal analyst directory web page can be located at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/cd/faad.asp.

Questions:   Early Education Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 11, 2024
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