Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

ARPA Funding for Early Education FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) stabilization funding application.

Please be aware that these FAQs pertain to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) stabilization funding application. Contractors who would like to learn more about this funding can visit the ARPA Information web page. To view the contents of the application, please visit the ARPA Survey Information web page.

ARPA Stipends
ARPA Survey
Reporting
ARPA Eligibility
Miscellaneous

ARPA Stipends

  1. Is the $600 stipend per license or per site?

    Per Assembly Bill (AB) 131, the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) flat-rate one-time $600 stipends are a per-child stipend based on subsidized enrollments as of March 2021. As the California Department of Education (CDE) receives ARPA survey data, which is reported by each contractor at the site level, stipends will be released for eligible sites.

  2. The California Department of Social Services (DSS) is issuing a stipend based on a program’s licensed capacity. Is this stipend only for General Child Care and Development Programs (CCTR) since it is issued through DSS?

    A child care facility that held a license on June 25, 2021 is eligible for the “licensed stipend”, which for Centers varies in amount depending upon the corresponding license maximum capacity on record; this eligibility applies to any CSPP, Child Care Center, or Family Child Care Home with a license on June 25, 2021. For more information about eligibility, amounts, and how to receive the licensed stipends, visit the licensed stipends web page External link opens in new window or tab. and read our FAQs.

  3. Will the $600 stipends be issued automatically or will we need to apply?

    The $600 per child stipends based on March 2021 subsidized enrollment will be provided by CDE after the completion of the ARPA survey, and after the CDE determines that the contractor is eligible to receive ARPA funds. There will be no need to apply separately.

  4. Is there an approval process to receive ARPA funds or does everyone who applies for funding receive it?

    Recipients of ARPA funds must qualify to receive ARPA funds. The ARPA survey will determine eligibility. To qualify for ARPA funding, an individual CSPP site or family child care home must be either:

    1. Open or
    2. Temporarily closed due to a public health order, financial hardship, or other reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Additionally, a program must be either:

    1. Licensed, regulated, or registered on or before March 11, 2021, or
    2. Meet all currently required Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) health and safety requirements, including the completion of comprehensive background checks.

Return to Top

ARPA Survey

  1. Will CDE be administering the ARPA survey only for CSPP contracts or will it be for all contract types (i.e. CCTR, CSPP)? What about sites with mixes (CCTR and CSPP)?

    The CDE is only administering the survey for CSPP contracts. Mix sites (sites with both CCTR and CSPP children in attendance) should submit surveys to both CDE and CDSS. For questions related to CCTR contracts or the DSS ARPA survey, please email ccpb@dss.ca.gov

  2. Is there a deadline to expend ARPA funds?

    ARPA funds are available for obligation by CSPP contractors until September 30, 2023 per the federal award provided by the Administration for Children and Families. Any funds not obligated or expended during the availability period may be carried over and may be obligated and expended during the succeeding fiscal year. Therefore, the CSPP has until September 30, 2024 to expend the funds.

  3. How will these funds be disbursed (one time, monthly)?

    One-time $600 stipend allocations based on the number of subsidized children enrolled as of March 2021 will be allocated as the CDE receives survey responses. If a CSPP submits a response for all sites on the same day, it is likely that the CDE will issue one stipend payment to the CSPP. If a CSPP submits multiple survey responses across a period of time, it is possible that multiple allocations will be provided.

    ARPA funding provided to increase the contract reimbursement rate to non-LEA CSPPs will be incorporated into the CSPP contract terms (note that increased contract rates for LEA CSPPs will be funded by Proposition 98 funds and not ARPA). The CDE, Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services (CDNFS) office processes advance payment to CSPP contractors throughout the fiscal year based on enrollment, attendance, and fiscal report data. Therefore, ARPA funds provided for contract rate increases will be provided throughout the fiscal year and based on data submitted by CSPP contractors. 

  4. Do CSPP-only contractors have to complete the DSS survey as well as the CDE survey?

    CSPP contractors that are applying to receive ARPA funds from the DSS, in addition to ARPA funds being administered by CDE, must also complete an ARPA survey that is being administered by the DSS. This includes contractors that are applying for stipends based on a CSPP program’s licensed capacity; these stipends are being administered by the DSS Community Care Licensing Division. Information about the licensed provider stipends and a link to the DSS ARPA survey can be found on the Child Care Licensing web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Questions related to the “licensed stipends” funded by ARPA and distributed by DSS, questions relating to eligibility, amounts, registration processes, timelines to receive, and more should be directed to the dedicated Licensed Child Care Facility Stabilization Stipends web page External link opens in new window or tab..

  5. If we are a new CSPP site that was recently licensed but are waiting for our executed contract, vendor number, and/or CDMIS account, should we submit the survey?

    All programs are eligible to submit the survey and may be eligible for ARPA funds even if they were not licensed and didn’t have a contract on or before March 11, 2021, as long as they meet all currently required Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) health and safety requirements, including the completion of comprehensive background checks. Please note, the $600 stipend will only be given to those CSPP sites serving children in March of 2021, but contractors that open after March 2021 may qualify for rate increases.

Return to Top

Reporting

  1. We are a County Office of Education (COE) that subcontracts out to county programs. Do we submit one survey or one for each of our subcontractors?

    You will submit one survey for each of your subcontractor's specific sites. If your subcontractor has multiple sites, you will need to submit multiple surveys for that subcontractor.

  2. If you have a classroom that is open for the morning session but not open for the afternoon session due to low enrollment, are they considered open?

    Yes, that is considered open.

  3. How do I report capacity if I have two sessions (AM & PM)?

    If the site is licensed, the capacity is based on the license maximum capacity on record, so reporting will be based off what the license on record indicates. If you are an LEA with an unlicensed site that serves four-year-old children, you will report the identified capacity of the classroom, which should represent the maximum number of children that can be in attendance at any given time.

  4. If an LEA has 28 site licenses, will the survey allow for us to report on each license?

    The CDE ARPA Survey collects data by site. Within the survey, the CSPP can provide licensing information (license number(s) and licensed capacity) for each site, as well as the identified capacity for license-exempt sites. 

  5. If we are the CSPP contract holder and have subcontractors, should the contractor complete the survey for the subcontractor sites, or can they complete the surveys for themselves?

    The CDE can only provide funds directly to the CSPP contractor. As such, the subcontractor should be treated as any other site. It is acceptable for the CSPP administrative offices to collect the necessary data from each site and submit the survey on behalf of each site. It is also acceptable for each site supervisor to submit the survey on behalf of the site. The CSPP contractor should communicate to each site, including subcontracted sites, to ensure awareness of the ARPA funding survey.

  6. I am a site supervisor/director and have not yet received the link. Where can I get the link to the survey?

    The survey link was sent to all CSPP Program Directors on September 24, 2021. The CDE utilized the CDMIS to identify Program Directors and their email addresses. If the Program Director did not receive the link to the ARPA survey, please email ARPASurvey@cde.ca.gov so that the link can be re-sent.

Return to Top

ARPA Eligibility

  1. If we had to cap student enrollment in a classroom in order to meet ratio requirements, would we equalify for ARPA funds? We normally have 3 adults and 24 students, but have not been able to hire a 3rd adult and cap at 16 to remain in an 8:1 ratio. Would this qualify for funds since we are not able to meet contract due to numbers or is this obsolete since we are being held harmless?

    Yes, you may still qualify. Eligibility for ARPA funds is not dependent on the number of children a CSPP is able to provide care for. To qualify for ARPA funding, an individual CSPP site or a family child care home must be either:

    1. Open or
    2. Temporarily closed due to a public health order, financial hardship, or other reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Additionally, a program must be either:

    1. Licensed, regulated, or registered on or before March 11, 2021, or
    2. Meet all currently required CCDF health and safety requirements, including the completion of comprehensive background checks.

  2. If a site is temporarily closed due to a lack of qualified staff, can we apply for ARPA funds?

    Yes, if a CSPP is temporarily closed due to lack of qualified staff as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the program may be eligible to receive ARPA funds. In this instance, the CSPP would choose the option within the survey “Temporarily closed due to a public health order, financial hardship, or other reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  3. Our licenses are for children ages 2−5. But our CSPP contract is for children 3−5. Is the capacity determined by our CSPP contract or by our license? Also, if we operate more than one site/license, are stipends for each site or for the agency as a whole?

    The capacity is determined by the license. If you operate more than one site, you will submit a survey for each site. The survey will allow you to enter each license number and the capacity information for each license that is associated with the site. 

    Reimbursement for the one-time $600 stipends per subsidized child enrolled as of March 2021 is determined by enrollment data submitted in the CDMIS, and not by capacity data submitted in the survey. Capacity data is a requirement of the federal government, and the CDE must therefore collect this data, but it is not the basis of stipend allocations.

Return to Top

Miscellaneous

  1. Are ARPA funds reported as “restricted income”?

    How income is reported on CDNFS reports is dependent on how the funds are expended. Please reach out to your assigned CDNFS fiscal analyst for guidance. To determine which analyst is assigned to your county, please visit the Fiscal Analyst Directory web page.

  2. If rate increases are part of ARPA, how do we determine exactly how we are using those funds? And can we use them on overhead?

    The allowable uses of ARPA funds are as follows:

    • Personnel costs, premium pay, and recruitment and retention
    • Rent or mortgage payments, utilities, facilities maintenance and improvements, or insurance
    • Personal protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation supplies and services
    • Training and professional development related to health and safety practices
    • Purchases of, or updates to, equipment and supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Goods and services necessary to maintain or resume child care services
    • Mental health supports for children and employees


    When completing the ARPA survey, select the options that you intend to use the funds. You may expend ARPA funds differently than anticipated at the time this survey was completed, without prior CDE approval, as long as the expenditures are within these categories.

  3. Will there be a 5 percent administrative cost included in the Fall $600 per subsidized enrollment stipend?

    The additional 5 percent administration allocation for the $600 stipends will only be distributed to CSPP programs that operate a Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN), as this allocation is intended to provide financial support to CSPPs that will distribute stipend allocations to FCCHEN providers.

  4. Will there be an email to request the March 2021 enrollment numbers for the $600 per subsidized enrollment stipend or will this be taken directly from our report?

    Contractors and providers were notified via the ELCD email subscription list on June 28, 2021 that the March 2021 data submitted in the CDMIS 801A report must be reviewed and revised, if necessary, by June 9, 2021. This data will be used to calculate stipend allocations. Contractors do not need to submit any additional information.

  5. If we are a CSPP part day program, could we qualify for both the ARPA $600 per subsidized child stipend and the DSS disbursement?

    Yes. Both CDE and DSS are administering ARPA surveys because both departments are administering ARPA funds. To be eligible for ARPA funds released by CDE, contractors must complete the CDE ARPA survey. To be eligible for ARPA funds released by DSS, contractors must complete the DSS ARPA survey.

    Contractors applying for stipends based on a CSPP’s licensed capacity must complete the DSS ARPA survey, as the DSS Community Care Licensing Division is administering those funds.

Return to Top

If you have any specific questions about the survey, please send your questions to the ARPA Survey email box at ARPASurvey@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Early Learning & Care Division | ARPASurvey@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Related Content
  • ARPA Stabilization Funding
    California State Preschool Program (CSPP) contractors complete a survey that is required in order to receive American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) stabilization funding.
  • ARPA Survey Information
    This page contains the survey questions contained in the ARPA Stabilization Fund Application.
Recently Posted in Child Development
  • MB 21-14 (added 08-Nov-2021)
    Provides information and guidance on the Continued Funding Application for Fiscal Year 2022-23 for Early Education California State Preschool Program (CSPP) contractors.
  • ARPA Funding for Early Education FAQs (added 27-Oct-2021)
    Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) stabilization funding application.
  • 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.