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FAQs for Early Learning and Care Programs

Frequently Asked Questions for Early Learning and Care Providers.

Please note that the CDE responses to the FAQs and Management Bulletins released by the California Department of Education (CDE) do NOT apply to all child care programs statewide, but rather pertain solely to CDE contractors currently holding contracts to provide access to care using state subsidies.

Parents who would like to access Emergency Childcare should visit the Resource and Referral County Listing web page. The local Resource and Referral Agency within your county is there to help connect parents with finding childcare providers. If you would like to access subsidized care you will need to inform the Resource and Referral Agency, who will be able to walk you through the process of enrolling in subsidized childcare.

Payments to Providers
Attendance Reporting
Family Fees
Telework

Reporting

Fiscal
Child and Adult Care Food Program
Emergency Childcare
Emergency Closure
Additional Funds and Resources
Program Quality

Payments to Providers

1) Which providers does the 30-day limit apply to?

The 30-day limit applies to center, family child care home, and license-exempt providers paid through a subsidy voucher/certificate from an Alternative Payment (AP) program (Migrant Alternative Payment Program; CalWORKs Stage 2; CalWORKs Stage 3; California Alternative Payment Program).

2) If a provider paid through a subsidy voucher/certificate from an AP program is closed beyond 30 days, will the provider continue to be reimbursed after that time?

No, the AP contractors must only authorize reimbursement for 30 calendar days to providers that are paid through a subsidy voucher.

3) According to Management Bulletin (MB) 20-04, AP contractors may reimburse providers for 30 days after closure. When does the 30 days start?

The 30 days begins on the first day the provider closed and stopped providing childcare.

4) Do AP contractors need to provide written notice to providers 14 days before payment to the provider ends?

No, however, the CDE requires that AP contractors make reasonable efforts to contact all providers impacted by this policy that payment will be ending 30 days from the date the provider closed.

5) We have providers that have had to close intermittently due to a lack of supplies. Are providers that have closed intermittently eligible to receive reimbursement for 30 calendar days when they have to close intermittently?

Providers receiving reimbursement through a voucher/certificate may choose to close for 30 consecutive calendar days or may close intermittently for up to the number of operating days it would have been open during the 30 day period, during the COVID-19 state of emergency. AP providers who have already closed for 30 consecutive calendar days cannot be reimbursed for additional operating days of closure during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

When using closure days intermittently, providers shall clearly indicate these dates of closure on the attendance record/invoice. AP contractors will reimburse providers based on the directive in MB 20-04.

6) If a childcare provider, including family childcare home, center, or license exempt, closes due to the declared State of Emergency and a family must find another childcare provider, can an AP contractor pay an alternate provider to provide care?

Yes, families who still need services, but whose usual provider is closed, can select an alternate provider that will be paid. 
 
Essential worker families can select an alternate provider if their usual provider is closed. AP contractors should reimburse an alternate provider when the regular provider is not open to provide services.  

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Attendance Reporting

1) How should a center-based contractor attendance reporting be completed if a program shut down in mid-March? How should dates be reported for the first half of March if those were not processed prior to closure? 

For center-based contractors that closed mid-March, the CDNFS report should include all days of enrollment and days of operation as if the contractor remained physically open through the end March, but only reflect the actual days of attendance. ELCD is preparing a management bulletin for COVID–19 pandemic emergency closures that will provide further guidance on how a contractor can be reimbursed for the days of attendance lost during the time of closure.

2) Are authorized staff allowed to sign off on children’s sign in/out sheets and provide the reason for the absence?  

Yes, providers are authorized to sign the attendance record and note the reason for the absence when parent is not available. The provider shall sign the daily sign in/out sheet or invoice and state that the child is absent due to COVID-19 pandemic.   

3) Are attendance reports needed only to increase apportionment amounts?  

Contractors, who are able, are encouraged to submit a February and/or March attendance and fiscal report before May 20, 2020 if the report data benefits the contractor. This may include instances when a contractor has increased enrollment since their last reporting period, thus increasing the calculated apportionment amount due. For example, if the most recent report you submitted is a December 2019 report, and if you increased enrollment in the months January through March, it will be to your benefit to submit a report prior to May 20th to ensure your apportionment payment captures the increased enrollment. 

4) I already submitted my attendance records and one parent did not sign because of COVID-19; I did not state that on my record at the time. What should I do? 

Providers that are paid through family subsidy vouchers may submit an invoice or attendance record without the parent signature if the parent is unavailable to sign due to COVID-19. If the provider can safely resubmit the attendance record via electronic means to note that the absence was COVID-19 pandemic related, we encourage them to do so. If they are not able to, please contact the AP contractor.   
 
If a contractor needs to make a change to any previously reported data, contractors may submit revisions to CDNFS at any time during the fiscal year. Contractors should contact their CDNFS fiscal analyst if there are any questions related to submitting revisions.     

 5) If a CSPP is offering an online program and children are attending, can they be marked as attending?

Yes, you can sign a parent in on the daily roster which shows the child as attending subject to conditions: 1) The parent is participating in one of your CSPP online classes and 2) the parent communicates to you that COVID-19 pandemic prevents him/her from signing in and out. 

6) Our agency’s sites have been forced to close due to COVID-19 but we are still providing distance learning services per the directive outlined in Management Bulletin 20-09. Do we still need to report the families receiving the distance learning services on the CDD-801A Monthly Child Care Population Report? (Posted 5/21/2020)

Yes, if your agency is providing distance learning services that have been approved by your assigned Program Quality Implementation consultant, please report those families receiving services on the CDD-801A Monthly Child Care Population Report.

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Family Fees

1) Do contractors issue refunds to parents who have full day co-pays for shutdown days?  

Co-pays are an agreement between the provider and parent for the amount in excess of the maximum reimbursable rate. This fee is not covered under the MB to temporarily waive family fees and therefore no adjustments to this fee will be made. 

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Telework

1) Can I issue NOA’s and Certificates electronically?  

Yes. Contractors can use digital signatures, maintain records electronically, or convert records from a paper format to an electronic format.  Please refer to Management Bulletin 16-02 for additional guidance. 

2) Can families be enrolled electronically?

Families can be enrolled electronically.  Please refer to MB 17-13 for additional information. 

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Reporting

1) Our agency is closed at this time and does not have staff to submit reports required by our contract. Will extensions be granted during this time to ensure that we are not out of compliance?  

Pursuant to MB 20-04, the deadline to submit the February 2020 monthly report or March 2020 quarterly report has been extended to May 20, 2020. The following list identifies the specific reports that have been granted the extension: 

  • CDNFS 1400 – Child Care for Children with Severe Disabilities (CHAN) Fiscal and Attendance Report  
  • CDNFS 8501, CDNFS 8501MHCS, CDNFS 8501SC, CDNFS 8501MHCSSC, CDNFS 8501SF, CDNFS 8501MHCSSF - California State Preschool (CSPP) Fiscal and Attendance Reports  
  • CDNFS 9500, CDNFS 9500MCHS - General Child Care (CCTR) and Migrant (CMIG) Fiscal and Attendance Reports  
  • CDNFS 9500-A - Migrant Special Services (CMSS) Fiscal Report  
  • Fiscal Reports submitted online for CalWORKs Stage 2 and Stage 3 (C2AP and C3AP), Alternative Payment (CAPP), Family Child Care (CFCC), Migrant Alternative Payment (CMAP) 
  • CalWORKs Caseload Report 
  • CDNFS 2507 - Resource and Referral (CRRP) Fiscal Report  
  • CDNFS 9529 CCIP - Revenue and Expenditure Report for CCIP Contracts  
  • CDNFS 9259 - Revenue and Expenditure Report for Support Contracts  

During this time, any contractors who were not previously subject to withholding of apportionments prior to the COVID-19 emergency will continue to receive monthly apportionment payments. 
 
The CDE will continue to monitor the state declared State of Emergency related to COVID-19 and will issue further guidance on reporting requirements where necessary. 

2) What is the deadline for submitting reports (801A, 801B, self-review etc.)? 

Due to the state-declared State of Emergency related to COVID-19, the deadline to submit the CDD-801A Monthly Child Care Population Report (CDD-801A) and CDD-801B Monthly Sample Report (CDD-801B) to the Child Development Management Information System (CDMIS) has been extended.  Please see the tables below that identify the updated deadlines:  

CDD-801A:
Report Month Due Date
February 2020 May 20, 2020
March 2020 May 20, 2020
April 2020 May 20, 2020

CDD-801B:
Report Month Due Date
January 2020 May 20, 2020

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

3) Can current reporting practices for providers requiring paper attendance records or invoices be modified to allow for email/electronic submission? 

Yes.

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Fiscal

1) Does the CDE have a plan to ensure contractor’s apportionments keep coming if they are impacted with severe staffing shortages?  

Pursuant to MB 20-04 any contractors who were not previously subject to withholding of apportionments prior to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency will continue to receive monthly apportionment payments. 
 
The CDNFS Unit will use the most current attendance and fiscal report to project earnings. These projections will be the basis for determining the monthly apportionment payments.  

2) Will AP contractors be allowed flexibility in timelines for making provider payments? 

No. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, requires reimbursement to providers within 21 days of receipt of invoice. All ELCD contractors should have a plan for reimbursing providers timely in the event of an emergency. 

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Child and Adult Care Food Program

1) Can visits cease for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)? 

For the most updated and current information regarding the CACFP, please visit the Nutrition Services Division “Nutrition What’s New” web page

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Emergency Childcare

1) If we closed some classrooms but not all, how do we properly transfer students whose families are essential workers into open classrooms? (Posted 4/30/20)

Programs should move students into classrooms per the group sizes and ratios listed in MB 20-06 and in the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Provider Information Notice (PIN) #20-06-CCP.

2) What resources are available to ensure health and safety guidelines and protection of caregivers who are providing services to essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

The CDSS PIN #20-06-CCP includes guidance on health and safety practices and protection for caregivers and children. In addition, the CDE offers the following considerations for cleaning early learning and care classrooms and supplies:

  • Consider removing materials from the classroom that are harder to clean (e.g., soft toys).
  • Follow regular cleaning protocols and use an EPA-registered disinfectant that is active against coronavirus, a list of which can be found on the EPA's Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 web page External link opens in new window or tab. .
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and at night, including but not limited to:
    • Door handles, crash bars, and doorknobs
    • Entry windows
    • Office counters and surfaces
    • Handrails
    • Sinks and drinking fountains
    • Dispensers
    • Desks and tables
    • Bathrooms
    • Anything else that is handled frequently by multiple children and staff
  • Clean and sanitize all toys at the end of the day.
  • Clean any machine washable items on the hottest setting.
  • Keep a designated bin for separating toys that have been in children’s mouths. When a child is done with a mouthed toy, place it in a bin that is inaccessible to other children and wash hands. Clean and sanitize toys prior to returning them to the children’s area.
  • Increase the early childhood program’s cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, while being careful with children in the near vicinity.

The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health released COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Childcare Programs Guidance External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), which offers additional guidance. The California Childcare Health Program offers a Health and Safety Manual and Checklist associated with the Caring for Our Children national health and safety performance standards and guidelines for early care and education programs, which includes guidance on cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, this can be found on the National Resource Center for Health and Safety Caring for Our Children Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting web page External link opens in new window or tab. , and prevention of exposure to bodily fluids that can be found on the National Resource Center for Health and Safety Caring for Our Children Hygiene web page External link opens in new window or tab. .

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers a page of guidance For Child Care Programs That Remain Open and Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs. The CDC also has a guide on how to clean and disinfect schools which has information relevant to early learning and care providers that can be found in the Center for Disease Control School Guide for How to Clean and Disinfect Schools External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

3) Are slots temporary for children that enroll in Emergency Childcare? (Posted 4/30/20)

Yes, at this time Emergency Childcare for essential workers, at-risk populations, and children with an IEP or IFSP that require ELC services, will only be provided through June 30, 2020 or until the State of Emergency has been lifted, whichever occurs first.

4) Will currently enrolled children have a place in care when the shelter-in-place order is lifted? (Posted 4/30/20)

Yes, providers will resume serving currently enrolled children, beginning July 1, 2020, unless MB 20-06 is extended, rescinded sooner, or the State of Emergency has ended. Currently enrolled children cannot be disenrolled during this time, and must have their spot available when the shelter-in-place order is lifted. This change does not affect any family’s 12-month eligibility for care.

5) What should a program do if a child that was previously enrolled, but has not been attending, returns to care once slots have been allocated to children of essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

All currently-enrolled families have the option to stay in care, or return to care, before any new essential worker or at-risk families are enrolled for emergency care. Providers should make a good faith effort to confirm each enrolled child’s plans for care before enrolling new families. In the instances where a new family was enrolled, and a currently enrolled family wishes to return to care, but the provider would be over group size requirements, the provider should resume care for the currently enrolled child and submit a group size capacity waiver to their CDE regional consultant.

6) Is there a deadline for currently enrolled children to return to care? Is there a deadline for when programs that reopen must begin enrolling children of essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

No there is no deadline for currently enrolled children to return to care. The CDE encourages contractors who plan to provide emergency care to reach out to families quickly because all currently enrolled families must have the option to return to care before new families are enrolled. Once the contractor has given currently enrolled families the option to return, they can begin new enrollments for at-risk populations, essential workers, and children with an IEP or IFSP that require ELC services.

7) Can a contractor with unused California State Preschool Program (CSPP) funding use that funding for General Child Care (CCTR) to serve essential worker families? (Posted 4/30/20)

Non-LEA contractors may request an intra-agency funding transfer between their own CSPP and CCTR contracts in order to utilize contract funding to serve essential workers or at-risk populations. Intra-agency transfers are only available to non-LEAs, as non-LEA agreements are not funded by prop 98 funds.

Non-LEA contractors may submit a transfer request between May 1 and May 15, 2020. Approved transfer requests will only be for the current fiscal year.

If a non-LEA contractor believes that their transfer request needs to be processed prior to these dates due to cash flow issues caused by COVID-19, they may submit a request to their fiscal analyst for consideration prior to May 1st.

8) Are currently enrolled children whose parents are not essential workers allowed to return to care? (Posted 4/30/20)

Contractors who remain open, or reopen, during the State of Emergency should communicate with their current families that they expect them to remain at home during the shelter-in-place order unless they are an essential worker family. Families who choose to remain in care during this period, or return to care, will be presumed to be essential workers or part of an at-risk population.

9) Can a contractor request additional funding through a Voluntary Temporary Transfer (VTT) to serve essential worker families? (Posted 4/30/20)

LEA and Non-LEAs can participate in a VTT of funds. The process requires participation from an underearning contractor who voluntarily relinquishes part of their contract to provide funding to an over earning contractor.

The VTT period is between May 1and May 15. Approved transfer requests are temporary and will only apply to the current fiscal year. The CDE strongly encourages contractors who are underearning allow their funds to be part of the support for Emergency Childcare by either opening up and serving them or by participating in a VTT of funds.

More information regarding the VTT process can be found on the California Department of Education Local Child Care and Development Planning Councils web page.

10) Are license-exempt providers eligible for the emergency enrollments? (Posted 4/30/20)

Alternative Payment (AP) contractors may allow new enrollments of children for Emergency Childcare provided their contract funds support the additional enrollment. Families that receive vouchers from an AP agency may choose the provider who will provide care for their child.

11) What documentation is needed in order to certify a family for Emergency Childcare? (Posted 4/30/20)

New families that need childcare must apply for Emergency Childcare by completing the COVID-19 2020 Confidential Application for Emergency Childcare Services, and complete the COVID-19 Self-Certification document. This will be the only documentation required in order to certify the family for Emergency Childcare services.

12) Are newly enrolled at-risk families eligible through June 30, 2020 or do they get 12-month eligibility? (Posted 4/30/20)

Newly enrolled at-risk families that enroll in Emergency Childcare with the minimal documentation as listed in MB 20-06 will not have 12-month eligibility. If the family would typically be eligible for services, they may enroll in the program once the State of Emergency is lifted following the requirements in Title 5 and the 12-Month Eligibility Implementation Guidance in MB 17-14 to receive 12-month eligibility.

13) How should direct service contractors address physician reports and immunization records? (Posted 4/30/20)

All center-based contractors, including those that provide services through a Family Child Care Home Education Network, shall maintain a family data file which shall contain all child health and current emergency information required by the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, sections 101220.1 and 101221.

14) Can programs use existing classrooms to serve children of essential workers and at-risk populations? For example, some agencies have empty classrooms that do not serve subsidized children, can these classrooms be used to expand services on a temporary basis? (Posted 4/30/20)

Yes, contractors can use other classrooms to serve currently enrolled subsidized children or enroll new children if they have the funds available to enroll emergency workers. As always, contractors can accept private pay families if there are not funds available in the contract. Contractors must follow any directives from Community Care Licensing for any spaces that have not previously been licensed for the age group being served.

15) Our program wants to re-open licensed sites to provide Emergency Childcare, but some of their current childcare staff cannot return to work (due to health or other reasons). Is there any flexibility with regards to staff permits? (Posted 4/30/20)

Yes, during the state of emergency, contractors may utilize staff that meet the requirements of a “fully qualified teacher” in Title 22, in place of a “teacher”. For more specific information on the requirements of a “fully qualified teacher” see the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 101216.1(c).

To be a “fully qualified teacher”, child care staff must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Twelve postsecondary semester or equivalent quarter units in early childhood education or child development completed, with passing grades, at an accredited or approved college or university; and at least six months of work experience in a licensed child care center or comparable group child care program, or
  2. A current and valid Child Development Associate (CDA) credential with the appropriate age-level endorsement issued by the CDA National Credentialing Program of the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition; and at least six months of on-the-job training and/or work experience in a licensed child care center or comparable group child care program or
  3. One of the following Child Development Permits issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
    • Child Development Associate Teacher Permit; or
    • Child Development Teacher Permit; or
    • Child Development Master Teacher Permit.
16) Are contractors required to send out a Notice of Action to the family once they are certified for Emergency Care? (Posted 4/30/20)

Families must be given written notice that they are certified for Emergency Childcare as set forth in MB 20-06; this can be through the use of a Notice of Action (NOA). Contractors should state on any notice or NOA that the family is only certified for services until June 30, 2020 or until the State of Emergency has ended, whichever occurs first. Contractors may send the notice or NOA electronically to the family.

17) Do currently enrolled families have to sign a self-certification that they are an essential worker? (Posted 4/30/20)

No, currently enrolled families are not required to self-certify that they are essential workers. Any currently enrolled family that does not shelter-in-place is presumed to be an essential worker.

18) How can parents access Emergency Childcare? (Posted 4/30/20)

Parents who would like to access Emergency Childcare should visit the Resource and Referral County Listing web page, or My Childcare Search web page External link opens in new window or tab. . The local Resource and Referral Agencies within each county are there to help connect parents with finding childcare providers. Parents that would like to access subsidized care should inform the Resource and Referral Agency, who will walk them through the process of enrolling in subsidized childcare.

19) Is there a list of contractors/providers who are offering emergency child care services for essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

Contractors should work closely with their local Resource and Referral Agencies (R&Rs) to inform them of vacancies they may have so the R&Rs can support and inform the general public of available Emergency Childcare options and assist families with finding emergency care.

20) Which contract types are able to enroll families for Emergency Childcare with the modified enrollment documentation and enrollment priorities? (Posted 4/30/20)

MB 20-06 only applies to Alternative Payment Program (CAPP), California State Preschool Program (CSPP), General Child Care (CCTR), and Family Child Care Home Education Networks (CFCC) contracts.

21) Do contractors need to prioritize new enrollments of essential workers by income ranking order and the essential worker priorities? (Posted 4/30/20)

Families that are income eligible will be prioritized over families that exceed the income eligibility threshold, however, families will not be further ranked by income. Families who are enrolled as essential workers must be prioritized based on the essential worker sector the family works in as listed in MB 20-06.

22) Are emergency child care group sizes set in stone and if so, how long will this be required? (Posted 4/30/20)

Group size requirements are in effect through June 30, 2020 or until the State of Emergency is lifted, whichever occurs first. MB 20-06 provides guidance regarding the approval process for increased group size waivers. Group size waivers are only available for contractors who did not close their programs, and only if currently enrolled children who are still attending care exceed the group size requirements. Groups size waivers will not be granted for contractors that enroll new families that exceed the group size maximum of 10 children.

23) When certifying essential worker families for services do all parents included in the family size have to work outside of the home to qualify for Emergency Childcare services? (Posted 4/30/20)

All parents included in the family size must be essential workers that work outside of the home in order to qualify for Emergency Childcare. The only exception to this is when one parent is an essential worker that works outside of the home and the other parent is incapacitated.

24) Can part-day CSPP programs request permission from CDE to operate CSPP full-day services to essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

Contractors may serve families of essential workers and at-risk populations for full-day care to the extent that current contract funds support the contractor to provide full-day services.

25) Do teachers from the CDE funded programs who are providing distance learning to children qualify for Emergency Childcare services as essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

Early learning and care teachers are considered essential workers; however, they only qualify for Emergency Childcare if they cannot work remotely and if they meet the other requirements listed in MB 20-06 to receive Emergency Childcare.

26) What are the eligibility priorities and certification criteria for alternative payment (AP) program contractors? How should AP providers prioritize families when they open to provide emergency childcare to essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

Alternative Payment (CAPP) contractors must follow the prioritization and eligibility criteria listed in Management Bulletin 20-06 when certifying new families. Private providers that open to provide Emergency Childcare for families with AP vouchers are not required to enroll children into their programs with the priorities listed in MB 20-06, however, they may look to the guidance in MB 20-06 for best practices in regards to serving families during COVID-19.

27) After serving all currently enrolled families whose parents are essential workers, can a contractor recruit eligible families from the community for services i.e. hospitals, first responders, etc.? (Posted 4/30/20)

If a contractor has exhausted their list of currently enrolled families who need emergency child care services and the program still has vacancies, contractors should work with their local Resource and Referral agency to fill vacancies with new families in the priority order described in MB 20-06. Contractors can also conduct outreach to local hospitals and other businesses with employees who are essential workers. As always, contractors have the ability to enroll private pay families if there is space available.

28) Will contractors be “held-harmless” when implementing management bulletins/ CDE directives during the state of emergency? (Posted 4/30/20)

Management Bulletin 20-06 informs early learning and care contractors who enroll essential workers with a signed COVID-19 Self-Certification form that they are not responsible for determining if a parent or guardian's work is "essential" under State Executive Order N-33-20 or if a family is part of the "at-risk population" when accepting a child for emergency childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contractors shall not be subject to a penalty for accepting a child whose parent or guardian is later determined not the meet those definitions.

29) Are one-time funds available to support additional costs incurred by contractors who provide emergency services to essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

California’s Governor and Legislature identified $50 million to support Emergency Childcare for essential workers and at-risk populations during the State of Emergency. The CDE has allocated the available funds to CAPP contractors throughout the state.

30) When an essential worker’s CSPP or CCTR site is closed does this family have the option of enrolling in another CDE funded program that has opened to provide emergency child care services? If yes, what guidelines should be followed by the parent and providers once the shelter in place directive has lifted? (Posted 4/30/20)

When a currently enrolled family is in need of care, they are able to temporarily enroll in another CDE funded program if their current program is closed. If the family receives Emergency Childcare from another direct service contractor or obtains an Emergency Childcare voucher, they will only be allowed to receive those services until June 30, 2020 or until the State of Emergency is lifted, whichever occurs first. All families will be expected to return to their regular contractor or providers once the State of Emergency is lifted or once the contractor or provider has reopened.

31) What are the criteria for contractors operating Emergency Childcare programs for essential workers? (Posted 4/30/20)

Contractors should follow all directives as outlined in Management Bulletin 20-06 which provides guidance regarding Emergency Childcare for essential workers and at-risk populations during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Additionally, other recently released Management Bulletins on a variety of other topics can be found on the ELCD COVID-19 Resources webpage.

32) Are school districts expected to provide Emergency Childcare services to essential workers and at-risk populations during the state of emergency? (Posted 4/30/20)

The CDE is encouraging all programs that can safely remain open or reopen to do so in order to serve essential worker families and at-risk populations during this State of Emergency.

33) What resources are available for parents who are essential workers and unable to afford child care services? (Posted 4/30/20)

Families that are in need of subsidized Emergency Childcare during this time should contact their local R&R to be connected with CDE contractors who can certify families for Emergency Childcare. Families are now able to apply for Emergency Childcare in a state subsidized program if they are one of the following; an essential worker family, an at-risk population, or a family with a child who has a disability or special health care need whose IEP or IFSP includes early learning and care services.

34) Does management bulletin 20-06 apply only to CDE funded programs? (Posted 4/30/20)

Yes, Management Bulletin 20-06 provides guidance to state-subsidized early learning and care (ELC) programs that will continue to provide services to currently-enrolled families or begin to provide Emergency Childcare for essential workers and at-risk populations. However, private providers may look to the guidance in MB 20-06 for best practices in regards to serving families during COVID-19.

35) How should contractors prioritize children of Essential Workers already enrolled if there is not sufficient staff to fully re-open? (Posted 4/30/20)

Currently enrolled families should be prioritized to return to care in the same order as new families as described in more detail in MB 20-06.

Priority 1: CPS or at-risk families
Priority 2: Families experiencing homelessness
Priority 3: Essential workers (in the order listed in MB 20-06)

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Emergency Closure

1) Is there a limit on the number of days a contractor can claim for an emergency closure? (Posted 5/5/20)

No, an emergency closure can be claimed during the entire period of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, up to and including June 30. Contractors that submit emergency closure requests must meet the requirements provided in Management Bulletin (MB) 20-11 regarding emergency closures, MB 20-09 regarding program quality, and, as applicable, MB 20-10 regarding family child care home education networks.

2) Does the contractor have to submit a Board Resolution for a COVID-19 related emergency closure? (Posted 5/5/20)

No. Contractors must submit an Emergency Closure Request online in accordance with Management Bulletin (MB) 20-11.

3) Who is an “authorized representative” for the contract(s)? (Posted 5/5/20)

For the purposes of submitting emergency closures requests, the authorized representative is the person who has the authority to sign and engage in a contractual relationship with the California Department of Education (CDE).

4) Does a program have to report attendance during an emergency closure due to COVID-19? (Posted 5/5/20)

Actual days of attendance must be reported for the month of March. Management Bulletin (MB) 20-11 states that contractors that are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic do not have to report attendance during the period of closure for the months of April, May and June 2020. Contractors do need to submit fiscal and attendance reports for January, February, March 2020. The data from these reports will be used to determine an appropriate attendance and enrollment credit for the months of March, April, May and June 2020. Once the contractor receives the approval letter, the contractor can report the approved credit as their days of attendance.

5) Will the emergency closure credit be based on our attendance the week before the closure started? (Posted 5/5/20)

No. Contractors are required to submit a January, February and March 2020 Report to Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services (CDNFS). CDNFS will use prior reported data to determine an appropriate attendance and enrollment credit for the period of closure. Specifically, the enrollment and attendance data, as well as the days of closure, will be the basis for determining the approved credits during closure.

6) If only some of a contractor's sites are closed and other sites remain open, how should I report attendance during an emergency closure? (Posted 5/5/20)

The CDE understands that some center-based contractors may not have closed all sites. With the exception of emergency childcare services for children of essential workers and special populations, contractors will not need to submit attendance and enrollment data related to any site for the period of closure. Instead, CDNFS will calculate a credit for the number of days of enrollment and attendance based on the third quarter report. Once the contractor receives the approval letter, the contractor can report the approved credit as their days of attendance. If a contractor believes it is administratively more efficient to report absences for all closed sites as excused absences, they can choose to do so. In this case, the contractor would not submit an emergency closure request, but would continue to submit monthly or quarterly report forms to CDNFS with enrollments and attendance as normal.

7) Will a contractor get reimbursed for continuing to pay teachers and staff through the emergency period? (Posted 5/5/20)

MB 20-04 allows contractors to continue to receive their apportionments during an emergency closure due to COVID-19. This funding is to continue to pay program costs including but not limited to teacher and staff salaries. Contractors should refer to the limits of reimbursement defined in California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Section 18054 and the annual Funding Terms and Conditions (FT&Cs) for more information on how reimbursement is determined by contract type.

8) Does a CCTR contractor operating a Family Child Care Home Network have to pay providers during a closure? (Posted 5/5/20)

Yes. Direct service contract programs (CCTR, CSPP, CHAN, or CMIG) and CFCC contractors serving families in a family child care home education network (FCCHEN) may submit an emergency closure request for any licensed family child care home that is closed due to COVID-19. These providers must be part of a FCCHEN and serving families in a direct service contract program. As specified in MB 20-11, contractors must continue to incur operating expenses in order to receive reimbursement. Per MB 20-10, these contractors and family child care home providers receiving reimbursement must continue to meet program quality contractual requirements during an emergency closure.

9) Can an Alternate Payment program submit an emergency closure request? (Posted 5/5/20)

No. Alternative Payment (AP) programs provide essential services, such as assisting families with provider changes, processing provider reimbursements, enrolling children of essential worker families, and must continue to provide essential program services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. AP programs must continue to provide these services and continue to pay providers that are open to provide early learning and care to children and families. Because the CDE cannot reimburse AP providers that are closed, beyond the 30 days provided in MB 20-04, an AP program cannot submit an emergency closure request.

10) If a program was in full operation during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, do they need to submit an emergency closure request? (Posted 5/5/20)

No. Contractors that continue full operation must submit the normal enrollment and attendance reports and will receive apportionments based on submitted fiscal reports. However, if attendance has been substantially affected by the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the contractor may find that it benefits them to submit an emergency closure request. Submitting an emergency closure request may reduce the administrative burden for the contractor, CDNFS will calculate a credit for the number of days of attendance based on the third quarter report. Once the contractor receives the approval letter, the contractor can report the approved credit as their days of attendance.

Contractors with questions about emergency closure requests should consult with their regional consultant or their fiscal analyst. Please see the directory of regional consultants and directory of fiscal analysts.

11) If a program was in full operation during the COVID-19 emergency, but many families did not attend the program, does the contractor need to submit an emergency closure? (Posted 5/5/20)

A contractor may report absences due to COVID-19 as excused due to family emergency on fiscal and attendance reports. Alternatively, if attendance has been substantially affected by COVID-19, the contractor may find that it benefits them to submit an emergency closure request while continuing to remain open. Submitting an emergency closure request may reduce the administrative burden for the contractor. Approved attendance credits will be based on the prior month’s attendance reports.

12) Can a contractor report attendance for closure days if they have not yet received approval for the closure from the regional consultant? (Posted 5/5/20)

No. Contractors who submit a COVID-19 Emergency Closure Request must not report attendance until the CDE issues an approval letter indicating the days of attendance and days of operation to report.

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Additional Funds and Resources

1) I heard that federal CARES Act funding is available for child care. Can you tell me how to apply for this funding?

The federal CARES Act funding was recently awarded to states for early learning and care activities; however, the funds need to be appropriated through the state legislative process before they can be used. The CDE is working with the Legislature and the Governor’s Administration to determine how these funds will be used. As soon as these funds are appropriated by the Legislature, the CDE will provide direction to the public on what activities these funds will support.

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Program Quality

Compliance Reviews of Contractors or Contract Monitoring Reviews
1) Are Compliance Reviews of Contractors also known as “CMRs” still happening this year? (Posted 5/13/20)

During the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the California Department of Education (CDE) will be conducting modified monitoring of contracts and will suspend all on-site visits, unless needed. In addition to desk monitoring, the CDE will continue to support contractors by providing technical assistance, training, and updated information remotely.

Program Self Evaluation
1) Are we still required to complete the Program Self Evaluation (PSE), due June 1, 2020, this year? (Posted 5/13/20)

The requirement to submit the Program Self Evaluation (PSE) 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.

2) My agency has completed all/most of the requirements for the PSE. Can I still submit my PSE? (Posted 5/13/20)

No, the requirement to submit the PSE on June 1, 2020, has been suspended. Contractors should maintain the documentation completed to this point onsite for audit purposes.

Parent Conferences
1) Is there a mandate for contractors to provide parent conferences during a closure? (Posted 5/13/20)

No, however, contractors are required to maintain contact with each family a minimum of twice a week for updates on the child and family. Additional information on these requirements can be found in MB 20-09.

Parent Involvement
1) Is there a mandate for contractors to provide parent involvement/ engagement activities? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, contractors must contact each family a minimum of twice a week to keep updated on the child and family by sharing information between staff and parents. To the greatest extent possible, outreach efforts should be conducted in the family's home language or preferred language and can be done electronically, via web conferencing, telephone, email, or other electronic means. 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.

2) What are the types of parent involvement/engagement activities should we be providing? (Posted 5/13/20)

The Contractor should 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. The Contractor should contact the local Resource and Referral agencies to identify additional resources to me the needs of children and families.

3) Is there a specific template or form for documenting outreach efforts? (Posted 5/13/20)

There is not a template or form. Contractors can choose the format they wish to utilize to document their outreach efforts. Documentation should be kept on site for audit purposes.

Education Programs
1) Is there a mandate for contractors to provide distance learning opportunities during a closure? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, Contractors (full day and part day) will provide all enrolled families with developmentally appropriate activities that can be done at home. Activities provided to families must: (1) be developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate; (2) be inclusive of children with special needs; (3) encourage respect for the feeling and rights of others; (4) support child’s social and emotional development; (5) develop children’s cognitive and language skills; (6) promote children’s physical development; and (7) Contractors must provide these required services through distance learning opportunities such as online programs, video conferencing, email, drop off or pick up activity guides or materials, etc. To the greatest extent possible, activities should be provided in the family's home or preferred language.

2) Is there a specific template or form for documenting educational activities? (Posted 5/13/20)

There is not a template or form. Contractors can choose the format they wish to utilize to document and track the educational activities to ensure, to the best of their ability, that each currently enrolled child maintains their developmental progress and child outcomes. Documentation should be maintained on site for audit purposes.

3) What is an activity plan and what should it consist of? (Posted 5/13/20)

MB 20-09 has additional guidance on the requirements for education programs contractors must provide. There is no template or form for the activity plan. Contractors can choose the format they wish to utilize to create activity plans. The purpose of the activity plan is to assist in maintaining the developmental progress of currently enrolled children.

It is recommended that contractors continue, to the best of their ability, to document activities in a way that is similar to the way activities were documented in the physical location services are normally provided. For example, teachers who previously utilized weekly lesson plans to create group and individualized activities to maintain the developmental progress of the children in the classroom could make slight modifications to the lesson plan to meet the need of children and families during this situation and send to the families. Contractors could then use the family check in to see if any additional modifications are needed to make the activities slightly easier or slightly more difficult or using a different way depending on the skills of the individual child to encourage developmental progress.

It is the contractor’s responsibility to determine the process and documentation necessary to meet the individual needs of the children and families during this time. Please note, in addition, these activities should be conducted for children with special needs in the same fashion while including individualization for Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) and/or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals.

4) Is there any guidance coming from CDE regarding providing educational resources to our families? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, the CDE has found many resources that are being offered for free across the nation. Contractors can also find a listing of CDE resources that is available. The CDE recommends utilizing resources currently available to contractors though their chosen curriculum networks for recommendations.

5) Some of our families do not have computers or internet access. How will we provide online learning opportunities for them? (Posted 5/13/20)

Contractors are required to offer virtual learning opportunities daily through various methods. If contractors have families who do not have access to computers or internet, contractors are required to provide alternative methods of learning opportunities, including but not limited to, activity packets the families can take home.

Staff Development
1) Is there a mandate for contractors to provide staff development opportunities during a closure? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, contractors will provide all staff members Staff Development opportunities. Staff Development must include, but not be limited to: (1) identification of training needs; (2) a written performance evaluation or development plan; (3) staff development opportunities that include topics related to the functions specified in the staff members job description, and include priority topics including health and safety and child development. Contractors must provide professional development through distance learning platforms and/or connect their staff to other free training resources and document the opportunities provided and completed.

2) Is there a specific number of hours of professional growth - per week? per month? (Posted 5/13/20)

The CDE does not require a specific number of hours for Professional Development. Contractors should follow the guidance in MB 20-09, and the program quality requirements for Staff Development in the Funding Terms and Conditions and program requirements for the contract types held as well as requirements related to the Child Development Permit.

3) Is there any guidance coming from ELCD regarding providing Staff Development opportunities to our staff members? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, the CDE has found many resources that are being offered for free across the nation. Contractors can also find a listing of CDE resources that is available. The CDE recommends utilizing resources currently available to contractors supported by CDE program quality efforts can be found on CDE’s website.

4) Do we have to do all eight comprehensive Health and Safety Modules by June 30th? (Posted 5/13/20)

The CDE highly recommends that Professional Development includes health and safety training, and child development in order to support California’s compliance with the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The CDE is not requiring agencies to complete the eight (8) comprehensive health and safety modules but is recommending it for those who don’t currently meet the CCDBG requirements. This resource was provided for contractors to utilize for staff development and to create additional access to health and safety content required by CCDBG. Contractors may engage staff in Professional Development that is relevant and meaningful for staff but should first ensure that all staff working with children meet the CCDBG minimum requirements.

5) How do we show proof of Professional Development? Can we simply document the Professional Development the staff is attending? (Posted 5/13/20)

Contractors shall document Staff Development. This can be documented by keeping a written record of training title, dates, and times, as well as collecting certificates of completion from trainings that have been completed. If is highly recommended that during this time contractors ask staff to utilize, to the best of their ability, the Early Care & Education Workforce Registry External link opens in new window or tab. to document Professional Development hours.

Developmental Profile
1) Are Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDPs) suspended for Spring 2020? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDPs) are suspended after March 17, 2020. Observations, data collection, and data submissions have been canceled for rating periods occurring after March 17, 2020. Contractors should maintain the documentation completed to that point onsite for audit purposes. All DRDP data collection from the fall and winter must be submitted, however, do not submit partially completed DRDP ratings.

2) Will the DRDP reporting deadlines be waived? Or should teachers rate children with the documentation that they have? (Posted 5/13/20)

Yes, any DRDP reporting deadlines for the spring rating periods have been canceled. Fall and winter rating periods have not been waived. If teachers have collected all necessary observations and documentation to complete the previous reporting periods ratings, please upload that data as usual, using the DRDP app, the upload function, or by working with existing vendors. If teachers have not collected all necessary observations do not upload partial data into DRDP Online.

3) Will there be any extensions for the submission of DRDP data into DRDP Online? (Posted 5/13/20)

No, there will not be any extensions. Please upload only complete DRDP ratings, do not upload incomplete DRDP ratings.

4) Are teachers able to complete rating records with virtual observations as well as parent input? (Posted 5/13/20)

Contractors who choose to utilize this method as part of the agency’s Program Quality Emergency Plan are asked not to include this type of data into DRDP online. It is recommended that contractors document the reasons for incomplete data for the spring observation cycle on site for audit purposes for these children. Spring DRDP rating periods are suspended for all contractors for the Fiscal Year 2019-20. Contractors will not be held at fault for not submitting Spring 2020 ratings.

Parent Survey
1) Are we required to complete our Parent Surveys? (Posted 5/13/20)

No, this requirement has been suspended for the remainder of the Fiscal Year 2019-20. Contractors are required to communicate with families about their progress and needs with distance learning and the family’s overall well-being. Contractors should provide families with resource and referral support services, social services, and health services during this time.

Environment Rating Scales
1) Do we need to complete our Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) and /or Infant/Toddler Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS)? (Posted 5/13/20)

No, this requirement has been suspended for the remainder of the Fiscal Year 2019-20. Contractor should maintain the documentation completed to this point onsite for audit purposes.

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If you have specific questions about your program, please send questions to the ELCD emergency email box, at ELCDEmergency@cde.ca.gov. 

Questions:   Early Learning & Care Division | ELCDEmergency@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 21, 2020
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