Dear California Resource and Referral Program Contractors:
Apportionment for the Senate Bill (SB) 89 COVID-19 Early Learning and Care (ELC) Response Funds Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20
This apportionment, in the amount of $50 million, is provided by Section 2 of Senate Bill 89 (Chapter 2, Statutes of 2020) to Resource and Referral (R&R) programs to support Cleaning and Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP).
The R&R programs, in turn, will allocate CSCP funds to open or soon-to-be open providers operating childcare or early learning and care (ELC) programs for children of essential workers, at-risk populations, and children with disabilities or special health care needs where the child’s individualized education plan (IEP) or individualized family service plan (IFSP) includes ELC services.
The CSCP funding is available for both licensed and license-exempt center and home-based providers who are non-local education agencies (e.g. community-based organizations, city or county, or private) and who provide ELC services to families receiving subsidies or private paying families. Providers who are local education agencies will receive funding through a separate mechanism. This funding is allocated based on:
- California Department of Social Services (CDSS) data on licensed spaces that are open, or interested in reopening
- California Department of Education (CDE) data on the number of children receiving CDE subsidies that are cared for in license-exempt settings
R&Rs are responsible for dispersing the CSCP funds to child care providers in their service areas in accordance with this letter. The funds may only be used for the purposes described below.
In order to receive CSCP funding, providers must be currently open or intend to reopen during the COVID-19 emergency. Providers may be either licensed providers, license-exempt center, or home-based providers and are not required to serve children receiving subsidies.
Providers that are currently closed and do not intend to reopen during the period of the COVID-19 emergency to serve children of essential workers, at-risk populations, and children with disabilities are not eligible to receive the CSCP.
R&Rs must determine if the provider is open or will reopen during the period of the emergency. To make this determination, R&Rs must use self-certification information from providers.
Any providers that are not open at the time of being awarded CSCP resources must self-certify that they will reopen, and provide the R&R agency with the expected date of reopening. Additionally, providers can receive the CSCP resource through only one R&R and may not access them more than once unless the R&R has additional funding and resources left after the first round and makes the resources available again.
Use of Funds
The CDE recognizes that health and safety supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE), are in high demand and may be challenging for individual providers to obtain. To meet this demand, R&Rs may give providers the option to purchase supplies, including PPE, directly from the R&R. However, R&Rs must give providers the option to receive their payment directly in order that they purchase directly if they prefer. Providers may also request to use a combination of the two options.
The CSCP funds must be used to ensure healthy and safe childcare and ELC settings for children. Examples of allowable expenses include:
- Cleansers and sanitizers;
- Masks, gloves, and other PPE;
- Labor costs associated with additional time for cleaning or cleaning services;
- Supplies including instructional materials necessary to implement social distancing and other reasonable health and safety costs associated with responding to state and local health official COVID-19 guidance.
R&Rs are required to demonstrate and justify up to, and no more than 15 percent of the funding for administrative costs. Costs must be strictly limited to those reasonable and necessary to provide funding to providers or to procure supplies on behalf of providers that have elected to have the R&R purchase supplies on their behalf. Reasonable and necessary costs are those that do not exceed what an ordinarily prudent person would incur in the conduct of a competitive business. The CDE encourages R&Rs to use any available funding from their California Resource and Referral Program (CRRP) contract to cover applicable administrative costs related to distributing these funds or purchasing supplies on behalf of providers.
A link to this letter and the accompanying apportionment schedule is posted on CDE’s Early Learning and Care Division’s (ELCD) COVID-19 Guidance and Resources web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/elcdcovid19.asp.
For standardized account code structure coding, use Resource Code 7388, Cleaning and Supplies for Childcare Providers Funds, and Revenue Object Code 8590, All Other State Revenue.
Funding Amounts for Providers
R&Rs must create a well-advertised application process for the CSCP funds so that all providers (both licensed and license-exempt providers) who are eligible for the funds are aware that they can receive them. For an R&R program that is not also an Alternative Payment Contractor, the R&R program will need to collaborate with the Alternative Payment Contractor in its service area to identify license-exempt providers that are serving subsidized children and are still open and providing emergency childcare or who intend to reopen to provide emergency childcare during the period of the emergency.
Funds may be utilized for supplies and services purchased beginning on March 4, 2020. Funding must be spent by June 30, 2020. Awards for CSCP funds shall be made on a first-come, first-serve basis, and allocated based on the capacity of the childcare provider and a per-child funding amount of $65.89. For licensed providers, capacity shall be the licensed capacity. For license-exempt providers, capacity shall be the total number of children served by the provider at any single time. For example, a licensed facility with a licensed capacity of 20 would receive $1,317.80 (20 x $65.89). Local awards shall demonstrate effort to meet the local needs utilizing available funding for both licensed and license-exempt settings.
If the R&R program has any unclaimed, unused, or remaining funds on May 15, 2020, the R&R may use remaining funds to purchase additional supplies in bulk in anticipation of providers in their service needing access to these supplies. The purchase of these supplies must be informed by local needs among childcare providers. These supplies shall be prioritized for providers who have not yet applied for CSCP funds. As a result, if providers apply for CSCP funds after May 15, 2020, they may need to use their award to purchase supplies from the R&R instead of receiving the money directly.
Reporting Use of Funds
R&Rs shall report to the CDE information about providers that received these funds. Information shall include provider’s name, county children served in, number of children served, license number, if applicable, whether the provider received a cash payment or purchased supplies from the R&R, date supplies were purchased, amount of cash paid, if applicable, and the types of supplies purchased from the R&R, if applicable. This information is to be included on the tracking log provided. This information will be used to report on the use of funds to state level stakeholders including the Administration and the Legislature.
The CDE developed tracking log and provider self-certification letter must be used by R&Rs to keep track of supplies and funds that it makes available to providers. These documents are included with this notification.
To use tracking log and provider self-certification letter R&Rs must:
- Post the self-certification letter to the R&R website, and where an email address is available, email the self-certification letter to a provider requesting funds or supplies. The provider will complete the letter and return it with an electronic signature to the R&R. R&Rs must accept self-certification forms from providers electronically, including scanned and sent by email, a picture of a completed form that can be emailed, texted, or faxed.
- The R&R will collect the electronic self-certification letter and record the supplies, funds or both supplies and funds requested by the provider on the tracking log, issue checks to providers, and place orders for supplies or secure group purchasing and records.
- If funds are not fully expended between March 4, 2020, and May 15, 2020, the R&Rs may use remaining funds to purchase additional supplies in bulk for distribution as informed by local need. All funding must be spent by June 30, 2020.
- R&Rs will submit the tracking sheet to the CDE by June 20, 2020 and July 20, 2020. The June tracking sheet will include information on payments or supplies provided to providers through May 31. The July tracking sheet will be cumulative and will include information on payments or supplies provided to providers through June 30.
Considerations for Cleaning Facilities
In addition, the CDE offers the following considerations for cleaning ELC classrooms:
- Consider removing materials from the classroom that are difficult to clean (e.g., soft toys).
- Follow regular cleaning protocols and use a disinfectant recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being effective against coronavirus. A list of such disinfectants can be found on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including but not limited to:
- Door handles, crash bars, and doorknobs
- Entry windows
- Office counters and surfaces
- Sinks and drinking fountains
- Desks and tables
- 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 safely at the warmest setting possible.
- 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 play area.
- Increase the ELC program’s cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, including measures to ensure children do not come in contact with cleaning supplies.
The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health released the Safety & Health Guidance: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Childcare Programs, which offers additional guidance and can be found at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Infection-Prevention-in-Childcare-Programs-Guidance.pdf.
The California Childcare Health Program offers a Health and Safety Manual, which is located at https://cchp.ucsf.edu/content/cchp-health-and-safety-checklist-users-manual and Checklist, which is located at https://cchp.ucsf.edu/content/cchp-health-and-safety-checklist-users-manual. These are associated with the Caring for Our Children national health and safety performance standards and guidelines for early care and education programs located at https://nrckids.org/CFOC, which includes guidance on Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting at https://nrckids.org/CFOC/Database/22.214.171.124 and Prevention of Exposure to Body Fluids located at https://nrckids.org/CFOC/Database/126.96.36.199.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers a page of guidance for the following: For Child Care Programs That Remain Open located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html#clean and Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-schools.html . CDC also has a guide on How to Clean and Disinfect Schools with information relevant to early learning and care providers which can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/cleaning_disinfecting_schools.pdf.
If you have any questions regarding this apportionment, please contact the ELCD at ELCDEmergency@cde.ca.gov.
Stephen Propheter, Director
Early Learning and Care Division